Travis Etienne reported to Clemson’s Pro Day weighing 215 pounds. It was a 16-pound hike from where he was during the 2020 season.
The former Clemson running back said putting on the 16 pounds was a priority during his training, which he began back in January.
“At 199, at the running back position, you will not be able to play for long,” Etienne said after Pro Day. “I just wanted to get my body right, but to get back there in the right way.”
And though Etienne is happy with where he is at, in terms of his weight, NFL Network Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah is not. The former NFL scout said on a Zoom call after the Clemson Pro Day that Etienne probably needs to shed a few pounds because he worries the extra weight could hurt the ACC’s all-time rushing leader’s speed.
“The first thing he does when I draft him, ‘Dude, 208, 209. That is where you are parking it. I don’t really care for the extra bulk. I just rather have you be at optimal speed. It is a speed league.’ So, that is something you can correct pretty quickly.”
When he began training in January, Etienne said he changed the way he was eating. He was speed training in the mornings and lifting weights in the afternoons Monday-Saturday.
“I have been doing that Monday-Saturday since early January and it really got me to this point,” he said.
Jeremiah has Etienne rated as the highest running back on his board and as the No. 18 overall prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, there are few things the draft analyst believes Etienne will have to continue to improve on when he gets into the league.
“I thought in pass protection he was good, not great,” Jeremiah said. “Obviously, with a guy like that you are probably going to want to release him more into the route than wanting him to hang in there. That is still an area where he can continue to grow and improve at.
“To me, the other, he does not have a ton of wiggle. In terms of making people miss. He is more like trying to run away from you or break through tackles. That is something that you either have that or you don’t. That would be kind of the knock on him.”
The 2021 NFL Draft will be April 29-May 1.
—photo courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications
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