Will the Jets focus on the offensive side of the ball at No. 23? If they do, Clemson running back Travis Etienne could be an option.
- RB, Clemson
- 5-foot-10, 215 pounds
- Two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2018, 2019)
- Two-time ACC Player of the Year (2018, 2019)
- Two-time consensus All-American (2018, 2020)
- Three-time first-team All-ACC (2018-20)
- ACC all-time career rushing yard leader, rushing touchdown leader, total touchdown leader, point leader, yards from scrimmage leader
- 2018 Stats (15 games): 1,658 yards (8.1 yards per carry), 24 touchdowns; 12 receptions, 78 yards, two touchdowns
- 2019 Stats (15 games): 1,614 yards (7.8 yards per carry), 19 touchdowns; 37 receptions, 432 yards, four touchdowns; five kick returns, 128 yards (25.6 yards per return)
- 2020 Stats (12 games): 914 yards (5.4 yards per carry), 14 touchdowns; 48 receptions, 588 yards, two touchdowns; eight kick returns, 189 yards (23.6 yards per return); one punt return, 44 yards
How Travis Etienne would Benefit the Jets
The Jets may need to add talent to the running back position. It’s unclear if Tevin Coleman can be an every-down back in Florham Park or if La’Mical Perine can take on the role as the team’s No. 1 guy at that spot.
Thus, with the No. 23 overall selection, the team could target Travis Etienne.
The Clemson running back is most certainly a first-round talent. He employs spectacular speed and strength every time he hits the gridiron and carries a knack for the end zone, having finished with 46 collegiate games in which he crossed the plane (an NCAA record). This would benefit a Jets offense that was last in total points in 2020.
Travis Etienne forced 135 missed tackles on runs since 2019
More than any player in College Football
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 29, 2021
Etienne would additionally provide offensive assistance for whoever plays quarterback for the Jets next season. Either Sam Darnold or Zach Wilson will need to develop, and Etienne would help take some pressure off whichever young signal-caller is under center.
Travis Etienne Film Room Notes
Etienne and Clemson’s October 2020 win over Virginia (14 carries, 73 yards (5.2 yards per carry), one touchdown; five receptions, 114 yards, one touchdown)
To begin, we have an athletic cut in the backfield from Etienne, who then locates the hole for a decent gain on first down.
Showing off his pass-catching skills on this play, Etienne turns upfield and utilizes his vision and athleticism to find and take advantage of space in the secondary.
Etienne finds the hole and lets his speed/power do the rest in this clip. He ultimately racks up a first down for the Tigers.
After a quick initial move, Etienne doesn’t keep dancing in the backfield but instead turns upfield for the short gain.
Etienne keeps his feet pumping and puts his power on display here. What looks like a potential loss of yardage for the Tigers ends up a touchdown.
Etienne makes chicken salad again on this play; he keeps his feet pumping and eyes upfield despite making contact with a number of defenders and ends up gaining significant yardage for Clemson.
Etienne and Clemson’s October 2020 win over Miami (17 carries, 149 yards (8.8 yards per carry), two touchdowns; eight receptions, 73 yards)
On the screen pass, Etienne is patient, sets up his blockers, and utilizes that spectacular vision to locate space and cut back for the first down.
Etienne’s athleticism allows him to execute a quick move in-stride to gain yardage for the first down.
Etienne’s strength helps him stay upright on this play, and then the speed to get around the outside leads him to the end zone for six.
A perfectly executed screen play in this clip — Etienne is patient enough to set up his blockers and locate the correct hole.
Here, we have a spectacular touchdown run from Etienne. After locating the hole and pulling off a quick initial move, Travis lets his speed take him the rest of the way to the end zone.
His great footwork helps him remain in bounds as well.
And finally, we get to witness Etienne’s ability to stay on his feet. After a quick burst through the hole, Travis’ power and strength lead to him gaining notable yardage on 2nd-&-1.
Travis Etienne absolutely carries first-round talent. It’s still up for debate whether he’ll be the first running back taken in this draft; there’s a chance Alabama’s Najee Harris is off the board before him.
The Jets would be upgrading their running back position by selecting the Clemson Tiger. He brings speed, power, strength, and superb vision to the field — what more could you want from your No. 1 back?