Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning may have played against weaker competition in college, but his tape makes it look like he was playing against eighth graders.
The 6-foot-7 325-pounder has so much power at the point of attack that the person he’s blocking almost never gets any forward momentum, and oftentimes, ends up on the ground.
This is exemplified in his grading, as he was far and away the highest-graded FCS tackle in the country.
Penning posted a 97.3 overall PFF grade and a (get this) 99.9 run blocking grade, which was obviously the best in the country. His 87.0 pass blocking grade wasn’t half bad either.
He plays with an edge and all the way through the whistle, which sometimes got him in some trouble with referees, earning 34 penalties. But typically, you want that nasty edge with offensive linemen.
His strength, athleticism and explosion are off the charts, referenced by his absurd combine numbers. At his size, he ran a 4.89 40-yard dash and a 7.25 three-cone drill – both in the 96th percentile or better. He also broad jumped 9’3”, which was 85th percentile.
New Saints tackle Trevor Penning at the NFL Combine. pic.twitter.com/MiCKGc2Hlh— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) April 29, 2022
So, you combine that athleticism and power with that nastiness, and you get those ridiculous blocking grades from last year.
While he only allowed one sack and six QB hits in 436 pass blocking snaps last year, he can get better in pass protection.
He has a tendency to play high in pass pro, which caused him to be susceptible to the bull rush at times. But that is a coaching point.
He’s got all the talent in the world to become a good pass blocker, and even if he doesn’t, he’ll be at the very least a dominant run blocker.
After losing Terron Armstead in free agency, Penning could be the saving grace on a pretty young and talented offensive line for the New Orleans Saints. He’ll take some grooming, but the ceiling is very high.