Tag Archives: Travis Etienne

2021 NFL Draft Recap: AFC South

The AFC South’s 2021 NFL Draft featured a new quarterback in Houston, a new cover corner in Tennessee and a pass rusher for the Colts. Kwity Paye and Caleb Farley will be expected to provide immediate dividends for the Texans and Titans. In Jacksonville, new head coach Urban Meyer brought two former teammates back together in hopes of reinvigorating the fan base.

Houston Texans      
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
3rd Round, 67th overallHouston TexansDavis Mills6’4 225/ QB-Houston166/3rd RoundThe trend of injuries dates back to his high school days, where he was once ranked ahead of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 247Sports’ 2017 rankings. So what does he bring to the table? Mills is an inexperienced quarterback with a smooth delivery, good mobility and an even-keeled nature. That calm in the face of the storm helped him deliver after falling behind in games as a junior.
3rd Round, 89th overallHouston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)Nico Collins6’4 215/WR-Michigan157/3rd RoundAbove all else, it is his tremendous high-wire acts that grabbed the attention of scouts. In order to maximize those flurries of splashes, Collins has to play with more attention to detail.
5th Round, 147th overallHouston TexansBrevin Jordan6’3 247/TE-H-back-Miami (Fla.)66/2nd RoundHe has operated as a fullback, flexed-out slot receiver, outside receiver, down tight end and even off the ball tight end. Injuries may have caused his draft slide.
5th Round, 170th overallHouston Texans (via Jacksonville Jaguars from Cleveland Browns)Garret Wallow6’2 220/LB-TCU120/3rd RoundThere is little wasted motion and he fires his frame downhill in a burst that is reminiscent of a gun fighter in an old Western movie. His quick-twitch reactions also show up in the passing game to get into position versus quick route concepts
6th Round, 195th overallHouston Texans (from Dallas Cowboys through New England Patriots)Roy Lopez6’2 304/DT-Arizona, New Mexico State462/6th RoundLopez, a former state heavyweight wrestling champ, was a factor creasing gaps throughout two different stops. He finished with 23.5 career tackles for loss. 36 bench press reps at 225 pounds on his Pro Day.
Indianapolis Colts
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 21st overallIndianapolis ColtsKwity Paye6’3 270 DE-Michigan9/1st RoundPaye was one of the draft’s best run defenders and he should get better as a pass rusher. With all of that said, however, the Colts need him to be a front line player from Day 1 on a roster that no longer features Justin Houston.
2nd Round, 54th overallIndianapolis ColtsDayo Odeyingbo6’5 285/DE-Vanderbilt52/2nd RoundA recent Achilles injury may hold back his draft stock, but the Colts went ahead and took a chance on Odeyingbo, who could end up as one of the best players in this year’s draft class. Their defense may allow them to sit him for a redshirt year while he recovers. His profile is similar to Colts DL DeForest Buckner.
4th Round, 127th overallIndianapolis ColtsKylen Granson6’2 245/H-back/SMU307/4th RoundThose run after the catch skills were apparent at SMU whenever he got the ball in his hands. He actually may have been faster with the ball in his hands than when running routes. A viable NFL comparison could be drawn to NFL free agent H-back/fullback Trey Burton (Eagles, Bears, Colts).
5th Round, 165th overallIndianapolis ColtsShawn Davis5’10 199/S-Florida318/4th RoundDavis is a well-built, muscular safety who brings a load down-to-down as a hitter. He can tend to play a step too fast and not break down consistently in space. We think his play speed is adequate and it allows him to overcome any lower body stiffness.
6th Round, 218th overallIndianapolis Colts (from New Orleans Saints via compensatory selection)Sam Ehlinger6'1 222 QB-Texas304/4th RoundOver the course of his career, he has improved his accuracy. Ehlinger’s adequate arm strength is offset by inconsistent footwork. Speeding up the efficiency of his drops could help timing on possession route concepts. To earmark Ehlinger’s effectiveness as a goal line runner, look no further than his production against Oklahoma in his career. In those contests alone, he rushed for nine touchdowns.
7th Round, 229th overallIndianapolis Colts (from New Orleans Saints via Jacksonville Jaguars)Michael Strachan6’5 226/WR-Charleston (West Virginia)237/4th RoundThe Division II All-American tends to get choppy in-and-out of his routes while counting some of his steps. Those are the technical flaws, but he gives an NFL wide receivers coach plenty to work with this summer. One possibility that could be intriguing is moving Strachan to an H-back position.
Jacksonville Jaguars
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 1st overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQB-Clemson5/1st RoundLawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
1st Round, 25th overallJacksonville JaguarsTravis Etienne5’10 215/RB-Clemson22/1st RoundEtienne re-unites with Trevor Lawrence in what could prove to be a game-changing backfield combination. He will team with James Robinson for a powerful one-two punch.
