Travis Etienne Jr. came out of Clemson as the No. 25 overall pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2021 NFL draft. During his time at Clemson he was an incredible force that was constantly bursting by his defenders and breaking free. While he didn't get a chance to play during his rookie season due to an injury, Etienne had a remarkable season in 2022 breaking 1,000 yards, and it's looking like he will be bringing even more to the team's offense in 2023.
NFL.com recently ranked the leagues most explosive runners and Etienne landed the No. 3 spot. This list was not only examining running backs, but players from all different positions with profound rushing capabiltiies.
After spending his rookie year on the sideline, coach Doug Pederson was ready to put Etienne's explosive abilities to use in the 2022 season. Etienne recorded an astounding 1,125 rushing yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and scored five touchdowns. Additionally, he contributed another 316 yards as a pass-catcher, bringing his total yardage for the year close to 1,500. Etienne's exceptional ranking is largely due to his remarkable ability to reach top speed while carrying the ball. Among qualified runners, he tied for the second-most runs at speeds of 20-plus mph, totaling six such runs, surpassed only by Justin Fields. Furthermore, he recorded an impressive 13 gains of 10-plus yards over the expected yardage, establishing himself as one of the most explosive runners in the NFL during the 2022 season. It's important to note that this is just the beginning for Etienne; he still has tremendous potential to grow and improve.
Demonstrating his exceptional speed, Etienne showcased his prowess by running an impressive 4.40-second 40-yard dash during his Pro Day, and this velocity seamlessly transitions to the NFL field. In fact, he reaches a remarkable 15 mph on over 25% of his runs, establishing himself as one of the fastest players in the league.
After using his rookie year to acclimate himself to the team's coaching staff and gameplay, and his subsequent season to assess and refine his performance on the field, Etienne is now poised to capitalize on his explosive talent in 2023 and unveil his true capabilities.