It is safe to say when the Commissioner stepped to the podium to announce the 27th pick (belonging to the Seattle Seahawks) very few, if any, people outside of the Seattle Front Office expected it to be a running back — but part of what makes Pete Carroll such a wild card is his willingness to go and get his guy, and he went and did just that with his selection of Rashaad Penny.
Listen, from a numbers standpoint it is impossible to knock Penny. Granted, he played for San Diego State University in the traditionally weaker Mountain West Conference, but still the fact he went over 2,000 yards last season is borderline insane. He’s got a rare combination of size and speed, which is demonstrated by his kick return abilities. While the experts are panning this decision as reaching for a prospect, it goes without saying that it is far too early to truly evaluate the pick. I, for one, applaud Carroll for being willing to take a risk on a player that could play a Marshawn Lynch-esque role for the Seahawks offense in years to come.
The other main complaint is that the Seahawks needed offensive line help more urgently than they did at running back, and that is a fair enough criticism. However, with the position of running back slowly emerging back into one of the more integral roles on a football team perhaps Carroll and the Seattle front office are trying to hop in front of a league wide trend before its too late. Additionally, with no second round pick to utilize or trade with it was truly now or never for the Seahawks to make it work with Penny.
Ultimately, Penny will be compared with the running backs who went after him: Derrius Guice (Redskins) and Kerryon Johnson (Lions) but if Carroll gets this one right again I hope the experts rectify their snap judgments on the pick. While it may sound cliche, the sky is truly the limit for Rashaad Penny. Now he has to go to work and prove all of the haters wrong, and win over the faithful fans of Seattle.