2022 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

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Trevor Penning, Occupational Therapist

Height: 6’7
Weight: 325 pounds.
To classify: RS-Senior
The school: Northern Iowa
Arm length: 34 ¼”
Knack : 10 ⅛”


An under-recruited offensive tackle prospect from Newman Catholic High School. In Mason City, Iowa, Penning was a standout athlete in high school, winning first-team all-districts, and he has letters in basketball and track and field. Penning committed to UNI and later received a scholarship. Penning was a teammate of current Giants’ EDGE Elerson Smith.

Notable

Penning had a phenomenal senior season where he allowed just eleven pressures and one sack. It saw minimal action in 2018 before starting in 2019; he allowed four sacks and 21 pressures.

His 2020 season was cut short by COVID-19, but his game was apparently better. However, he had one of the highest run blocking ratings in Pro Football Focus history with a 99.9 rating.

Penning’s background playing at the FCS level allowed him to dominate competitors who were never going to be NFL players. Penning accepted his invitation to the Senior Bowl and the Combine.

He was one of the most talked about players at Reese’s Senior Bowl, due to his pugnacious nature on the whistle. Penning and the Defenders nearly fought multiple times throughout the event. This wickedness is highly sought after by offensive line coaches.

Penning was a big fish in a small pond. He’s a big athlete with one size, and he’s earned a spot on Bruce Feldman’s Freak List ahead of the 2021 season.

Penning won first-team All-MVFC and was an FCS All-American. He mainly played at left tackle, with one game started at right guard throughout his career. Here are his NFL Scouting Combine tests:

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  • 40 yards to the dash: 4.89
  • Vertical jump: 28″
  • Long Jump: 111″
  • 3-cones: 7.25
  • Short shuttle: 4.62

Strengths

  • Rare size/athletic ability combination
  • Good overall length – meets “threshold” for OT
  • Players his size shouldn’t move as he can
  • Good low-angle presnap build, with excellent curvature through its body
  • Covers the ground laterally with speed and good foot speed
  • Solid processing to adjust during games
  • The snap’s initial rapidity is solid
  • Passing sets are solid, have explosiveness to gain needed depth when setting up vertically
  • Hands jump on contact
  • Excellent attacking strength, finishes blocks with authority
  • Good grounding, does a solid job of absorbing contact and resetting his hips with a wide base
  • Does a solid job of mirroring when engaged (could be better at holding down blocks and preventing defenders from accessing his outside shoulder)
  • Excellent running defender who has the quickness to reach and finish, the strength to wash out defenders in LOS, and he does well with positioning and hip placement in basic blocking situations
  • Physical finisher in combo blocks
  • Does a solid job climbing combo blocks (can stay on them a bit too long)
  • Solid at second level (can bend a bit, but has AA to get its bearings)
  • Crazy competitor who would eat glass to win rep
  • Elite finishing ability that could cause him problems at the next level – too fiery
  • Always looking for work, looking to hurt

Can improve

  • He went to the vault when he should be 45 at times which caused him to lean too far with his punches
  • Pad level is too high after snap (produced to be 6’7)
  • The balance was not constant, it would lose while moving despite its bend
  • Hand technique requires work
  • The timing/placement is inconsistent
  • I wish he had stronger hands
  • Hand deficiencies allowed defenders to enter his outside shoulder – hip to hip
    • Prematurely opens the hips to the top of the arc
  • Hand replacement once the hand fight isn’t as clean as other first-round tackles
  • Too stuck to the penetrator on the twists, allowed the looper to make an easier driveway to the quarterback
  • I love his meanness, but he can be very unruly at times – had 16 penalties in 2021
  • Can also grasp with hands; through 1,995 total snaps, he was penalized 34 times
  • You finished a lot of blocks with brute force – how translatable is that in the NFL?
  • Played at FCS level

Summary

All in all, Trevor Penning offers a great mix of size, speed, viciousness, and strength. He has the necessary bending, length and athletic movement skills to be a dynamic tackle in the NFL.

Offensive line coaches will love his fire, but he may have to tame some of the extra punches he gives defenders after the whistle. I understand the plot with Penning, but he still has issues. His striking timing, placement and inconsistent hands in pass protection allowed lower level athletes to enter his outside shoulder too often.

His hands need work and he needs to be a more disciplined player. Penning has a high ceiling and the work ethic and physical traits necessary to reach that ceiling. It may not happen in the first year, but he is lucky to be a strong starter in the league.

TO NOTE: 6.63


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