Rashaad Penny on being drafted by Seahawks: ‘I didn’t know I was going to go that early’

Apr 27, 2018, 9:56 AM | Updated: 11:43 am
rashaad penny, seahawks...
RB Rashaad Penny led the nation with 2,248 rushing yards last season. (AP)

New Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny honestly didn’t think he’d be selected in the first round, though he knew on Day One of the 2018 NFL Draft that there was mutual interest between him and the Seattle Seahawks. It was an exciting possibility for the Los Angeles native, a longtime fan of Pete Carroll stemming back to his USC days.

The Seahawks weren’t the only team that wanted Rashaad Penny

“I was very interested (in Seattle),” Penny told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk during an interview Friday morning. “I didn’t know I was going to go that early. I kept hearing from my agent, they’re going to trade down, trade down, probably get a second round, and I’m like hey, second round feels neat, I’ll be a Hawk for life. Seeing them trade down, I was just thinking like maybe this is just the start. And they gave me that call at 27 and I couldn’t believe it.”

Seattle went into Thursday night with the No. 18 pick, but traded back in a deal with the Packers (as was expected for a team that typically trades back and was without a second- or third-round pick). But an hour later at No. 27, Seattle took the plunge, making just their second first-round selection since 2012.

“I dreamed of this for so long and it finally came,” Penny said. “It feels surreal still because of all the projections and everything I was seeing, so, it’s just feels unreal (but) I’m glad to be a part of that organization…

“I got to talk to GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll. And I’m a big Pete Carroll fan. I’ve been since his USC days because I’m an L.A. kid. And it was funny because in our meeting when I was at the NFL Combine, I brought up the USC-Texas game. And I was only maybe, like, seven or eight. And I remember going to that and thought that was one of the craziest games in college football. So I’m just a huge fan of him, and can’t wait to get started.”

Penny led the nation with 2,248 rushing yards as a senior in 2017 for the Aztecs, adding 23 touchdowns on 289 carries. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Penny finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting and was named first-team All-American and All-Mountain West. He was also a special teams standout, something Carroll voiced his excitement about during a Day One press conference with Seattle media at Seahawks headquarters.

The Seahawks have been looking to bolster their once-strong run game (last year saw just one touchdown by a running back). Penny adds another presence to a young running back rotation where a starting spot remains up for grabs.

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