The Seattle Seahawks selected Rashaad Penny with the 27th pick of the 2018 draft, and HC Pete Carroll is already thrusting him into a three-down workhorse role. Despite a lackluster line, Penny’s high projected Usage and otherwise Surrounding Talent create enormous fantasy football upside for the explosive back.
Many are labeling Penny as a major Day One reach. Yet, despite trading down, the Seahawks were reportedly prepared to draft Penny with the 18th overall pick — highlighting just how strongly they believe in him.
Carroll’s post-draft comments further confirm the team’s enamored with Penny, and plan to make him a usage monster:
“I don’t mind telling you, this pick fired me up,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said , via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “He’ll be a three-down back for us. The guy can do everything.He’s such an exciting player. He’s so versatile and so dynamic. We know that every time he gets his hands on the football he could score a touchdown. That’s in the running game and the passing game. He’s very gifted.”
Short, stocky, with blazing fast feet, long speed and a physical, slashing run style, Penny fits the Carroll running back mold to a tee. He faces minimal competition for bellcow duties, with Seattle’s lead RB rushing for 240 yards, and the team notching just 1 RB TD in 2017. For comparison’s sake, Penny ran for 2,248 yards and 23 TDs last year.
The line remains putrid, but new RT DJ Fluker is a mauling addition, and Duane Brown remains one of the higher-level LTs in the game. Meanwhile, any offense with Russell Wilson under center will move the rock and generate scoring opportunities, and Penny has a real chance to be the offensive centerpiece here.
With 25+ weekly touches in a top-15 offense, Penny appears ready to duke it out with Sony Michel for the No.2 Pick in Rookie-Only drafts. Quality RB2 stats feels like the floor on usage alone, while his RB1 upside is very real.