No. 3 Jaguars player that could surprise us in 2022 – Travis Etienne, RB.
Nowadays, drafting a running back in the first round of the draft isn’t as common as it was 20 or 30 years ago. Back then, you could see three or four get their name called on Day 1 but that’s no longer the case due to the rule changes that incentivize teams to throw the ball.
Make no mistake though, running backs are still an important part of an offense but you can easily wait and get one in the middle or late rounds of the draft. That’s why the Jaguars raised eyebrows when they took Travis Etienne 25th overall in last year’s selection meeting.
Regardless of where he was drafted, Etienne was a playmaker at Clemson and the team’s brass expected him to complement running back James Robinson and contribute in the passing game. However, the plan never came to fruition after the former Tiger suffered a Lisfranc injury in the preseason that forced him to sit out his rookie campaign.
Etienne should return for the Jaguars’ organized team activities, having suffered no setbacks in the past few months. While there’s no run to plug him into the lineup, he will be a welcome addition, especially when you take into account that Robinson is also coming from a torn Achilles he suffered late in the 2022 season. If the sophomore steps in and plays well right off the bat, it will be hard to take him off the field.
Once Robinson returns, the Jaguars should have a formidable running back duo but it wouldn’t be particularly shocking to see Etienne get the majority of the snaps if he becomes the playmaker the Jags thought they were getting when they drafted him last year.