The Jacksonville Jaguars made a huge splash in their first draft with Urban Meyer as the head coach on Thursday night. Selecting Trevor Lawrence was an obvious choice everyone saw coming, but with their second pick of the first round, the Jaguars drafted former Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne with the No. 25 pick overall.
Etienne is probably the most pro-ready back in this year’s draft class, and it was a surprise he returned to Clemson last season. He seems to be ready to take on a three-down role relatively quickly, but Meyer offered up a bizarre quote following the selection. He said he wants to use last year’s leading rusher James Robinson and veteran back Carlos Hyde to provide a 1-2 punch with Etienne as a third down back.
Urban says he sees J-Rob, Carlos Hyde as the 1-2 punch, Etienne as a third-down back.— Mia O'Brien (@MiaOBrienTV) April 30, 2021
“We wanna be Top-8 in the league... and with James Robinson, Hyde and Etienne, we think we’re there” #Jaguars
That is certainly an interesting quote, but it would be stunning if this scenario actually played out during the course of the season. Robinson is coming off a fine season as he rushed for more than 1,000 yards as an undrafted rookie, and Hyde is a 30-year-old running back on the back end of his career.
Still, it would be quite an upset if Etienne does not get the majority of the touches in this offense with all he can do both in the backfield and catching passes especially considering the organization spent a first round pick on him. He will need to be on the field as often as possible for the Jaguars’ offense to operate at their full capability.
Meyer is a college coach, so maybe this is just a college coach thing to say where he praises the veterans and makes the young players earn the respect. Regardless, Etienne is much more than a third down back, and it’s very likely he will make a big impact on this team early on in his career.
This creates a host of issues for fantasy football owners. Etienne seems like the back to roster of the three on Jacksonville’s depth chart, but Robinson’s success last year would seemingly cut into his stock.