Round 2: San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny – 5-11, 220 – 4.50 – Senior

Previous pick: Georgia RB Sony Michel
There’s actually a good chance after the NFL Scouting Combine that Michel could slip into the bottom of the first round if he tests well as expected. He is a complete running back that can be effective in all three downs much like New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara displayed last year in his Pro Bowl rookie season.

So the pick for Tampa Bay in the second round is Penny, who was the Co-Offensive MVP of the Senior Bowl as he was the leading rusher with 64 yards on nine carries (7.1 avg.), including a 34-yard jaunt that showed his explosiveness through the hole. Penny also had a 73-yard touchdown reception that showed his versatility and game-breaking speed.

Penny didn’t have a great start to the Senior Bowl practices as he had a couple of fumbles, a false start and showed some tentativeness in the first two practices as he got adjusted to his surroundings, a new offense and a new offensive line to work with. Thursday was Penny’s best day of practice and Saturday’s performance in the game helped him boost his stock coming out of the Senior Bowl.

Despite leading the nation in rushing with 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns on 289 carries (7.8 avg.), Penny was snubbed for the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the best running back in college football, as well as the Heisman Trophy. Penny played in the shadow of Donnell Pumphrey, the FBS all-time leading career rusher, for his first three years at San Diego State. But despite Pumphrey rushing for over 2,000 yards in 2016 as a senior, Penny still managed to rush for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns on 136 carries (7.5 avg.) as a junior.

“I think it’s a joke,” said SDSU offensive coordinator Jeff Horton about Penny’s snub for the Doak Walker and Heisman Trophy awards. “I think it’s a disgrace. How you can have the leading rusher in the nation and leading all-purpose yardage guy, and what’s he second in touchdowns in the nation? To not have him as one of the finalists, to me it discredits the award. … The kid’s done more than anybody else on the field at that position.”

Penny’s San Diego State Career Rushing Stats
2017: 289 carries for 2,248 yards (7.8 avg.) with 23 TDs and a long of 95 yards
2016: 136 carries for 1,018 yards (7.5 avg.) with 11 TDs and a long of 73 yards
2015: 61 carries for 368 yards (6.0 avg.) with 5 TDs and a long of 55 yards
2014: 2 carries for 22 yards (11.0 avg.) with 0 TDs and a long of 21 yards

Penny’s San Diego State Career Receiving Stats
2017: 19 catches for 135 yards (7.1 avg.) with 2 TDs and a long of 33 yards
2016: 15 catches for 224 yards (14.9 avg.) with 3 TDs and a long of 41 yards
2015: 8 catches for 120 yards (15.0 avg.) with 1 TD and a long of 33 yards

Penny’s San Diego State Career Kickoff Return Stats
2017: 17 returns for 521 yards (30.6 avg.) with 2 TDs and a long of 100 yards
2016: 20 returns for 624 yards (31.2 avg.) with 2 TDs and a long of 100 yards
2015: 24 returns for 804 yards (33.5 avg.) with 3 TDs and a long of 100 yards
2014: 20 returns for 500 yards (25.0 avg.) with a long of 57

Penny’s San Diego State Career Punt Return Stats
2017: 2 returns for 70 yards (35.0 avg.) with 1 TD and a long of 70 yards

That set up a breakout season in which Penny broke Pumphrey’s single-season rushing record at San Diego State and propelled him to the Senior Bowl as a second- or third-round draft prospect. Penny finished his senior season with six 200-yard rushing games, including five straight at the end of the 2017 season, including the Aztecs’ bowl loss to Army to tie the FBS record shared with Marcus Allen (USC, 1981), Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State, 1988) and Jamario Thomas (North Texas, 2004). In his final college game, Penny rushed for 221 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries (15.8 avg.). Penny’s 2,248 rushing yards ranks fifth on the FBS all-time single-season rushing list behind Sanders (2,628), Melvin Gordon (2,587), Kevin Smith (2,567) and Allen (2,427).

Penny’s playmaking ability would instantly upgrade the Bucs’ backfield, which is in desperate need of speed and a back that could take a run the distance. He has better hands than he’s given credit for, despite the lack of opportunities in the passing game at San Diego State.

Where Penny needs to improve is banging in between the tackles instead of always looking for daylight runs and bouncing plays to the outside. There will be plenty of instances in the NFL where the holes he enjoyed running through in college won’t be there and he’ll have to plow ahead for three or four yards. Penny’s north-south approach to running will serve him well in this area.

