Throughout the entirety of the NFL offseason, the next generation of stars in the league have been meeting with teams and preparing for a transition to the best football league in the world. One player who has been drawing a lot of attention in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft is Clemson running back Travis Etienne.
Etienne is a 5-foot-10 running back who could be anywhere from a late first-round pick to a middle second-round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. He is ranked as the number two tail back in the NFL Draft behind Alabama’s Najee Harris, but Etienne is slated to have a phenomenal NFL career himself.
He may as well be named Mr. Endzone with as many trips past the pylon he made in his college football career. Etienne, in four years at Clemson, ran the rock 686 times for 4,952 rushing yards (7.2 yards per carry) and scored a total of 70 touchdowns on the ground. Etienne also hauled in 102 receptions for 1,155 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns through the air.
There is no question that Etienne is a touchdown machine, which always translates to the NFL. Etienne is going to be known as one of the better running backs to strap up for Clemson, and he could be a great addition to any NFL team.
Let’s take a look at four ideal landing spots for the Clemson running back.
The Buffalo Bills need to address their backfield this offseason, and their lack of doing so in the free agency signing period could open the doors for them to do so in the 2021 NFL Draft. One player that the Bills should certainly have their eyes peeled on is Travis Etienne.
Etienne has excellent quickness and agility and could be a starter from day one in the Buffalo backfield. His play style is very similar to that of New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara and the Bills could snag a steal in the first round with the pick of Clemson’s best running back in recent history.
The Bills could save money and have an elite running back if they draft Etienne in the first round of the NFL Draft and this pick makes too much sense for it not to happen. This could be the kind of pick for Buffalo that allows them to contend for a Super Bowl next season.
The Miami Dolphins have a need they should look to address in their backfield and they could have their sights set on Etienne. Etienne is as explosive as they come out of the backfield, which could make the Dolphins a bit more interested in drafting the backfield star.
The Dolphins haven’t had a good running back since they had Kenyan Drake a few years ago, but that could change with the addition of Etienne. He would help give Tua Tagovailoa a great backfield option to throw to as well as take a lot of the weight off his shoulders.
Miami is very close to contending for the playoffs and they could do so with the addition of Travis Etienne in the backfield. Etienne would make the Miami offense extremely versatile and it could help them reach the highly coveted postseason in 2021.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need to address their running back department and adding Clemson’s Etienne could be a smart move to make. He would give the Steelers a long-term answer at the running back position and it could give their versatile offense an additional weapon.
They haven’t had a running back with a patient, yet aggressive running style since they had Le’Veon bell, but adding Etienne to the squad would help them regain that form. The Steelers recently signed running back Kalen Ballage to a one-year deal, but that could just be some depth behind a top-notch draft selection.
Etienne is a touchdown machine and the Steelers could use a backfield presence like him. He already played in a Pro-Style offense in college at Clemson, so making the leap to the NFL shouldn’t be too much different for him.
New York Jets
The New York Jets have a dire need for some help at running back and Travis Etienne could be the perfect fit for the vastly improved Jets team. The Jets have a pair of first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and they could use their second of the picks to land their running back of the future.
The franchise needs some youth and versatility at the running back position, and the team could have that upon the addition of Travis Etienne. Etienne is similar to a player like Alvin Kamara, as we mentioned, and the Jets could benefit from adding him to the team.
New York likely will be selecting quarterback Zach Wilson with the number two overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and they could use their second first-round pick to land some backfield help for him. Building around a young quarterback will be key, especially when one of the building blocks is a running back with All-Pro potential.