It’s been over a month since the NFL draft and the 2018 rookies are finally getting some OTA work in. Two of those rookies are first-round running backs Sony Michel — drafted by the Patriots — and Rashaad Penny — drafted by the Seahawks. Both selections came as a bit of a surprise but also catapulted the players to the top half of fantasy drafts, with Michel currently having a consensus ADP of RB25 and Penny at RB28 in season-long leagues. We’re going to explore which one you should pick if both are still on the board.
As a runner, Penny challenges Saquon Barkley as the best in this rookie class. At San Diego State last year, he forced 80 missed tackles and had the second-best elusive rating of this class on his way to rushing for almost 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns. He had big-play ability too, turning in the third-most rushes of 15-plus yards and had the seventh-best breakaway percentage in America on top of having an insane 7.5 yards per carry over the course of his career. But for all the positives Penny has shown in the run game, his passing-game skills are a bit of an unknown and could use some work. For starters, he allowed two sacks plus seven hurries on just 66 pass-blocking snaps last year, leading to a pass-blocking efficiency rating of 88.3 percent, only 73rd in this class. As for actually catching the ball, we don’t have much data, as he had just 24 targets last season — he did catch 75 percent of them but also dropped one.