After reaching to take him late in the first round of April’s draft, the Seahawks have already taken Rashaad Penny out of their running back rotation.
In their latest attempt to find a consistent replacement for Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks took Rashaad Penny with the 27th overall pick in April’s draft. He was coming off leading the country in rushing as a senior at San Diego State (2,248 yards), and even though it was a reach to take him in the first round Penny seemingly had a nice opportunity in front of him.
But a preseason finger injury derailed that, and questions about Penny’s weight (reported to be 236 pounds early in training camp) surfaced. He played in Week 1, had double-digit carries in Week 2 and had nine carries for 49 yards in Week 4 when Chris Carson (hip) was out.
With Carson out against the Cardinals in that Week 4 game, the Seahawks pulled Mike Davis out of mothballs and gave him a workhorse role (21 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns; four catches for 23 yards).
Carson returned to action on Sunday against the Rams, and had 116 yards on 19 carries. Davis maintained a role too, with 12 carries for 68 yards and his third touchdown in the last two games. What about Penny? He played zero offensive snaps, with one snap on special teams.
Penny has clearly been the least productive of Seattle’s running backs so far this year, averaging 3.2 yards per carry to 4.6 for Carson and 4.8 for Davis. So it was only a matter of time before he was phased out, likely with Carson and Davis healthy, and on Sunday that’s exactly what happened.
Carson and Davis have yet to show they are viable options over a longer haul, so Penny may still get his chance this season. But what looked like a mistake early in April’s draft has been confirmed in the short-term, and Penny’s practical deactivation in Week 5 is the newest example of the folly attached to drafting a running back in the first round.