Urban Meyer Reveals Plan for Travis Etienne
Everyone knew who Jacksonville would be taking first overall. Their second first-round pick was the one where things got interesting. At No. 25, there were plenty of strong prospects on both sides of the ball, but no one could have predicted what actually happened as the Jaguars decided to land on Travis Etienne. With James Robinson breaking onto the scene in his rookie season, this pick was very surprising. Both Robinson and Etienne play essentially the same way; they are elusive runners as well as dependable pass catchers.
That said, this may be the latest reminder that football, like many other sports is evolving into a position-less game. Etienne has begun practicing for the Jags this week, and head coach Urban Meyer explained how he may be planning to use him in this offense. Field Yates tweeted out that Etienne got most of his reps at wide receiver during Saturday’s practice.
Meyer has always been a creative coach when building an offensive scheme so this isn’t too far out of the norm. We have also seen running backs come into the league and find success as wide receiver hybrids, ala Alvin Kamara in New Orleans. That said, Kamara is still the lead running back in New Orleans, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of split Etienne gets with snaps in the backfields versus at wide receiver. It’s also a very aggressive approach if the plan is to turn Etienne into a full-time wide receiver. That is something more commonly seen with a Day Three pick; not a first-rounder.
All that said, I mentioned Kamara as a success story with this experiment. Etienne essentially has the same measurements as Kamara, standing a 5’10 and 210-pounds. The only difference is that Etienne is actually faster than Kamara which could prove useful as a full-time receiver. Wide receiver is certainly a position of need for Jacksonville as well, especially with Keelan Cole no longer around. If the strategy pays off, Jacksonville could be a very successful offense.