Travis Etienne’s explosiveness can increase an offense


Main as much as the 2021 NFL draft, which begins April 29, Yahoo Sports activities will depend down our prime 100 general prospects. We’ll depend them down in teams of 5 for Nos. 100-51, adopted by extra in-depth studies on our prime 50 gamers, with assist from our scouting assistant, Liam Blutman. We reserve the best to make modifications to gamers’ grades and evaluations primarily based on harm updates, pro-day exercises or late-arriving data from NFL groups.

Earlier prospect rankings: Nos. 100-96 | 95-91 | 90-86 | 85-81 | 80-76 | 75-71 | 70-66 | 65-61 | 60-56 | 55-51 | 50. OT Liam Eichenberg | 49. WR Terrace Marshall Jr. | 48. LB Chazz Surratt | 47. EDGE Joe Tryon | 46. OT-OG Alex Leatherwood | 45. CB Asante Samuel Jr. | 44. DL Levi Onwuzurike | 43. LB Jabril Cox | 42. DT Daviyon Nixon | 41. EDGE Ronnie Perkins | 40. LB Nick Bolton | 39. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu | 38. WR Elijah Moore | 37. OT Jalen Mayfield | 36. EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. | 35. CB Elijah Molden

Here's how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

This is how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports activities)

34. Clemson RB Travis Etienne

5-foot-10, 215 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.95 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Explosive, home-run-hitting again with questions on imaginative and prescient, long-term sturdiness

Video games watched: Ohio State (2019), Boston Faculty (2020), Notre Dame common season (2020), Miami (2020), Ohio State (2020)

The thin: A 3-star Rivals recruit, Etienne left Louisiana — simply down the highway from LSU — to signal with Clemson and noticed the sector immediately. As a real freshman in 2017, he ran 107 occasions for 766 yards with 13 TDs; caught 5 passes for 57 yards; and returned 19 kickoffs for 389 yards in 13 video games (zero begins). Etienne ran 204 occasions for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 78 yards and two TDs for the nationwide champs in 15 begins, incomes ACC Participant of the Yr and named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award.

In 2019, he ran 207 occasions for 1,614 yards and 19 TDs; caught 37 passes for 432 yards and 4 TDs; 1 of 1 passing for 23 yards; and returned 5 kickoffs for 128 yards in 15 begins, incomes ACC Participant of the Yr and second-team AP All-America. Head coach Dabo Swinney stated Etienne obtained a second-round grade from the underclassman advisory board previous to the 2020 NFL draft however opted to return to high school for his last season. He ran 168 occasions for 913 yards and 14 TDs; caught 48 passes for 588 yards and two TDs; and returned eight kickoffs for 189 yards and one punt for 44 yards, incomes first-team AP All-America and first-team All-ACC honors.

Upside: Extraordinary manufacturing — 78 profession TDs ranks him tied for fourth all-time in faculty soccer. Profession speeding common of seven.2 yards and profession receiving common of 11.3 yards. Explosive return potential too.

Sprinter’s velocity in well-built body — 4.45-second 40-yard sprint (with 2.5 second 20-yard break up). Can get rid of pursuit angles with velocity to the sting. Additionally turned in good outcome within the broad soar (128 inches) and a good bench press quantity (18 reps).

Explosive runner with sharp slicing capability. Accelerates shortly and doesn’t gear down a lot to make strikes. Good open-field elusiveness to make defenders whiff. Dwelling-run capability — 16 profession touchdowns of 40-plus yards. Completely deadly in wide-open assaults — thrives in open areas.

Underrated toughness. Decided runner who can energy by means of deal with tries and drop his shoulder into an oncoming defender. Has some pop in his pads — not a finesse man for how briskly and elusive he’s. Nice contact stability. Unleashes a high quality stiff arm when it’s known as for. Runs north-south and will get downhill quick. Robust, forceful goal-line runner.

Clemson RB Travis Etienne can rip off big runs in a jiffy. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Clemson RB Travis Etienne can rip off huge runs in a jiffy. (Picture by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photos)

Expanded receiving position in 2020. Confirmed he may do extra than simply deal with screens. Added extra routes to his tree and made some spectacular grabs (see the regular-season sport towards Notre Dame). Made main strides catching the ball over 4 years — seemed allergic to it early in his profession however led all working backs in receiving yards within the nation in 2020.

Discovered methods to thrive in 2020 regardless of a drop in Clemson’s OL play. Battled by means of a couple of powerful stretches and by no means tapped out regardless of ample alternatives to take action. Mixture of traits, manufacturing and competitiveness give him a stable ground as a prospect. Not a one-trick pony again.

Draw back: Smaller body for a real lead again. Doesn’t profile as a workhorse — just one sport with greater than 18 carries since 2018. Will flip 23 years previous following his rookie season and enters the NFL with greater than 800 faculty touches however averaged fewer than 14 carries per sport. Working type may not lend to lengthy profession by RB requirements.

Carved up some mild packing containers — took benefit of some overmatched defenses geared as much as cease Trevor Lawrence and a who’s who of gifted extensive receivers. Put up largest numbers when Clemson featured star-studded offensive strains in 2018 and 2019. Effectivity took a noticeable dip as a senior — speeding common noticed a serious dip, from 7.8 yards per carry getting into final season to five.4 in 2020.

Imaginative and prescient and anticipation as a runner may be hit and miss — improved in these areas step by step over his profession however has extra room to develop. Inconsistent working between the tackles — may be seen working up his linemen’s backs and lacks persistence at occasions to permit runs to develop. Can run uncontrolled. Little bit of an extended strider at occasions.

Cross safety wants main work — prepared to step up within the face of a rusher however lacks basic stability and affect to maintain his QB clear. Struggles to ID free rushers — struggled mightily on this division towards Ohio State within the 2020 playoff semifinals.

Receiving capability was expanded final season, however extra arrows may be added to his quiver to earn a third-down position. Palms are much less dependable than you’d ideally wish to see — 10 drops on 122 profession targets, per PFF. Not as dependable catching the ball the farther he’s downfield.

Ball safety a bit worrisome — eight profession fumbles (4 final season) on 788 offensive touches. Responsible of some psychological and bodily errors in video games — some groups have questioned Etienne’s soccer intelligence to a level. May discover himself within the doghouse early if not cautious.

Finest-suited vacation spot: Etienne can be best-suited to finish up in a spread-out system the place he can function extra in area, and he ideally can be a part of a tandem the place his workload may be correctly managed and his big-play capability harnessed.

We notably like his match with groups such because the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Payments, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets.

Do you know: Etienne hails from Louisiana, and his household stated they obtained dying threats previous to the 2019 playoff championship between LSU and Clemson. LSU received the sport, 42-25, with Etienne speeding 15 occasions for 78 yards and a TD.

Participant comp: For a ground, Etienne reads equally to Kenyan Drake, with a ceiling of Dalvin Prepare dinner.

Anticipated draft vary: High-40 decide

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