2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Clemson RB Travis Etienne

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Travis Etienne

Height: 5’10

Weight: 215 lbs.


2019 Maxwell Award Semifinalist
2019 Preseason First-Team All-American by Phil Steele
2018 Doak Walker Award Finalist


Travis Etienne has been a three-year productive running back for Clemson.  He finished 7th in the Heisman Award voting in 2018.  Four-star recruiting prospect by 247 Sports and ESPN.  In this article, we’ll breakdown his mechanics and predict his future as an NFL running back.



What I Like:

Receiving Ability Out Of Backfield

Travis Etienne shows good effort on this play. Etienne gets the ball on this screen playand quickly reads and diagnoses the field. Etienne shows good burst and sudden quickness to get upfield quickly, even making several nice cuts along the way. Travis Etienne is unable to get this ball all the way into the endzone, but nonetheless is a terrific play out of the backfield for the Clemson running back.



What I Dislike:

Pass Protection Ability

On this play, Travis Etienne is asked to pickup a block to help with pass protection. However, he’s unable to get a solid block on the defender and the quarterback panics and goes down for the sack. Etienne displays an adequate ability to apply blocks in the backfield, which is certainly something that he’ll need to work on in the NFL.



Where I’ve Seen Improvement:

Patience and Acceleration

Travis Etienne shows good patience on this play to let the blocks in front of him develop before hitting his second gear and accelerating upfield for the touchdown. Etienne is a dangerous prospect out in the open field, showing the ability here to read and diagnose the field quickly to find open lanes.



Overall Breakdown

Has adequate height and solid weight for the running back position.  Displays good acceleration and agility.  Shows to have good top end speed.  Has good balance to remain upright through lateral cuts and contact.  Displays a solid ability to keep his feet moving through contact to fight for more yardage.  Displays a good ability to read and diagnose the field quickly and burst through open running lanes.  Has a good ability to anticipate and remain patient as blocks developed running lanes open.  Has a solid ability to keep the ball tight and secured through contact.  Shows to have solid awareness to secure the ball further as defenders near.  Displays good sudden quickness on screens to get upfield quickly.  Has a good ability to change direction quickly and redirect into open running lanes.  Displays good hands to catch passes in the flats or on screen plays.  Has a solid catch radius.  Displays a solid ability to hit gaps quickly and accelerate upfield.  Has a good ability to navigate through narrow running lanes.  Shows to have good patience as plays develop and running lanes open before accelerating upfield.  Displays solid lateral agility to get outside quickly on designed running plays.

Shows to have an adequate ability and mechanics when asked to contribute in pass protection situations. 


2020 NFL Draft Projection

First Round

Travis Etienne is an explosive runner that can also contribute in the passing game, too.  He’ll need to improve on his pass protection abilities in order to stay on the field as a three down back.  Look for Etienne to come off the board to teams that need help in the backfield immediately as Travis Etienne should be able to contribute at a high level from day one.

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