The Jacksonville Jaguars had themselves a draft over the weekend. Of course, it all hinges on No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and how he develops as a quarterback, but they selected another playmaker in the first round.
Travis Etienne, the former Clemson running back and Lawrence’s teammate, should fit in nicely with the Jaguars offense this season. However, this came after head coach Urban Meyer and company were reportedly heartbroken that Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney was off the board.
Nonetheless, Meyer was high on Etienne and already has a unique way to use the rookie running back in 2021.
“He’s much more than a running back,” Meyer said, via ESPN. “He’s a slash. We did not recruit him just because he’s a running back. We probably wouldn’t have. He’s a guy that had a lot of production in the passing game at Clemson. He’s got excellent hands and he’ll be dual trained.
“Those dual-threat players are hard to find, too, but if you can find one we know how to use him. With him I expect him to make an instant impact.”
Etienne had a productive true freshman season at Clemson and never looked back. Over the last three years, Etienne was an absolute workhorse for the Tigers.
In 2018 and 2019, Etienne broke the 1,600-yard mark while scoring a combined 43 touchdowns on the ground. He finished his time at Clemson with 4,925 rushing yards, 1,155 receiving yards, and 78 total touchdowns.
In fact, Etienne secretly hoped that the Jaguars would draft him on Thursday.
“I was secretly rooting for Jacksonville. . . . I did have it in the back of my mind that I might have a chance to reunite with Trev,” Etienne said, via the team’s website. “For it to come full circle, I’m just happy, excited and blessed. Being his teammate for three years, we’ve really built that camaraderie. I don’t have to work on getting to know somebody else. I know Trev inside and out. It will be a great feeling. We’re going out there with the same common goal, so there will be great things to happen on that field.”
The Jaguars going with a running back in the first round was shocking because of the production they got out of James Robinson in his rookie year in 2020. An undrafted free agent out of Illinois State last year, Robinson got the job and ran away with the job. He carried the ball 240 times for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns last year, and also had 344 yards and three touchdowns receiving.
But, since Meyer wants to use Etienne in a Percy Harvin-like fashion, he should get plenty of carries and looks in the passing game from Lawrence in an offense designed to spread the ball around to multiple playmakers.