Jaguars add Clemson running back Travis Etienne at No. 25

Clemson's Travis Etienne, left, escapes from Virginia Tech's Alan Tisdale during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool) (Matt Gentry)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars stuck to offense in the first round of the NFL draft.

After taking quarterback Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, the Jaguars added his Clemson teammate, running back Travis Etienne with their 25th overall pick. He joins a backfield that includes Carlos Hyde and James Robinson.

Coach Urban Meyer said that he feels very good about the depth at that position after free agency and the draft.

“I see Carlos and James as the one-two, downhill powerful running backs, and I see Travis there’s times we could be in two backs, Travis is a guy that goes out [wide] … but he’s certainly a third down back and he’s a guy that, he’s a matchup issue for defense,” Meyer said.

There was no suspense at No. 1, but fans had wondered about the 25th pick for quite some time. Etienne had back-to-back 1,600-yard rushing seasons in 2018-19 for the Tigers and he’s considered a home run-type of back.

Was it a surprise, considering Robinson was coming off of a stellar season and the Jaguars added Hyde in free agency? Perhaps a bit. But Etienne is much more of an explosive back and Meyer has stressed the importance of putting as much speed on the field as possible.

Clemson running back Travis Etienne was Jacksonville's pick at No. 25 in the NFL draft. (News4Jax)

Jacksonville acquired that pick from the Rams in the trade for Jalen Ramsey. It used the first of its two first-round picks from Los Angeles last year to pick outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson at No. 20.

The Jaguars hope that Etienne has a better first season than Chaisson, who had just 19 total tackles and a sack in his rookie year. The Jaguars have two picks in the second round on Friday night, No. 33 and No. 45. They acquired the 45th pick from the Vikings in the trade for Yannick Ngakoue.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.