Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Draft Prospect to Know: RB Travis Etienne

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne (9) scores a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne (9) scores a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Buffalo Bills may be interested in bolstering their run game and could select running back Travis Etienne out of Clemson. While there isn’t necessarily a clear-cut top prospect at the position, Etienne is certainly in the discussion. Let’s take a closer look at Travis Etienne and how he might with the Buffalo Bills.

Measurables/Stats

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 215 pounds

Arms: 30.125″

Hands: 9.375″

Travis Etienne played 55 games at Clemson over four seasons. He finished with 686 carries, 4,952 rushing yards, 70 rushing touchdowns as well as 102 receptions, 1,155 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

The 2018 season was his best as a rusher with 1,658 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns but he started to show more as a receiver in 2019 and 2020 as he had 37 receptions and 48 receptions respectively.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Lance Zierlein

"Rampaging, loose-hipped runner who wins with force and speed. Etienne’s scheme will create favorable boxes for him to run into at times, but his contact balance and overall will to avoid being tackled has earned plenty of tough yardage. He has average size and runs with long strides and a frenetic pace that hampers his quick-cut control and fluidity at times. However, he has home-run speed in the open field and runs with fury and pop to finish near the goal line. He’s a greatly improved pass-catching option but needs to step up consistently in pass protection. His tools for creating yardage stand out during games and that same presence should be on display as a dangerous pro back."

Highlights

How he fits with the Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills were lacking that home run threat at the running back position and adding a player like Travis Etienne certainly would address that. He has incredible speed and can pick up yards in chunks very quickly.

The addition of Etienne alongside a back like Zack Moss could give this offense an excellent balance of power and speed. However, the nice thing with these two is that they won’t be restricted to certain situations. Both running backs can be on the field for all three downs, even thought Etienne could improve pass catching and pass protection, as Zierlein notes in his scouting report.

Next. 7 round mock draft for Bills including trade for Zach Ertz. dark

The difference between Etienne and some of the other top running backs is that he is not likely to be a featured back and needs to split the work with another running back. This may not be an issue as the Bills do have other running backs but should be taken into account when potentially adding a running back with their first round pick.