The Seattle Seahawks managed to come up with one of the surprise picks of the first round Thursday night, making San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny the 27th overall pick.
The nation's leading rusher (2,248 yards) last year was not widely regarded as the second-best running back in this year's class, but Seahawks general manager John Schneider told The Seattle Times that Penny was a player in some demand.
“A true rarity is that we had a team call after we selected him and tried to acquire him. I've never experienced that. We feel very blessed tonight,” Schneider said Thursday night.
Teams obviously trade up to get certain players every year in the NFL draft, but a post-selection call about acquiring a player is virtually unprecedented. After trading down from No. 18 overall the Seahawks got their guy ahead of at least one team picking early in the second round, and the team it's easy to point to as having made the call about acquiring Penny.
Seattle has nothing but question marks elsewhere on their running back depth chart, so Penny is in line to step right in and make an immediate impact. Head coach Pete Carroll hinted at just that, in a very coach-speak sort of way.
“He is also going to be a three-down back for us and he can do everything,” coach Pete Carroll said of his first-round runner. “He needs to work on his pass protection which he was not asked to do a lot of. But he will give us the ability to play him on all downs and that versatility is really big.”
Penny is an early dark horse for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.