The Jacksonville Jaguars received a ton of criticism back in April for taking a running back in the first round of this year’s draft. That criticism may have been a bit premature though, especially now that we’ve learned Urban Meyer’s plans for Travis Etienne.
On Saturday afternoon, Meyer fielded a few questions about this year’s rookie minicamp. At one point during the media session, he announced that Etienne is taking all of his minicamp reps at wide receiver.
When discussing the move with reporters, Meyer said “Worst-case scenario you have a running back that’s elite with receiver skills.”
Etienne hasn’t commented on his new position just yet. However, he was very open during the pre-draft process about wanting to be a three-down running back in the NFL.
#Jaguars coach Urban Meyer told reporters that first-round RB Travis Etienne will take all of his minicamp reps at WR. “Worst case scenario you have a running back that's elite with receiver skills,” Meyer said. Similar, it seems, to Le’Veon Bell in his prime.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 15, 2021
Some NFL fans are confused by this move. If the Jaguars wanted to select a wide receiver in the first round of this year’s draft, they could’ve pursued Elijah Moore from Ole Miss or Rashod Bateman from Minnesota.
Etienne constantly improved as a receiver during his Clemson career. In his final college season, he had 48 receptions for 588 yards and two touchdowns.
Perhaps we’ll see Etienne take his receiving skills to another level this fall. And even if he doesn’t, he’ll still bring a lot of value to the Jaguars’ offense.