Prospect evaluation of Clemson RB Travis Etienne for the 2021 NFL Draft, which includes his strengths, weaknesses, and projection.

Name: Travis Etienne
Position: RB
College: Clemson
Height: 5’10″
Weight: 205 lbs

= Key Terms =

Grading Scale: Poor, Marginal, Adequate, Solid, Good, Great, Elite

Role: Developmental Player, Backup, Complementary Player, Starter, Franchise Player

= Strengths =

Decisive runner; very quick to get upfield after choosing lane to attack and anticipates well.

Efficient footwork behind LOS; glides from gap to gap and doesn’t overstride.

Good vision; runs a good path to set up blockers on both zone and gap scheme runs.

Has the flexibility and body control to get small and skinny in tight spaces.

Knowledge of angles in open space, using both leverage and speed to kill defenders’ pursuit angles.

Good agility & quickness; has a narrow but smooth running style, uses speed cuts instead of sharp cuts.

Great contact balance; opens hips and twists/contorts body to wiggle through low-mid tackle attempts.

Not afraid of contact; absorbs head-on collisions by spinning out of contact and maintaining balance.

Elite explosiveness, great speed; possesses multiple gears and can upshift or downshift effortlessly.

Solid/Good receiver; improved each year; reliable hands that pluck the ball smoothly out of the air.

Dangerous on check-downs and screens because of his YAC ability.

Variety of routes run expanded a bit in 2020.

Aggressive at the POA in pass protection; likes to lower shoulder into oncoming defenders.

= Weaknesses =

Could exercise a bit more patience; can be too quick to attack a lane that isn’t there.

More of a linear, vertical runner than he is a lateral & elusive one.

Adequate power; often will get stalemated and pushed back when met head-on.

Won’t break many tackles or fall forward once wrapped up by defenders; ineffective stiff-arm move.

Needs improvement with mental processing in pass protection; misses assignments.

Needs to change approach on occasion when engaging blitzers instead of always throwing shoulder.

Fumbled 8 times in 788 touches; 4 times in 2020.

= Other =

Athletic build. 2018 & 2019 ACC Player of the Year.

Pro Comparison: Alvin Kamara / Raheem Mostert

Writer: Travis Etienne Clemson's most important player | CBS Sports Radio

= Projection (Role & Fit) =

Travis Etienne projects as a Great starting RB with possible Elite upside. He can be used in either zone or gap schemes, although he may be best utilized in zone. He’s a dynamic weapon who is capable of big gains whenever he has the ball. He uses speed cuts with a narrow base when running in open space which helps him maintain his speed and not slow down. He’s improved significantly as a receiver each year at Clemson and has the potential to be a very good receiver who is used in creative ways. He’s a willing pass protector, just needs to be coached up to improve his technique and approach. The biggest question with Etienne is whether he can be a volume runner who can handle a full workload of carries or if he’s best used similarly to Kamara where he gets a balance of touches in space.