Rashaad Penny

San Diego St.

Prospect Info

San Diego St.
Norwalk, CA
5' 11"
220 lbs
31 1/4”
9 1/4”

Prospect Grade

Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
Round 1 ‧ Pick 27
40 Yard Dash
Bench Press
Vertical Jump
Broad Jump
3 Cone Drill
20 Yd Shuttle
60 Yd Shuttle


Penny and NCAA all-time leading rusher Donnel Pumphrey formed a dynamic duo at running back for the Aztecs for three years, even discovering they were distantly related. After Pumphrey went off to the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, it was Penny's time to shine. He led the nation with 2,248 rushing yards and scored 23 touchdowns on 289 carries, finishing fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting and garnering first-team All-American and All-Mountain West honors. Penny also caught 19 passes for 135 yards and two scores and scored twice on kickoff returns, averaging 30.6 yards on 17 attempts (ranked fifth in the FBS). He also scored a 70-yard touchdown on one of his two punt returns for the year. Penny used his compact, strong build and good straight-line speed to run for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns (on just 136 carries) despite his cousin running for over 2,000 yards himself in 2016. He also ranked fourth in the country with 31.2 yards per kick return (two touchdowns), running at top speed with purpose after securing the ball. Penny starred for the team in the Mountain West Championship Game (16 att., 117 yards, two scores rushing; 2 receptions, 13 yards; 2 att., 113 yards kick returns), earning Offensive MVP honors. He is a two-time Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year and first-team all-conference specialist, first garnering the award by finishing second in the FBS with three kick return touchdowns and a 33.5-yard average return. Penny was a valued reserve back, as well, getting 61 carries for 368 yards and four scores and catching eight passes for 120 yards and a touch. The Norwalk, California native and top 50 high school running back recruit was the team's kick returner as a true freshman, averaging a respectable 25 yards an attempt. Penny also had two rushes for 22 yards on the year.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 2
NFL Comparison
Willis McGahee
Volume-carry running back who plays with an active running style that rarely sees him slow his feet. Penny has the short-area foot quickness to create yardage for himself, but he doesn't really have the burst or long speed to be a homerun hitter. His motor gives him a chance to be a productive NFL starter, but he may lack the explosiveness to be a great back.
  • Has desired NFL size for an every-down running back
  • Runs with short, controlled strides allowing him to elude sudden tackle attempts and alter his rush track
  • Able to alter pursuit angles with his movement
  • Will give ground to get ground around the corner
  • Presses line of scrimmage with conviction before making his cuts
  • Patient runner who is extremely effective at running defenders into trouble by setting up his blockers for success before cutting off of their blocks
  • Uses both subtle and aggressive fakes in space to hinder the tackler's ability to square him up
  • Arm tacklers won't cut it
  • Runs with strong lower half and swivels hips and shakes takes off of his lower body
  • Has slasher qualities as a runner
  • Finishes with a lower shoulder into tacklers when he's finishing
  • Posted impressive kick return numbers
  • Has averaged 31.9 yards per kickoff return with seven touchdowns over last three seasons
  • Sets up kick return blocks the same way he sets them up as a runner
  • High-cut, upright runner
  • Despite urgency as a runner, won't break many quality tackle attempts
  • One-speed runner without a big burst gear to clear first and second level defenders cleanly
  • Has modest yards after first contact numbers over the last two seasons
  • Can get a little "bounce-happy" with his willingness to try and cut inside runs to the outside once he gets onto second level
  • Doesn't always show a feel for the best run lane choices
  • Will miss backside, cutback lanes
  • May not have the long speed to pull away from tacklers and hit big chunk runs
  • Scouts say he may need additional reps to lock-in on the playbook
  • Needs to improve route-running to become a more effective pass catcher
Sources Tell Us

"You know exactly who he is when you watch the tape. I don't think there are going to be any surprises when you get him into our league because you know he is going to make guys miss and he's going to run hard every snap." -- NFC team regional scout


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Once-in-lifetime player
Perennial All-Pro
Future All-Pro
Pro Bowl-caliber player
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
Should become instant starter
Chance to become NFL starter
NFL backup or special teams potential
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
Should be in an NFL training camp
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
Likely needs time in developmental league