The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be an interesting team to watch in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. They are a team with quite a few needs that they could look to fill, and one of them is at the running back position. One name to keep a very close eye on with the No. 24 overall pick will be Clemson star Travis Etienne.
Etienne would be able to come in and immediately compete for the starting job in Pittsburgh. James Conner was disappointing and had issues staying on the field once again in 2020 and bringing in a rookie to compete would make a lot of sense.
According to one NFL scout who spoke to NFL Analysis Network, the Steelers “love” the idea of taking Etienne in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
“The Steelers may not go running back, but they love the idea of Travis Etienne. They think he could be the next big dual-threat superstar at running back. If he’s there, they will have a tough time passing on him.”
During his career at Clemson, Etienne was one of the most talented running backs in the nation. His numbers backed that statement up, as he carried the football 686 times for 4,952 yards and 70 touchdowns in his four seasons with the Tigers. Etienne also caught 102 passes for 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns.
There is no question that his ability as a dual-threat running back will come into play in the NFL. Teams have begun really stressing a back who can both run well and catch the ball. Look at guys like Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, Aaron Jones, and Dalvin Cook.
If the Steelers were to take Etienne, the happiest person on the team could very well be Ben Roethlisberger. Etienne would be able to take pressure off of the passing game. His ability as a receiver out of the backfield could be a major plus for Big Ben and the aerial attack.
This is definitely something to keep a close eye on. Pittsburgh will be a team to watch in the NFL Draft, but don’t be surprised if they end up with Travis Etienne at No. 24 overall when everything is said and done.