With all the focus on Trevor Lawrence coming out of Clemson for the 2021 NFL draft, Travis Etienne could be one of the most overlooked, underrated and forgot about running backs in any NFL draft.
Let the truth be told, if it wasn’t for Etienne’s 579 rushes for 4,186 rushing yards (7.22 ypc) with 57 TDs and 1,098 rec yards (8 TDs), Trevor Lawrence wouldn’t be mislabeled as the “sure thing” and wouldn’t have the falsely inflated stat line his college career shows.
Etienne appers to be on a whole different level of speed. A speed and a body control, that left would-be tacklers with broken ankles watching Etienne taking it to the house. Etienne explodes through the holes, but also has the hips and legs to get outside, turn the corner and get upfield.
Etienne took an incredible amount of pressure off of Lawrence and made quarterbacking the Tigers a much easier task.
Etienne is questionable in the passing game. Even with the good numbers, he had difficulties catching and holding on to the ball, having too many drop balls during his stay at Clemson.
With his lack of confidence catching passes out of the backfield and the uncertainties of how much of his speed and breaking tackles against opponents was because of playing in the ACC, will have many questioning his draft value. Etienne has one of the weakest schedules in the draft of those projected at the top of the draft, which will have many GMs and coaches questioning how high on the draft board he should go.
Etienne will go first round, make no doubt about it, but with playing in the ACC and playing mainly ACC opponents, will determine how high he goes.