Clemson football: Potential landing spots for Travis Etienne in 2021 NFL Draft

Clemson Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Travis Etienne, Clemson football
Travis Etienne, Clemson football. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

Travis Etienne set one ACC record after another while starring for Clemson football but which teams should be after him in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The fact that Travis Etienne even returned to Clemson football for the 2020 season was shocking in itself. After already setting ACC yardage records as a junior, he would’ve been one of the top running backs taken in last year’s NFL Draft. But he did come back to the Tigers and, after only further proving his talent, he’s arguably the top back in the 2021 NFL Draft class.

Admittedly, the COVID-altered 2020 season was a dropoff for Etienne in comparison to previous seasons. He topped 1,600 rushing yards in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons with 43 combined touchdowns as well. In 2020, he rushed for 914 yards and 14 scores in three fewer games than the prvious years.

But NFL teams are always looking for explosive playmakers and Travis Etienne fits that mold ideally. Blessed with elite speed and great elusiveness, he’s a threat to go to the house whenever the ball is in his hands. Moreover, he’s a modern NFL running back with proven and exceptional ability as a pass-catcher in his arsenal as well.

It’s likely between Etienne and Najee Harris to be the first running back selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. That means he’ll likely be gone at the end of the first round or early in the second. With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the Clemson football star could land at the next level.

Travis Etienne 2021 NFL Draft landing spot No. 5: New York Jets

The New York Jets need just about any offensive spark they can get as they move into the 2021 season. The general assumption is that they’ll move on from quarterback Sam Darnold and look to upgrade at that spot. However, they can’t stop at only that move.

Whoever is at quarterback needs weapons to work with that are true big-time threats. That does include a need at wide receiver but, considering the huge number of snaps Frank Gore got last year, running back could stand to get a facelift as well.

Etienne would be a dynamic option for the Jets offense. Not only is he capable of shouldering the run game and providing substantial plays there but he can be a safety valve and an equally big threat as a pass-catcher as well. For a possibly young quarterback in New York, that could be a nice weapon to have.