Travis Etienne Draft Profile
Travis Etienne is the ideal running back for a Kyle Shanahan style west coast offense. His combination of speed and elusiveness makes him a must-draft prospect for every team in need of a running back. Etienne had a lot of production all in all four seasons which could mean their is some tread on his tires, but his ability to step up in big time games makes him a well-sought out prospect.
Let’s start with the obvious, Etienne is extremely fast and has great lateral speed which makes him a great fit for an offense that utilizes outside zone. Etienne is also a legitimate receiving threat that can run routes both out of the backfield and line up on the outside. Etienne is capable of having a 50+ catch season and his ability to get open will keep him on the field on third down. Etienne looks like a track runner in the open field and is extremely athletic. What impressed me most about Etienne was the muscle he added in his final season at Clemson. Etienne’s added strength made him a more elusive runner. Defenders were slipping off him like butter and the added weight will help him play against loaded fronts.
There are not a lot of flaws to Travis Etienne’s game. His yards per carry decreased from 8.2 to 5.4 from his junior to senior season, but that can be accredited to a lot of things outside of just his play. While Etienne bulked up in his senior season, he still struggled in pass protection which is the area that he weakness in his game. He did throw a few really good blocks in his senior year, but he’ll have to improve on that in the NFL.
The nature of the game, has changed and the importance of drafting a running back early has faded away with the increase of successful late round backs. Etienne is talented enough to be a late first round pick, but in all likelihood will go on day two. From a skill standpoint, Etienne reminds me a lot of Raheem Mostert. In the league, I expect Etienne to be a top 15 starter and have a breakout rookie year. Etienne fits in an outside zone scheme. The Jets would be a perfect fit for Etienne. New York is going to be running a lot of pre-snap motion and will get Etienne running in space. Pick number 34 could be Etienne’s sweet spot. The Dolphins and Chargers would also be good fits for the former Clemson back.
Contact Balance 8.5/10
Receiving Threat 7.5/8
Change of Direction 4/5
Pass Protection 2/5
Final Rating: 85
Pro Comparison: Raheem Mostert RB 49ers
Team Fits: Jets, Dolphins, and Chargers
Draft Ranking: Late First Round Pick
Draft Projection: Second Round Pick