Saints Draft: Pros and cons of Trevor Penning selection

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 03: Trevor Penning #OL38 of the Northern Iowa Panthers speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 3, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 03: Trevor Penning #OL38 of the Northern Iowa Panthers speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 3, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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It felt like it was destined for the New Orleans Saints to draft Northern Iowa offensive lineman Trevor Penning with one of their two first-round picks, and it happened on Thursday.

Penning is an exciting prospect with tons of upside. With tons of potential, the Saints might’ve gotten a future franchise tackle.

Let’s evaluate the pros and cons of Penning.

Pros of Trevor Penning pick

Standing in at 6’7″ inches and 322 pounds, the UNI product possesses unique athleticism for his size. Scouts were absolutely wowed when he posted a 4.89 40 time and a 7.25 3 cone drill time.

Penning scored a 9.95 Relative Athletic Score, which is almost a perfect score. While there is concern in Penning’s game, one thing is for sure he is an athletic freak.

Besides the pure athleticism, there is a lot to be excited about in Penning’s game, one of the big ones being that he is an excellent run blocker. He earned a 90+ run-blocking grade in nine out of his 12 games this past season. On the entire Penning charted PFF’s highest run-blocking grade at 99.9.

Penning is a pure mauler that absolutely eats, breathes, and loves the game of football. On tape, Penning plays with a lot of heart and aggression. Quarterback Jameis Winston has a guy that will bust his tail trying to block for him.

Cons of Trevor Penning pick

The big issue with Penning is whether or not his success at UNI will translate over to the NFL level. UNI is an FCS-level school, and most of the competition at that level isn’t even making it to the league.

Some analysts and fans also had major issues with his film. His technique can be very off at times, and he wins matchups just because he is bigger and stronger than his opponents. A lot of that won’t fly in the NFL.

The last big fear is that his competitive nature will get him in penalty trouble. While Penning’s aggression is a good thing, it could definitely get him in trouble at times. Penning recorded 16 penalties last season.

Final Thoughts

With all of this being said, Penning has the potential to be a long-term piece for the Saints. With him already having the intangibles, coaching will be the key to his development. If the team is able to work with him and fix some of his technical issues, he could absolutely be a tackle that is feared for years to come.

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What do you think of the Trevor Penning pick, Saints fans?

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