Jaguars make history with Travis Etienne selection

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Tyler Nettuno
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The Jacksonville Jaguars threw everyone for a bit of a loop on Thursday night. Though it had been speculated that the 25th pick would be used on an offensive or defensive lineman, or to add an impact player in the secondary, Jacksonville selected Clemson running back Travis Etienne. The pick reunites quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who the Jags took first overall, with his college teammate.

This is the first time in the common era of the NFL draft that a quarterback/running back pair have gone to the same team in the first round.

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The duo was extraordinarily productive together at Clemson, winning a national title in 2018. After rushing for more than 1,600 yards as a sophomore and junior, Etienne still reached 914 yards and 14 touchdowns in a shortened 2020 season.

He isn’t exactly a need. The team already has James Robinson on the roster, who rushed for 1,070 yards as a rookie and scored 10 touchdowns despite being signed as an undrafted free agent. It also added veteran running back Carlos Hyde in free agency.

To make this pick, Jacksonville had to pass on players that could have competed to start Day 1, like safety Trevon Moehrig or defensive tackle Christian Barmore. But both fell out of the first round and remain on the board heading into Day 2, which the Jags lead off at pick No. 33. With this selection, they add another premier talent to an increasingly deep offense.