Buffalo Bills Draft Rumors: Travis Etienne a player to watch in first round

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 have the 30th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and while they could go in a number of directions, the running back position is one that seems to be mentioned frequently. The thought process makes sense as the Bills finished in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards per game.

General manager Brandon Beane mentioned the position recently and said they could take a running back if they see a player who brings something they don’t already have. He specifically said they could look for a player who could be a home run hitter.

At the top of the draft class is a player that could be exactly that for the Buffalo Bills in former Clemson running back Travis Etienne. The match certainly makes sense and Albert Breer of MMQB wrote that Etienne is a player that he is hearing for the Bills.

"What you need to know: A second-tier corner probably would make the most sense, but Clemson’s Travis Etienne was a name raised to me for Buffalo. And the comp I’ve gotten most for him is Alvin Kamara—a player you have to have a plan for, but one who can be incredibly difficult for defenses to handle. Adding Etienne to that skill group, as an underneath weapon with the Bills’ ability to go downfield, would be pretty tantalizing."

The running back position is one that has been devalued over the year and the top backs seem to slide farther and farther in the NFL Draft. This raises the question if the Bills would get the best value by selecting Etienne with the 30th pick when also considering they used third round picks in consecutive years on the position.

However, Etienne is a very different back and brings that home run threat to the position similar to an Alvin Kamara as Breer notes. So while it would be another running back picked by the Bills early in the NFL Draft, he would bring a very different skill set. When considering Brian Daboll’s creativity as a play-caller, this could be an excellent fit.

Next. 4 best running backs in NFL Draft for Bills. dark

If the Buffalo Bills were to select Etienne, there would likely be a corresponding move to free up playing time at the position. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Bills elected to trade possibly Devin Singletary to get another draft pick and create a tandem in the backfield with Etienne and Zack Moss.