2nd Round, 33rd overallJacksonville JaguarsTyson Campbell6’2 194/CB-Georgia126/3rd RoundA big corner with good foot speed and at least satisfactory quickness. His balance is a characteristic that needs to improve.
2nd Round, 45th overallJacksonville JaguarsWalker Little6’7 313/OT-Stanford167/3rd RoundLittle has not played for a two-year period. When he was on the field, his smooth nature stood out. Rarely did he get overwhelmed with the pace of the defensive end. Can he stay healthy?
3rd Round, 65th overallJacksonville JaguarsAndre Cisco6'0 203/FS-Syracuse54/2nd RoundThe fact that he can make a number of tough tackles hides some of the flaws on the makable misses. Nevertheless, his middle of the field instincts and overall activity are similar to former Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates (Cincinnati Bengals). Due to the ACL knee injury he suffered in October, his final draft position does not reflect his overall value.
4th Round, 106th overallJacksonville JaguarsJay Tufele6’2 305/DT-USC75/2nd RoundTufele is a strong player. We have even noted repetitions where he overpowered guards to make tackles when he didn’t even get lined up prior to the snap (3rd QTR/11:07, Colorado ‘19). Versus double teams, he works to defeat one blocker to prevent the chip from the other blocker.
4th Round, 121st overallJacksonville JaguarsJordan SmithDE-OLB/UAB, Florida 185/3rd RoundFluidity at his size. Rushes from the two-point ROLB/LOLB spots and has lined up at both defensive end spots. Plays the Sam in a number of their packages. He was one of the C-USA’s best players for a two-year period and still found time to run down on kickoffs after off the field issues at Florida.
5th Round, 145th overallJacksonville JaguarsLuke Farrell6’6 250 (E)-TE-Ohio State377/5th RoundFarrell is a player who accepted his role in school and did it with a good amount of attitude as a blocker. He aligned at a number of spots, moved in motion and was asked to block both in-line and in space.
6th Round, 209th overallJacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)Jalen Camp6’2 226/WR-Georgia Tech199/4th RoundMuscular. 33 3/4” arms. Reportedly bench presses 400 pounds and squats nearly 550 pounds. Stride length can get on top of CBs in the move area. His one-hand grab vs. Alcorn State in 2018 showed his catch radius.
Tennessee Titans
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPositionSchoolNotes
1st Round, 22nd overallTennessee TitansCaleb Farley6’2 207 CB-Virginia Tech17/1st RoundOne of the draft’s most talented corners has ball skills, instincts and health concerns. His skills fit Tennessee’s defensive
2nd Round, 53rd overallTennessee TitansDillon Radunz6’6 300/OT-North Dakota State50/2nd RoundHe has worked on keeping a bent posture over the last year, and this despite appearing in just one game in 2020. There were never any question marks regarding the All-American’s pace, foot speed, or quickness.
3rd Round, 92nd overallTennessee Titans (from Green Bay Packers)Monty Rice6’0 235/LB-Georgia93/3rd RoundThere were still the flash outstanding athletic plays from Rice in 2020 (see Tennessee), but a nagging foot injury hampered his effectiveness for stretches. The overall range and speed in his play are both in place. Rice plays a little bit narrow in his stance and tends to get too thick versus offensive linemen.
3rd Round, 100th overall Tennessee TitansElijah Molden5'9 1/2" 192/Nickel-Washington74-2nd RoundNumbers may not tell the entire story for Molden, who seems to be a player capable of filling a myriad of roles for an NFL defense. Despite being primarily a nickel back during school (even on first/second down), there are possibilities for him working off the hash.
Molden has very good quickness, change of direction and elite eye speed.
4th Round, 109th overallTennessee Titans (from Houston Texans via Carolina)Dez Fitzpatrick6'2 204/WR-Louisville244/4th RoundFitzpatrick helped himself with a second-team All-ACC performance as a senior. His career was full of big moments sprinkled in spots. In fact, he was one of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets all the way back in 2017.
4th Round, 135th overallTennessee Titans (from Green Bay Packers)Rashad Weaver6’4 265/DE-Pittsburgh122/3rd RoundIt is impressive that he was able to come back from a knee injury with so much success in one year. We expect him to be a step quicker by the fall. The consensus All-American has somewhat of an unorthodox style in that his initial hand usage sets up his counter moves.
6th Round, 205th overallTennessee TitansRacey McMath6’2 224/WR-H-back-LSU329/5th RoundFormer TE moved to WR and never really was able to fully cut loose with his 4.4 speed. He was seen running down on kickoffs at inside positions, played gunner in school on the punt team and was used as a hold-up blocker on punt return.
6th Round, 215th overallTennessee Titans (from Kansas City Chiefs)Brady Breeze5’11 204/S-Oregon336/5th RoundWhen discussing Oregon’s talented secondary, Breeze is often the player forgotten about. It is hard to believe considering he was the team’s Defensive MVP in the 2020 Rose Bowl. The first thing teams will like about Breeze is the energy he plays with snap-to-snap. Breeze overcomes any rigidness with his play speed.

