With the No. 25 overall picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars chose Clemson, stepping down from Travis Etienne, as the team’s runner-up in the first round.
In 12 games in 2020, Etienne had 168 rushes for 914 yards (5.4 yards per execution) and 14 rushing touchdowns, as well as 48 catches for 588 yards and two additional touchdowns, as a senior. In all, Etienne registered 686 rushes for 4,952 yards (7.2 yards per execution) with 70 touchdowns, and received 102 catches for 1,155 yards and eight more scores, throughout his college career.
Etienne had a very successful college career, earning ACC Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019. He was also a consensus All-American roster in 2018 and 2020, earning the All-ACC award every year at Clemson campus ( third team in 2017 and the first team in 2018, 2019, and 2020). Etienne, of course, was also a college teammate with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville’s No. 1 overall selection.
The team had a lot of gaps in the roster, so it’s somewhat surprising to run back so early. With James Robinson leaving a 1,070m performance as an undesigned rookie last season, this is an interesting choice for the Jaguars in the running back position. That said, head coach Urban Meyer wants to add speed to the team, and Etienne did a 4.41-second sprint at 40 meters on his pro day. Robinson, Etienne and Carlos Hyde could form an intriguing trio in the backfield.