Reporter Highlights Senior Bowl Prospect Jets ‘Spent a Lot of Time With’

Trevor Penning

Getty Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning speaks with a coach on September 4, 2021.

For the New York Jets and Detroit Lions, it’s Senior Bowl week and that means plenty of draft prospects to discuss.

One, in particular, appears to have caught the eye of Jets GM Joe Douglas according to beat reporter Connor Hughes of The Athletic — offensive lineman Trevor Penning.

“Joe Douglas spending an awful lot of time chatting it up with Trevor Penning as others rotate in,” Hughes tweeted on February 2. The reporter added a video later that day, stating: “Trevor Penning, everyone. #Jets GM Joe Douglas has spent a lot of time with him today. You can … see why here. Wait until the end.”

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Penning’s Versatility, ‘Nastiness’ Impress

Hughes continued to highlight the Northern Iowa offensive tackle on February 3, after seeing him steal Douglas’ attention. The more he tweeted, the more Jets fans saw why their general manager was so enamored.

“Aside from his nastiness, was most impressed with his versatility,” Hughes explained in a quote tweet of another video clip. “I know I saw him play LT and RG. Believe I saw him at LG, too.”

Finally, Hughes wrote: “I’m fairly certain if Joe Douglas sat down & created a player, that player would be Trevor Penning. Question: Is he worth No. 10? Do you risk trading back?”

That last part made Gang Green supporters stir a bit. Penning is projected to go in the second round by most accounts so questioning whether Douglas might select him at No. 10 is a little out there at this moment in time.

Even so, the Jets have plenty of picks to work with including two in round two — Nos. 35 and 38. They could also trade down from 10 as Hughes suggested and claim Penning at a lower first-round selection.

The options are almost limitless when you flaunt the kind of draft capital that Douglas has and that’s what makes these next few months so exciting for Jets fans.

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Scouting Mr. Penning

Penning’s size jumps off the page and we already know that Douglas loves the big boys. He’s 6-foot-7, weighing from 320 to 340 pounds in different reports.

Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network referred to him as a “monstrous behemoth” that is “exactly as imposing as you’d expect.” The analyst added that he’s a “great athlete” who “can cover a surprising amount of ground in space” with his long-legged strides.

The Draft Network’s Drae Harris evaluated his skill set: “Good athlete with good explosion and agility to get out on the perimeter. In the run game, he is a nasty and physical player. He has a savage temperament and has finished several plays with the defender on the ground. He is extremely powerful at the point of attack and gets consistent vertical movement in the run game. However, due to his size and inability to bend extremely well, leverage issues are of slight concern against smaller edge defenders. In the passing game, he has been a dominant player in the Missouri Valley Conference. He bends a little at the waist which gets him in trouble at times… Although he is a good athlete overall, when he has to move laterally, he has shown instances of struggling… He has a powerful punch and is virtually impossible to bull rush. He demonstrates very good length and range.”

That write up certainly matches the video evidence above and that’s what the Jets are hoping to find in these Senior Bowl prospects, a consistency and mindset that fits Robert Saleh’s new standard.

Penning even embraced the “All Gas No Brake” motto in a recent interview, telling reporters that he “really takes that to heart.” Cummings noted that “Penning is in that early-round mix.” Continuing: “Through offseason testing and the Senior Bowl, he should only keep trending up.”

As for his position, Harris still considers him an offensive tackle, admitting that “he may be a better fit on the right side.” With the lateral weaknesses mentioned above, however, Douglas may see Penning more as a potential guard for the Green & White — what a monstrous thought that would be.

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