Balance, vision, power are only a few traits on display for a possible Denver Broncos running back prospect out of San Diego State.
The Denver Broncos once drafted a San Diego State running back. Ronnie Hillman was drafted in third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. They could find themselves again attracted to to another Aztec in Rashaad Penny.
Hillman was a slasher back in size and weight. His replacement Donnell Pumphrey exemplified the same attributes.
Hillman and Pumphrey were extremely productive as Aztecs. Hillman ran for 1,532 yards as a freshman in 2010 and 1,711 yards the following year. A year after Hillman declared, Pumphrey entered the scene in 2013. There Pumphrey became a productive running back for three straight seasons.
From his sophomore year to the senior season, Pumphrey totaled on average 1,700 yards during those years.
Fast forward to Rashaad Penny.
Penny is a different back than either Hillman and Pumphrey. Penny’s size is nothing like that of the others. He has a complete back mold, making his appeal that much more intriguing. Penny has vision to see holes develop and accelerate when they are there. His great balance allows him to stay upright. It is a thing of beauty seeing Penny run with the football.
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Another trait of Penny is pass blocking. Unlike Hillman and Pumphrey, Penny lacks the explosion to get to the second level in 1.5 seconds. However, Penny does all the little things well. This makes Penny an intriguing piece to the Denver Broncos. There’s a possibility CJ Anderson will not return to the Broncos making him a free agent. Devontae Booker will be the starter unless a drafted Penny takes over.
Penny can be a special back for the Broncos. He has the same height as Pumphrey, but is tough to bring down. Penny’s most underrated feature is his work on special teams as a kickoff returner, providing even more versatility for this Broncos team.
Don’t be surprised if the Broncos have him on their radar as the draft nears.
Saquon Barkley deserves the hype he gets and that might drop Penny to the Denver Broncos as an option should they consider him.