Clemson has two players listed on Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft, and it no surprise who those players are.
The NFL Network analyst released his first top 50 list of the draft season Tuesday on NFL.com. Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, along with his backfield teammate at Clemson, running back Travis Etienne, not only made Jeremiah’s top 50, but they are both ranked in the top 20.
Lawrence, who was 34-2 as a starter at Clemson and led the Tigers to the 2018 National Championship, is listed as Jeremiah’s top prospect for the draft. Etienne is the top running back on Jeremiah’s board, and comes in ranked No. 17 overall.
Jeremiah likes Lawrence’s quick release and his decision making.
“He has a long delivery, but he still gets the ball out quickly and it explodes out of his hand,” Jeremiah wrote. “The Clemson offense features a lot of quick screens and quick hitters. He showed excellent touch and placement on those throws. He can really drive the ball down the field when called upon and he also has the ability to layer the ball (over linebackers/under safeties) in the middle of the field. His overall accuracy is excellent at all three levels.”
However, he says the former Clemson quarterback is not perfect. Jeremiah feels Lawrence needs to improve on his pocket presence and speed up his clock when it comes to getting rid of the football.
As for Etienne, Jeremiah writes he has outstanding burst and balance and is a compact and muscled-up running back.
“He rarely loses a foot race once he gets into the open field,” the analyst writes. “He is very valuable in the passing game, too. He has a great sense of timing and spacing in the screen game. He also possesses the ability to run away from linebackers on seams and angle routes. He has even flashed the ability to split out wide and run double moves.”
Etienne finished his career at Clemson with 4,952 yards, while scoring 70 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 102 passes for 1,155 yards and eight more touchdowns. He played in 55 games at Clemson, including 42 of them as the starter. He produced 468 points and is the NCAA record holder for most career games scoring a touchdown, which stands at 46.
“He improved in pass protection in 2020. Etienne doesn’t have elite vision or wiggle, but his speed is real and it’s spectacular when given a runway,” Jeremiah wrote.