Travis Etienne NFL Draft Prospect Profile

Travis Etienne NFL Draft Profile, Highlights and NFL Comparison

  • 2021
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  • Bills
  • Buffalo
  • Chuba
  • Clemson
  • Dolphins
  • Draft
  • Etienne
  • Gainwell
  • Harris
  • Hubbard
  • Kenneth
  • Louisiana
  • Miami
  • Najee
  • NFL
  • Pittsburgh
  • Running
  • Steelers
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  • Travis
By Daniel Kitchen March 20, 2021 0 Comment
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Travis Etienne is a 2021 NFL Draft RB Prospect

Travis Etienne is a running back from Clemson and one of the projected first three running backs off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. Etienne enters this draft class as one of the most decorated backs in Clemson and Atlantic Coast Conference history, after a three-year career as the Tigers’ starter, and four years as the team’s main contributor out of the backfield.

In a shortened, 12-game season in 2020, Etienne rushed for 914 yards on 168 carries (a 5.4 average), and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground. He was a Top 5 performer in the ACC in yards, carries, and touchdowns, and was seventh overall in the FBS in touchdowns. Etienne also caught a career-high 48 passes for 588 yards, scoring two touchdowns. He set Clemson RB single-season records in receptions, yards.

Etienne was named a consensus All-American as an all-purpose player/return specialist. He finished as a Doak Walker Award (Top RB) and Hornung Award (most versatile player) finalist, and a Maxwell and Walter Camp Player of the Year semifinalist. He also appeared on the All-ACC team as a consensus selection at both running back and as an all-purpose player.

Among 203 FBS running backs in 2020 (minimum 56 carries), Etienne was rated 36th by Pro Football Focus, with an overall Offense grade of 82.0, and received an 81.1 grade in Rushing (56th). As a receiver, Etienne finished as the top-rated FBS back out of 127 graded (minimum 13 targets), with a Receiving grade of 90.9. His Drop grade was 81.3 (33rd), his HandsFumble was 74.9 (71st), and his Pass Blocking was 42.8 (93rd).

READ MORE: Five Day 2 RBs who Deserve Starting Consideration

Etienne started the final 42 games of his career from 2018-2020, and appeared in all 13 as a freshman. He was the team’s leading rusher every season, and finished his career with 4,952 yards on 686 carries (a 7.2 average), with 70 touchdowns. He twice topped 1,600 yards in a season, and set career highs with 1,658 yards, an 8.1 average, and 24 touchdowns in 2018. As a receiver, he caught 102 passes for 1,155 yards (11.3 average) and eight touchdowns as a Tiger.

Etienne left school as the ACC’s career leader in rushing yards, total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, and points, and is second all-time in all-purpose yards. Additionally, he holds Clemson records in career rushing average, and single-season rushing yardage, average, total and rushing touchdowns, and points.

He was a two-time ACC Player of the Year, winning in 2018 and 2019, was named a first team All-American in 2018 and second team in 2019, and was a first-team All-ACC selection both seasons. He appeared as a Doak Walker finalist in 2018 and semifinalist in 2019, a Maxwell semifinalist both seasons, and a Walter Camp semifinalist in 2019. In 2017, he was named to the All-ACC third team.

In the NFL, Etienne projects as a team’s immediate starter as a rookie, one who should be able to succeed in a power or zone-based scheme, and thrive in the latter. He will also be immediately useful as a receiver out of the backfield. With his speed and improving abilities as a power runner, his floor is that of a solid starter, with the ceiling to be a multi-time Pro Bowler in his career.

READ MORE: Top Non-Quarterback Prospects in the Sugar Bowl

Scouting Capsule

Travis Etienne Scouting Capsule

Scouting Capsules compiled by The Brawl Network Draft Analysts Daniel Kitchen, Mitchell Wolfe, and Kyle Fahey.

Measurements

Etienne measured at 5101, 215 at Clemson’s Pro Day March 11, with 9 3/8” hands, 30 1/8” arms, and a 73 1/8” wingspan. In his final year at Clemson, Etienne was listed as 5’10”, 205. In his Pro Day workout, Etienne clocked times of 4.41 and 4.43 in the 40, while posting a broad jump of 10’8”, and a vertical of 33.5”.

Highlights

Positives

  • Instant, top-end speed with the ball, great initial burst after securing hand-off/reception.
  • Squeezes through impossibly small gaps up middle, carries his speed through the O-Line. Gets low to break through tight lanes and into second level.
  • Elusive player in the open field. Good start-stop ability and cuts to take defenders out of position, uses burst to advance past once defender bites.
  • Improved as a powerful runner final season, will not be an easy tackle in open field whenever contacted.
  • Smooth as receiver, seamless transition from making catch to getting upfield as runner.
  • Has the extension to bring in throws delivered high, anywhere around waist.
  • Can identify rushers and position himself as temporary obstacle ahead of pocket.

Weaknesses

  • Occasionally shows too much hesitation to pick and lane and hit on carries up the middle, will give defense time to crash onto the backfield.
  • Has to make higher consistency of rushers miss in backfield.
  • Will drop some passes when he hears footsteps.
  • Not a powerful blocker, can’t retain rushers or take out of play. At best will provide temporary obstacle to defense, give QB an additional second to escape or deliver throw.

NFL Comparison

Lamar Miller, Washington Football Team (2020-Present), Chicago Bears (2020), New England Patriots (2020), Houston Texans (2016-2019), Miami Dolphins (2012-2015).

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