Yet Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, a likely first-rounder, thinks Penny showed plenty of power in rushing for 175 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries (5.5 avg.) in a 20-17 upset over the Cardinal.

“What did he weigh today – 220?” said Phillips at the Senior Bowl. “He felt a lot bigger than that. That’s a credit to him and how hard he runs. I know he’s a really good guy just from knowing him here and playing against him. You’re going to get a person who is going to work hard and probably be a captain in a few years for your organization. He definitely felt bigger and stronger than 220 pounds – he’s probably just one muscle.”

If the Bucs, who are expected to cut Doug Martin this offseason, sign Cleveland running back Isaiah Crowell, Minnesota’s Jerick McKinnon or New England’s Dion Lewis this offseason and pair any of those players with Penny, Tampa Bay would have a much more dynamic running attack in 2018. Penny needs work in pass protection, and that may initially limit him to first and second downs as an NFL running back, but where he can help is on special teams. Penny tied the FBS record with seven kickoff returns for touchdowns and also scored on a 70-yard punt return.

Click below to view Tampa Bay’s third-round pick in 2018.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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martinii

Like the Vea call if Grubb goes to Colts and the Penny Pick was interesting and like the idea of drafting a DB over 6’0, We are not adding a lot to our sack deficiency but IMO Sacks are overrated. Need for QB pressures huge and it appears that is exactly what we are going to have to settle for in 2018. Long way to APRIL.

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tbb345

My God….I hope this isn’t based on inside sources. If this is how the Bucs draft turns out, we can all look forward to a lot of F grades

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FLBoy84

Other than providing more fodder for the “experts” to discuss to keep themselves employed, see no real-life implications of any of the grades assigned before any of the prospects have even played in a friggin’ NFL game yet.

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Easythe great

LOL thank god Scott Reynolds is just a journalist and not a GM.

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Devasher

So you’re saying you aren’t a fan of firing 3 head coaches in 6 years…or just this mock draft? 😂

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yuccaneers

Poor mock draft for the Bucs! Unless the team is going to transition to a 3-4 as their base defense. Neglecting a true edge rusher in the first two rounds and the interior of their offensive line, this make no sense. Understand PewterReport has been pushing the switch to a 3-4 and Vea, however when you look at market share production data for Vea, defensively. His projections of speed score & market share fall short of historical benchmarks, to even be considered a Probowl caliber talent compared to peers since the 1989 NFL draft. While many are looking at Vea… Read more »

Devasher

I concur, if we are looking at a later first round pick then I would be more comfortable with this pick. When considering a top 10 selection, the goal is a perennial Pro Bowler as the greatest share of any drafts Pro Bowl players are taken in that area. You don’t wing it with solid but unlikely to be spectacular players in the hopes that it works out for them. Star Lotulelei was a better prospect coming out and while he has played an important role for their defense I think you’d be hard pressed to say his impact has… Read more »

surferdudes

When you hear 345 lbs you think the guy might be fat like big bellied Baker. Looking at Vea tho the guy is built. Don’t know why some are getting on you Scott, the fan base is to fixed on drafting a D end, they’re being blinded to the fact there just isn’t one worth taking at #7. I believe we have as much need at DT, as DE, and Vea would be an instant up grade. Quizz, Sims, and Martin need to go, and Penny would also be an instant up grade. If you’re first two picks are instant… Read more »

Devasher

You should look for a Pro Bowl quality player in the top 10 of the draft. If you don’t get one then your GM has ‘missed’ by historical trends. 2 gap DT’s aren’t the same premium that a fast twitch DE is, as a result they don’t collect the same paychecks or merit the same draft status. There is a reason you don’t see these players breaking the bank, and you can find adequate replacements for marginal costs. Now if you think Vea is a unicorn of the position and staring down the barrel of multiple pro bowls as a… Read more »

Cody

Yeah I’m not a fan of this one either. Vea could totally be a great player and so could Penny. But I really think one of the top 4 guys (Chubb, Fitzpatrick, Barkley, and Nelson) will fall to us at 7 and I would want that guy for sure. Vea isn’t a top 10 guy right now though so I don’t want him unless we trade down. Also, Sony Michel is a much better running back for the second round than Penny. Finally, Shaquem Griffin in the 6th or 7th round please. 🙂 Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No… Read more »

FLBoy84

Like the idea of Griffin as a late round pick as well Cody. Guy plays with a heart and intensity that would mesh well in the LB room.

