The Seahawks want to be unpredictable on offense, and it was hard to do that with the backs they had over the past couple of years. If Penny is truly their 3-down guy, teams will have a tougher time anticipating the run or pass. They’ve plugged their need at RB with Chris Carson and Mike Davis last year, and they showed a bit, but nothing to prove that they should be the clear-cut starters.
Penny is currently being drafted at the end of the 3rd round in PPR leagues, a full round after the last potential 3-down back in either McCoy or McKinnon. Joe Mixon and Jordan Howard are being drafted right ahead of Penny, but neither are expected to be on the field as much as Penny in a 3-down role. Mixon can handle the role, but it looks like Gio Bernard will be in on passing downs as long as Marvin Lewis is coaching the Bengals. Derrick Henry, Alex Collins, and Kenyan Drake are being drafted right after Penny, and all of them should be sharing their respective backfields. You want the back who will be on the field the most, and his ADP is pretty sweet if that’s the reality of his role.
Penny is talented and can definitely be effective in a workhorse role. He needs to work on route running and pass blocking, but can run and catch the ball well. His pass protection did improve over the latter part of his final season at San Diego State, so if that continues he should secure the 3rd down role. With all that said, we have to keep an eye on him in training camp and preseason to be sure that Pete Carroll isn’t just extra excited and actually does what he says he would like to do with Penny.