TRAVIS ETIENNE: SCOUTING REPORT. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.

TRAVIS ETIENNE: SCOUTING REPORT. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.
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TREVOR LAWRENCEJUSTIN FIELDSTREY LANCE
PENEI SEWELLJA’MARR CHASERONDALE MOORE

BACKGROUND

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 205 Lbs
  • College: Clemson
  • Year: Senior
  • Position: Running Back

Travis Etienne appears to be the consensus number 1 running back in this year’s draft class. Although, he does have some close challengers. 

It was widely expected Etienne was going to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, but he surprisingly decided to return to college for his senior year. It is likely he would have been the top running back a year ago adding to the shock.

Etienne is from Jennings, Louisiana and attended Jennings High School, where he left as a 4 star recruit. 247sports.com had him rated as the 15th best running back in the country when he committed to Clemson in 2017. 

At Clemson, Etienne has won a multitude of awards which include: him being a First-Team All-American, ACC player of the year twice and the 2018 ACC Championship Game MVP.

He has also broke the ACC all time rushing yards this season.

Etienne has broken numerous records during his time at Clemson and he will enter the NFL with plenty of hype and expectation.

The Clemson running back possesses top level speed. He carries quickness, momentum and finesse when he gets the ball in his hands. He has the ability to carry a game on his shoulders and can make a big play at any point. 

Watch the video below, which shows Etienne’s high level speed, burst and toughness. 

STRENGTHS

  • Speed
  • Contact balance
  • Big play ability
  • Attacks at angles

Travis Etienne makes the position look easy. He is a constant big play threat who could explode on any play and any down. 

Etienne has game breaking speed. He is lightning quick and could take the ball to the house at any moment. He can run any play call and he shines, whether he is running inside or outside the tackles. 

The running back has great footwork and he is always on the move, meaning he can motor up and get up to speed instantaneously. He must have rockets for feet because he has an immediate burst. He has taken off before defenders have time to react.

Etienne is a smooth runner. He is dangerous once he is in space. His ability to attack at angles makes first level defenders miss and he is elusive enough to get past second level defenders when he has to. Etienne can soak up pressure and can fight his way through contact to gain extra yardage. 

He shows exceptional balance and toughness and he has picked up lots of extra yards fighting his way through contact. He’s a leggy runner and he is always difficult to tackle.

He is happy to dig in and get the hard yards. His speed makes it easier for him to carry force through the tackle and Etienne will simply run over weaker defenders. He forces defenders to be honest and committed; which is never a bad thing!

He has also improved massively as a pass catcher this season. He can find the space to create plays, whether he is being used as a checkdown or on screen plays. 

WEAKNESSES

  • Control Plays
  • Patience
  • Pass Protection

Due to his ability to make the big plays, Etienne can have a tendency to go searching for them. It means he can end up in the back of an offensive lineman on some plays. He plays the game constantly at full speed and you often just want him to settle down and wait for a lane to open up.

He could benefit from learning to control plays a bit better. Although you want speed in a running back, he needs to contain it on some plays; which may mean slowing down at times and being more patient. 

Etienne also has some work to do in pass protection. He can be late to lock on to pursuing defenders at times. He can identify the rush well enough, but he needs a more advanced skill set to combat them. It can look clumsy at times and a clean up on his execution should combat the issues.

Although Etienne has improved as a pass catcher, he hasn’t run a variety of routes. As a receiver he is generally used on checkdowns and screens and could benefit with having a more diverse route tree.

He has over his college career had some drops, but it should be noted how much he has improved in this area over the last couple of years. 

SUMMARY

Etienne is an explosive runner who has all the traits that are valued by the NFL. He is tenacious, resilient and composed and he will be a perfect fit for a team searching for a feature back. 

Etienne offers sharpness, speed and agility. He has that bite you want in a running back who will be on the field for 60 plays a game. 

Etienne is a player who calmly dominates games. He is a quiet, but confident running back who will be a feature back at the next level.

Etienne is a top prospect in the 2021 draft class, but may find himself constrained by the undervaluing of the position. There are arguments that can be made on how high you should draft a running back due to durability and salary cap concerns.

But, if Etienne is drafted highly, teams should be as confident as they can be that he can be successful as a NFL back. 

Draft Projection: Late round 1/Early round 2

How good of a prospect is Travis Etienne? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards and @Owain_Jones_ 

Feature Image Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Video Credit: ACC Digital Network

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