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Cody

Yeah I don’t think that he would fit in our scheme very well unless we’re for sure going to a 3-4. If Tampa or Jax doesn’t get him then I’d want him in San Fran, Seattle, or New England because I think he’d fit in there. John Lynch has already said some really great stuff about him and I could see him pulling the trigger. Belichick could also put him in a really great position to succeed as well.

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FLBoy84

Agreed, all are great destinations for him. Was glad to see he received a Combine invite as well.

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macabee

Bucs 2018 Mock Draft V3 Draft Strategy My draft strategy has been and remains to fix the defense. This draft is almost exclusively dedicated to fixing the defense. I’ve seen the experts prediction that DE Chubb will be taken by the Colts – not buying it yet. Just yesterday, ESPN’s Mike Wells believes Penn State RB Saquon Barkley will be in play for the Colts with the third overall pick (see Rotoworld). Lots of time left for things to change. RD1 DE Bradley Chubb/ NC State 6-4 275 4.80 *This game wrecker needs no introduction. He is the #1 DE… Read more »

Nicholas Micciche

Love the thought process here and the alternate picks. Comp pick would be nice, totally forgot about us perhaps getting that. 3 D-linemen (2 solid and 1 a project) and a starting RB would be a nice haul!

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dubinator

That’s a good idea, one defensive end prospect that i like as a developmental guy is Ade Aruna from Tulane, he’s big and athletic he just needs some refinement as he only started playing football his senior year of high school because he’s from Nigeria. He’s got all the tools to become a dominant guy that could surprise a lot of people. Big, strong, freakishly athletic, just needs technique.

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MichaelMyersIsABucsFan

None of those guys are going to be available where you have them drafted, and fuck a kicker.

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cgmaster27

Thant’s why it’s called a Mock. It’s like guessing. And for all we know, a good bit of them might be there. Few thought OJ would be there last year, and sure enough. Even fewer thought Godwin would be there in the third, sure enough, he was.

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macabee

Hey Mike,

If I start to mock lingerie football, I’m going to take your advice! lol.

https://www.maxim.com/sports/legends-league-football-new-uniforms-2017-1

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JustaBuc

+1, this draft is a heck of a lot better than Scott’s. I think we might be able to pick a 1st round faller instead of Davenport/Bryan but otherwise I can’t really complain. Everybody is so sure that Chubb won’t fall to us. I’m not so sure. I see the teams in front of us and say damn, there could be 4 QBs taken and trade ups are unlikely since all the teams on the top are QB needy. I think the Colts or the Giants are the only real threats to take Chubb, but the Giants need to have… Read more »

Bucsfan1983

Got the Eddy Pineiro idea from me.

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stlbucsfan

This mock only makes sense if Chubb, Nelson and Barkley are off the board and no one wants to trade up and take our pick. That said the 2nd round pick would definitely have to be either Wynn or Hernandez at guard to make sure the running game gets the help our offense desperately needs. My preference is Wynn because he excelled in the SEC playing LT which would bring much needed versatility to the OL. This is a deep RB class and we should be able to find a very good RB by trading back into the 2nd or… Read more »

Horse

Scott, I like your picks; it all makes sense to me based on your strategy. Go Bucs!

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TBChucky

Chubb, Nelson, or Vea are win/win/win to me. If we could trade back and land him even better. I have a feeling after the combine that Vita won’t look so much like a reach at #7. Impressive tape and movement for a huge man. Really digging Rashaad Penny as well, but I’m hoping for him in the 3rd round.. might be wishful thinking.

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Wausa

Free Agency will certainly impact the draft, but I would not be unhappy with Vea in the 1st round. However, Penny seems like a reach with a high 2nd round pick.

If the Bucs draft Vea in the first I’d rather the Bucs target in the 2nd round:
Duke Ejiofor DE Wake Forest
Sam Hubbard DE Ohio State
Mike Hughes CB UCF

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e

Ugh. This looks like a Browns draft. Don’t put too much stock into Senior Bowl week OR the Combine. I think that there is going to be a mad rush for teams to grab their future QBs and the Bucs may very well be in a position to trade down. Buffalo makes a lot of sense. Trade down and pick up Billy Price & De’ron Payne.

