OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa*

6’7” – 329 lbs.

Background:

Iowa native who redshirted after being recruited as a tight end, then took over a full-time starting job the following season, and has been working with the first team ever since. Played left tackle even when Spencer Brown, a third-round pick in last year’s draft, was on roster.

Positives:

Three-year starter who has ideal size for a pro offensive tackle after adding nearly a hundred pounds of bulk since high school. Temperament is excellent. Plays the game with nastiness; works until and sometimes after the whistle. Has a ton of power in his hands; can jolt defenders on contact and use his strength to sling them to the ground. Racked up a ton of pancakes in the games reviewed, even against a comparatively more difficult opponent like Iowa St. Understands positioning and has pretty good short-area quickness for a player his size. Grip strength is very strong to sustain through the whistle. Fast enough in a straight line to get to the second level and disrupt angles, sometimes to successfully engage. Bends his knees well in pass protection. Gets good extension with his arms and is active shooting them out. Drops an early anchor to hold the point against power rushes. Keeps his head on a swivel; seeks out and demolishes defensive linemen as the help blocker.

Negatives:

Somewhat limited positionally/schematically; may be too tall to slide inside to guard and not athletic enough to stick in a zone blocking scheme. Movement skills can be stiff and robotic. Can be a little narrow when playing laterally. Range is limited, although he does give effort to engage in space; fast enough to climb but not quite fluid enough to consistently engage. Can lower his head into contact at times in pass protection. Recovery speed is just average. Needs to sell out to defend some rushes, causing him to drop a late anchor. Tendency to keep playing after the whistle could lead to penalties at the next level.

Summary:

A towering, physically dominant offensive tackle with a viselike grip, exceptional functional strength, and an aggressive, nasty temperament, he should be able to endear himself to a pro offensive line coach, most likely ending up as a right tackle in an inline/power-based scheme which will provide him with opportunities to maul opposing defensive linemen in a phone booth. Currently getting first-round hype, he should end up being off the board within the first twenty-five picks.

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