After an unimaginable profession, Clemson’s Travis Etienne is firmly within the operating to be the primary operating again chosen within the 2021 NFL Draft. As he heads into the draft with a first-round projection, which groups are the most effective touchdown spots for Etienne as he begins what’s a promising NFL profession?
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Travis Etienne’s 2021 NFL Draft projection
Etienne is a shifty runner who has otherworldly home-run pace. His burst is likely to be the most effective we now have seen since Chris Johnson. Give him a sliver of daylight, and 6 factors will probably be added to the scoreboard. He’ll go down as top-of-the-line collegiate backs within the final decade. Etienne completed his profession with 686 carries for 4,952 yards and 70 touchdowns.
He additionally caught 102 passes for 1,155 and eight receiving touchdowns in 1,852 profession snaps over 55 video games. Moreover, Etienne is the NCAA FBS file holder for many profession video games scoring a landing (46).
Though analytics Twitter and a few NFL pundits will let you know operating backs don’t matter, playmakers like Etienne are the exception. His dynamic capability and well-rounded ability set are among the many many causes Etienne carries such a excessive draft projection.
Greatest touchdown spots for Travis Etienne
With a number of groups out there for a operating again, it could not be stunning to see him drafted nicely inside the primary spherical, presumably because the RB1 in an appropriate scheme.
Miami has a luxurious most groups don’t with a number of first-round picks in 2021. Certain, some followers are anti-RB in Spherical 1, however Etienne could also be sufficient to sway their thoughts. Final season, the Dolphins deployed a myriad of rushers earlier than deciding on Myles Gaskin. Though he did play nicely, he isn’t Miami’s long-term answer.
Etienne is presumably the most effective schematic match for offensive coordinators Eric Studesville and George Godsey. A elegant route runner, Tua Tagovailoa would shortly lock in on him beneath and let Etienne make a play.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers’ outside-zone speeding scheme below Kyle Shanahan prioritizes pace and burst on the operating again place. It’s why you’ve seen gamers akin to Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida, and Tevin Coleman succeed. The difficulty is after we look towards the longer term for the 49ers.
Mostert and Jeff Wilson will probably be unrestricted free brokers subsequent yr, whereas JaMycal Hasty is scheduled to turn into an unique rights free agent. Drafting Etienne wouldn’t solely be an ideal match but in addition a prudent transfer for long-term success.
After buying and selling as much as decide No. 3, San Francisco must finagle themselves again into the primary spherical to make this draft projection come to fruition. Nonetheless, think about this for a second. Justin Fields, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Etienne all on the identical offense. How do you even try and cease that deadly mixture?
New York Jets
Talking of a Shanahan-style offense, that’s precisely what the Jets will start to run below Robert Saleh. Each level I simply made about how Etienne would slot in San Francisco holds true right here. There’s a distinct lack of competitors, although, as Etienne could be the premier RB from Day 1.
In his NFL Draft buzz and rumors article, PFN Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline reported that we will’t depend out the New York Jets taking a operating again with both the twenty third or thirty fourth decide. In addition they really feel like there’s a massive drop off after Etienne.
“I’m advised the Jets really feel there’s a massive drop off after Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, and Javonte Williams, all three who they view as plug and play sort of ball carriers.”
Once you herald a rookie QB, as is anticipated with the second total decide, having a speeding sport to depend on is pivotal. Having a again with pass-catching prowess is even higher, as realizing the checkdown is at all times accessible is an enormous bonus. Few backs, if any within the 2021 NFL Draft, match this chance higher than Etienne.
James Conner’s signing with Arizona signified the Steelers have been going to handle the RB place within the draft — it’s only a matter of how early. If Etienne is on the board at No. 24, I’ve a tough time seeing Mike Tomlin and firm passing on him. The Steelers utterly deserted the run final season and don’t have any appropriate RB1 on the roster.
The left facet of the offensive line remains to be a problem, however Etienne could be an awesome addition to the Steelers’ scheme. Whereas Conner did have one stellar season, Pittsburgh has been looking for a bell cow ever since Le’Veon Bell final stepped on the sector. Etienne may have an analogous profession path as Bell and be one of many league’s most focused backs.
Below Dan Quinn, the Falcons have been one of the crucial pass-happy groups within the NFL over his tenure. Final season, they ran a passing play on 62.1% of their offensive snaps. With Arthur Smith now as the top coach, I count on this to flip in 2021 and past.
The elephant within the room is the distinction in types between Derrick Henry and Etienne. Smith has already acknowledged this by saying Henry is irreplaceable, so he’s nicely conscious of needing to adapt his offense to accommodate the subsequent participant’s ability set. Though Etienne wouldn’t be the normal workhorse we noticed with Henry, Smith’s number of zone ideas would enable the Clemson star to thrive in Atlanta.
Each infrequently, there are gamers coaches reshape their offense for — Etienne is a type of gamers. Ought to he fall into the second spherical, the Falcons ought to pounce on the alternative to accumulate such an explosive athlete.
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Tommy Garrett is a author for Professional Soccer Community overlaying the NFL and fantasy soccer. You may learn extra of his work right here and observe him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.