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FLBoy84

If the draft fell like this I’d probably be open to trading down if there’s a QB needy team looking to trade up. Can see Buffalo, Baltimore and Arizona as teams that might want to leapfrog Washington, Miami and maybe Cincy in order to grab a QB.

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Cody

I think you have some of the best and most educated comments on this site. I’d definitely be on board to trade back if Barkley, Fitzpatrick, and Chubb were all gone by 7.

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FLBoy84

Thanks Cody, appreciate the props. Did just see a mock that had 4 QB’s taken in the top 6 and Chubb fell to us at 7, in which case screw the trading down idea lol. Hard to see that happening, but guess we can hope.

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Amo

If Jason Licht has this type of draft, we will make the playoffs next year. Its a draft made up of nasty players who love football. I’m happy you left out the H-back crew we seem to draft in the later rounds. The only thing I would do different is draft Nelson first. An interior line of Nelson, Marpet and Cappa would make Penny and Dion Lewis a dynamic duo. Go Bucs!

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Micah

I would like to see us go after Siran Neal from Jacksonville ST in the late rounds. Hybrid style player that I think would develop well next to Justin Evans and allow the defense to run more exotic looks

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Buc 1976

Even if we were to draft Chubb he would help some.
It usually takes a year or two for DE’S to learn some extra tricks of the trade.

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Bucsfan1983

Ehh… Not really a fan of this mock. But if going with Vea and Penny with the first two picks, I’d do it like,

Rd 1) DT Vita Vea
Rd 2) RB Rashaad Penny
Rd 3) DE Chad Thomas
Rd 4) OT/OG Brandon Parker
Rd 5) DE Jalyn Holmes
Rd 6) K Eddy Pineiro
Rd 6) RB/KR/PR Braxton Berrios

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Bucsfan1983

In addition, if Chubb, Fitzpatrick and Barkley are all gone at 7. If I’m taking a defender here, it is Derwin James. Not Vita Vea. Fitzpatrick and James are the two best DBs in this draft.

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Will

I swear the BUCS NEED TO PICK UP either Derwin James (6’2-3 S) or Tarvarus McFadden (6’1-2 CB) from FSU. Hell I draft them as 1 and 2 or 1 and 3

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seat26

I like this Draft, but we are going to need more corners.

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hamilton

THE DT PAYNE FROM BAMA IS BETTER THEN VITA VEA.

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SaskBucs

Everything hinges on FA but a RB in round 2 would be a terrible pick as things stand now. There are 10 runners in this class that could potentially help our backfield, taking one in the 2nd is reaching. Steelers- Bell*, Bengals- Mixon, Jaguars- Fournette, Texans- Miller/Foreman, Titans- Murray/Henry, Chiefs- Hunt, Chargers- Gordon, Bills- McCoy, Bears- Howard/Cohen, Vikings-Cook, Panthers- McCaffery, Saints- Ingram/Kamara, Falcons- Freeman/Coleman, Rams-Gurley, Cardinals-DJ, Cowboys-Elliott, Eagles- Ajayi. Leaves 15 teams including the Pats who run a stable and are unlikely to draft an RB high, including Browns,Giants,Colts, one of which will draft Barkley, and 2 other teams (Broncos,Redskins,Jets)… Read more »

RootsCrew

I’ll give this Mock 2.0 a B grade. We fans need to realize the Bucs can only fill so many gaping holes in one draft. With our 2016 draft not living up to expectations and the OL experiment blowing up in our face, we’re in a sticky situation going into this offseason. Since we need DT, CB, DE, S, RB & OL help, I love the first 2 picks. Like the 3rd and think the 4th can be a solid player in a year or two. I don’t love going LB in the 5th. While I’d like to grab a… Read more »

dubinator

Decent mock draft not a lot of complaints, rather see maybe a trade for the Bills two picks 22 and 23 to draft Harold Landry and a guard like Wynn or Will Hernandez to give us some nastiness. I’d like for us to take a look at McKinnon in free agency and draft a bigger back later in the draft like Bo Scarbrough from Bama. Like the pick for having a bigger corner as we could use some height, with that we could hopefully pull Talib in free agency and Edge rushing Bennett in free agency Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb… Read more »

Gulfstrings

Okay … I get that this is an exercise in finding good players in “minor” programs (4 of 6), but please …

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Wadeless

We need more OL help than this mock provides. I know the defense sucks but I think we get 2 OL; 2 DL and 2 in the secondary. We got to keep Winston healthy. Nelson with the first pick is my hope.

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