2021 NFL Draft Round 1, Recap

The 2021 NFL Draft’s first round is complete and the offensive players took much of the focus early. Five quarterbacks were selected in the draft’s first 15 selections. Later in the round, teams made sure that they took plenty of pass rushers to contend with some of the NFL’s high-powered offenses. In fact, defensive players comprised the final five picks of the first round. We look at each pick in our recap of the draft’s first night.

       
Round 1
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevor Lawrence6’5 5/8” 213/QB-Clemson5/1st RoundLawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
2nd overallNew York JetsZach Wilson6’2 214/QB-BYU25/2nd RoundWilson could be a BYU mix of former Cougar standouts Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
3rd overallSan Francisco 49ersTrey Lance6’4 226/QB-North Dakota State34/2nd RoundLance goes to an offense that should spotlight his ability to operate on the edges or from inside the pocket.
4th overallAtlanta FalconsKyle Pitts6’6 245/TE-Florida10/1st RoundNew HC Arthur Smith adds to Ryan's vast array of weapons in hopes of recapturing MVP form.
5th overallCincinnati BengalsJa’Marr Chase6’0 201/WR-LSU12/1st RoundChase re-unites with his former Heisman QB in hopes of re-igniting their 2019 national championship rhythm.
6th overallMiami DolphinsJaylen Waddle5’9 1/2” 180/WR-Alabama28/2nd RoundWaddle is the next receiver to go off the board to be re-united with his former college QB. His foot speed expands the Dolphins’ vertical passing game.
7th overallDetroit LionsPenei Sewell6’5 331 OT-Oregon3/1st RoundSewell’s nastiness made him one of the best picks in this year’s draft and fits what the Lions are trying to do with a physical running game.
8th overallCarolina PanthersJaycee Horn6’1 205 CB-South Carolina19/2nd RoundThe Panthers needed a big corner and they took one of the draft’s longer ones in Horn.
9th overallDenver BroncosPatrick Surtain II6’2 208 CB-Alabama7/1st RoundThe Broncos take the second consecutive CB off of the board and his technique is arguably the best.
10th overallPhiladelphia Eagles (from Dallas Cowboys)DeVonta Smith6’0 166 WR-Alabama1/1st RoundThe 2020 Heisman Trophy winner will get an opportunity to re-unite with his former QB too, just like Waddle and Chase earlier in the draft.
11th overallChicago Bears (trade from New York Giants)Justin Fields6’3 227 QB-Ohio State31/2nd RoundFields goes to a football team where he can add arm strength to pierce balls through the wind and add diversity to the team’s running team.
12th overallDallas Cowboys (from Philadelphia Eagles)Micah Parsons6’3 246 LB-Penn State2/1st RoundParsons’ speed goes with rare size at the position. He has a chance to develop in Dan Quinn’s system.
13th overallLos Angeles ChargersRashawn Slater6’4 304 OT-Northwestern16/2nd RoundSlater’s technique gives the Chargers added flexibility on its offensive lineman, as the former OL has started at both RT and LT.
14th overallNew York Jets (from Minnesota Vikings)Alijah Vera-Tucker6’4 302 OT-USC6/1st RoundVera-Tucker could pair with Becton on the left side to potentially power an offensive line that could develop into one of the AFC’s best.
15th overallNew England PatriotsMac Jones6’2 217 QB-Alabama39/2nd RoundJones goes to the Patriots to develop in a system that could spotlight all of his respective strengths.
16th overallArizona CardinalsZaven Collins6’4 260 LB-Tulsa13/1st RoundCollins’ skills can now pair with Simmons to give the Cardinals defensive flexibility in spades. The team adds a player who creates difficult one-on-one matchups for teams on third down.
