Trevor Penning gets first-team snaps, praise from teammate Ryan Ramczyk

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First-round draft selection Trevor Penning is going to draw a lot of attention over the course of New Orleans Saints training camp. He is entrenched in a battle for left tackle against veteran offensive lineman James Hurst. While that battle in the trenches wages on, he will also be focused on polishing his technique particularly in pass protection.

Evaluating Penning right now is a challenge. Everyone is practicing in shorts through the first week of camp. Getting to the first padded practice on Monday Aug. 1 is a key benchmark for that process to take its next step. Fellow offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk believes Penning is heading in the right direction.

“It’s always interesting when the pads come on,” Ramczyk said. “I think Trevor has done a really good jump up (to) now. He’s got all the physical attributes to be a great football player. I think he’s going to keep growing and keep getting better. He’s going to be a huge asset for us.

That is high praise for the young rookie out of Northern Iowa. One measure of progression we can track before pads go on are team reps. On Thursday, the second day of Saints camp, Penning rotated with Hurst for first-team reps. That is a good sign for the rookie who the organization hopes can become their left tackle of the future. Getting praise from the line’s leader Ramczyk and getting into the starting unit mix early are both reasons for early but cautious optimism.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire