The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Travis Etienne 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Position: Running Back
Size: 5-foot-10, 205 pounds
2020 stats: 168 carries, 914 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, 48 receptions, 588 receiving yards, 2 touchdown receptions
Surprisingly, Travis Etienne decided not to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft and returned to Clemson. He didn’t lose much value after returning, but is now ready to go to the next level.
Etienne has a highly-valued recruit out of Louisiana, who ended up signing with Dabo Swinney and Clemson. He started getting some of the work out of the backfield as a freshman with 766 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. The Tigers lost to Alabama in the CFP semifinals that season. In 2019, Clemson won the National Championship with Etienne creating a big impact. He had 1,658 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns to help Clemson. As a junior, Etienne had a big season with 1,614 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns, but Clemson was eliminated in the National Championship Game against LSU. After deciding to return for his senior season, Etienne rushed for 914 yards and 14 touchdowns. The goal was to win a National Championship, but the Tigers were bounced out in the CFP semifinals by Ohio State.
After a record-setting career at Clemson, Etienne has proven all he can at the collegiate level. For the NFL, Etienne looks like he will be picked within the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Etienne has crazy acceleration. When he gets the ball, he can go from 0 to 100 quickly. His ability to get to his top speed really quickly allows him to hit holes before they close. Once he gets through the holes, he can run away from defenders on the second level because they are still getting up to their top speeds.
Not only does Etienne have acceleration, he has long speed too. Once he reaches top speed, he can outrun almost anyone that is in his path. This leads to a lot of big plays, as defenders have a tough time even getting within a range where a tackle is possible. He runs hard, so not only do defenders have to find a way to get close to him, but they can’t arm tackle him because he is so fast and powerful.
The biggest knock on Etienne heading into his last year of college was his ability as a receiver. He improved a lot in that area. Clemson actually split him out wide and utilized this new found skill. He is a decent route-runner and has solid hands. Once the ball is in his hands he has great run after the catch potential because of his speed and acceleration.
Etienne could work on his pass protection more for the next level. He shows good awareness and a high IQ to know where to be to make the block, but he lunges at defenders to try to protect the quarterback. His position coach will need to teach him to square players up so that he can be trusted to be on the field on all downs.
His running style is very aggressive, but he could stand to have more patience. A lot of times he will hit the hole hard and he will end up running into the backs of his offensive linemen. If he can slow down a little bit and show patience, more holes will open up for him. Once he finds the hole, his speed and acceleration should still allow him to pick up ample yardage.
He is more of a straight line runner than many running backs. Etienne is quick and can put one foot in the ground and cut. He doesn’t have many moves or wiggle, but he also hasn’t needed it at the collegiate level where he could out run most people. While he has agility, he may need to work on adding more moves when he gets swarmed at the next level.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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