17th overallLas Vegas RaidersAlex Leatherwood6’5 312 OL-Alabama104/3rd RoundThe 2020 Outland Trophy winner may make a move to the inside, where he was a second-team All-SEC player at RG in 2018.
18th overallMiami DolphinsJaelen Phillips6’5 260 DE-Miami (Fla.), UCLA43/2nd RoundPhillips has all of the tools to become an instant contributor opposite Emmanuel Ogbah. Can he stay healthy?
19th overallWashington Football TeamJamin Davis6’4 234 LB-Kentucky61/2nd RoundHC Ron Rivera finds a linebacker who has the traits to become like the LBs he had in Carolina.
20th overallNew York Giants (from Chicago Bears)Kadarius Toney5’11 189 All-Purpose/Florida49/2nd RoundHis ability to get in-and-out of traffic with the ball in his hands makes him a threat as an all-purpose prospect and slot WR.
21st overallIndianapolis ColtsKwity Paye6’3 270 DE-Michigan9/1st RoundPaye was one of the draft’s best run defender and he is going to get better as a pass rusher.
22nd overallTennessee TitansCaleb Farley6’2 207 CB-Virginia Tech17/1st RoundOne of the draft’s most talented corners has ball skills, instincts and health concerns. His skills fit Tennessee’s defensive
23rd overallMinnesota Vikings (from New York Jets)Christian Darrisaw6’5 314 LT-Virginia Tech4/1st RoundThe Vikings get one of the draft’s best offensive line talents after sliding back in the first round. Good moves again by the Vikings front office.
24th overallPittsburgh SteelersNajee Harris6’1 231/RB-Alabama11/1st RoundThe Steelers get the former five-star recruit whose game continues to grow both as a receiver and blocker. They get one of the better prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
25th overallJacksonville JaguarsTravis Etienne5’10 215/RB-Clemson22/1st RoundEtienne reunites with Trevor Lawrence in what could prove to be a game-changing backfield combination. He will team with James Robinson for a powerful one-two punch.
26th overallCleveland BrownsGreg Newsome II6'1 190/CB-Northwestern64/2nd RoundNewsome’s technique goes along with smooth on-field movement. The Browns now have three cornerbacks to match up with the AFC’s fast-paced offenses.
27th overallBaltimore RavensRashod Bateman6’0 190/WR-Minnesota18/2nd RoundBateman gives Jackson yet another weapon after the signing of Sammy Watkins. The team is continuing to attempt to get it right at the position.
28th overallNew Orleans SaintsPayton Turner6’5 290/DE-Houston111/3rd RoundTurner impressed on his Pro Day with a 4.33 20-yard shuttle time at 290 pounds. Turner got better during his career week-to-week.
29th overallGreen Bay PackersEric Stokes6’1 194/CB-Georgia35/2nd RoundStokes continued to get better year-to-year, but prior to 2020 he hadn’t finished on the ball. The 10.39 100-meter sprinter finished with four interceptions as a senior.
30th overallBuffalo BillsGregory Rousseau6’6 5/8” 266/DE-Miami (Fla.)8/1st RoundThe Bills take a pass rusher with 11-inch hands and an 83” wingspan. Rousseau had 15.5 QB sacks in 2019 and was tough to latch while working from a number of spots.
31st overallBaltimore RavensJayson Oweh6’5 252/DE-Penn State143/3rd RoundThe Ravens bet on Oweh’s upside, which includes 4.3 speed and very good upper body strength.
32nd overallTampa Bay BuccaneersJoe Tryon6’5 252/DE-Washington69/2nd RoundTryon has played from a two-point stand-up OLB or with his hand in the dirt. This was a perfect scheme-fit for the Buccaneers.

