Jacksonville Jaguars Surprise All by Making Rookie Running Back Travis Etienne Take Reps as Wide Receiver

Published 05/16/2021, 9:10 AM CDT
May 15, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back runs a play Travis Etienne Jr. during rookie mini camp at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the 2021 season as a bit of a surprise package. While the side has taken a step in the right direction by drafting QB Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, it’s their moves elsewhere on the pitch that’s got people scratching their heads. 

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The franchise had two first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. While the franchise used its first pick to draft Lawrence, the second was used to rope in his teammate from Clemson, running back Travis Etienne. 

Many questioned whether the Jags really needed another running back. The rise of running back James Robinson was one of the few highlights of an otherwise disastrous season. 

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Robinson who was drafted in 2020, had a stellar rookie campaign amassing over 1,000 rushing yards and scoring seven touchdowns in the process. 

PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer celebrates winning the Rose Bowl Game. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

With Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer further suggesting that Etienne could be used as a third-down running option, the pick made even lesser sense. 

But now it seems that the Jaguars have changed their mind about Etienne. And instead of running the ball on third downs, Etienne may be seen running pass routes instead. 

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Jacksonville Jaguars continue to surprise  

With rookie mini training camp underway, the future stars of the NFL have made their way to the training grounds of their respective franchises. 

The Jaguars too welcomed their new signings to start preparing for the upcoming season. But one significant development caught everyone’s eye. 

Etienne, a running back, was seen running passing routes on Day 2 of minicamp. This prompted many to ask Meyer why this was the case. 

“Travis was getting most of his reps today as a wide receiver… In the worst-case scenario, you have a running back with the skillset of a wide receiver. Best-case scenario you’ll have a hybrid player who does both and that’s what we’re hoping to develop out of Travis,” he explained. 

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Meyer further said that Etienne will take all his reps as a wide receiver on Day 3 of minicamp. This is an indication that Etienne will see a lot of the ball coming his way via the aerial route in 2020. 

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How this pans out, only time will tell. In an ever-evolving league, we have seen running backs like Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey excel at making plays through aerial routes as well. 

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And perhaps Meyer thinks that adding that extra option to aim will help Trevor Lawrence settle into the league sooner.

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Shivayan Roy

750 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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