Round 1 trades/notes:

•   The Dallas Cowboys traded the 10th pick overall to the Philadelphia Eagles to the Dallas Cowboys for the 12th overall pick and the Cowboys picked up Philadelphia’s 2021 third-round pick.
•   New York Giants traded the 11th overall pick to the Chicago Bears in return for the Bears 2021 fifth-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and  2022 fourth-round pick   
•   Minnesota Vikings traded the 14th overall pick to the New York Jets in exchange for the 23rd overall pick 
•   The first quarterback to ever get selected in the first round of the draft by a Bill Belichick-led team becomes Alabama’s Mac Jones
•   New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman traded back for the first time in his career
•   There were four sets of teammates reunited in the first round.  Former LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase (1st Round, 5th pick overall) teams back up with his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Cincinnati, Alabama WR/All-Purpose threat Jaylen Waddle (1st Round, 6th pick overall) teams up with former Alabama quarterback and current Miami Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith (1st Round, 10th pick overall) will play with former Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, Clemson RB Travis Etienne (1st Round, 25th overall) gets to share the backfield again with Jacksonville first overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Travis Etienne 5’10 215 RB-Clemson

Etienne -the back-to-back ACC Player of the Year (2018-19)- began his senior campaign with a 17-carry, 102-yard performance versus Wake Forest (9-12-20). In typical fashion, the all-purpose playmaker added three receptions for 47 yards. His collegiate production has largely matched the Louisiana native’s high school resume’, when he accounted for 115 total touchdowns at Jennings High School (La.). We break down his versatile skill-set in our highlight feature on Etienne.

2019 Playstation Fiesta Bowl Gallery

Clemson sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence accounted for 366 total yards and three touchdowns in leading the Tigers back from a 16-point deficit to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 29-23 in the 2019 Playstation Fiesta Bowl. The game MVP got a lot of assistance from ACC Offensive Player of the Year Travis Etienne, who chipped in with 150 all-purpose yards and three scores in the comeback effort.

NC State vs. Clemson, 10-20-18: In-game report

 A game that was supposed to feature two Top 25 teams turned into a blowout.  Clemson defeated NC State, 41-7, at home, behind a sensational  performance from their freshman signal-caller. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:      

16 Trevor Lawrence (6’5, 205) Clemson QB-Freshman   

Clemson was forced to use sophomore running back and Heisman hopeful Travis Etienne (5’10, 200) as a decoy against NC State, who decided to make Lawrence beat them with the pass. The freshman quarterback indeed did just that.  Lawrence threw for 308 yards and one touchdown while completing 66 percent of his passes.  Most impressively was his ability to spread the ball around and put it in positions where receivers could run after the catch. The Tigers used a steady diet of comeback routes, which required Lawrence to anticipate when his receivers would break off the top of the route.  When they did, he often  threw an accurate ball to the outside shoulder so that the cornerback couldn’t undercut the route.  13 different Tigers caught at least one pass.  Coming into the game, the question was did the Tigers have enough playmakers on the outside.  After a strong performance against a ranked opponent, those questions will be no more. Lawrence has at least two more years of school, but his patience going through his progressions will keep scouts intrigued going forward.

99 Clelin Ferrell (6’5, 260) Clemson DE- Junior

Ferrell didn’t add to his six-sack season total on Saturday, but he did finish with five

Ferrell posted 18 tackles for loss in 2017.

tackles, including two for loss.  The junior defensive end displayed an ability to get off the ball in a hurry.  On one run in the third quarter, he met the NC State running back in the backfield for a five-yard loss.  Ferrell is a premier pass rusher (21.5 career sacks) who forces quarterbacks to roll opposite of him because he gets up the field so quick. The Richmond, Virginia native is slated to be a top pick in this year’s draft but like any player with his type of speed, he must make sure he keeps gap integrity. On one play in the second quarter, Ferrell got past his man but was too vertical and NC State senior running back Reggie Gallaspy (5’11, 235) blew right past him.  

NC State offense vs. Clemson defense

Williams has been a four-year contributor for the Tigers.

NC State entered the game with a 61-percent conversion rate on third down, which was the highest mark in college football. However, the Wolfpack finished just 2-of-12 on third downs and totaled 297 yards,  nearly 150 less than its season average. Clemson was too much for the Wolfpack on first and second down, which led to 3rd and longs. The Tigers feature two of the best pass rushers in college football with Ferrell and senior defensive end Austin Bryant (6’6, 280). On the back end, the Tigers have the ability to play in press-man or zone.  Both coverages led to interceptions on Sunday, senior linebacker Jalen Williams (5’10, 210) dropped back in a zone coverage to pick off a pass over the middle while earlier in the game junior defensive back K’Von Wallace (6’0, 195) caught a batted pass for an interception as a result of solid man coverage.  The moral of the story is don’t get down early to Clemson, because their defense has the potential to make opposing offenses pay both with talent and scheme.