However, during their first minicamp together with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Lawrence must have found it a little odd to look out wide and see Etienne standing there. The rookie running back is getting some work at wide receiver at the behest of head coach Urban Meyer.
The move drew some raised eyebrows around the league, although we don’t expect Etienne to move to wideout full-time. Meyer likely just wants to maximize the first-round pick’s skillset.
For what it’s worth, Etienne has said he’s fine with the decision and Lawrence was also supportive during his session with reporters this weekend.
“It’s different, it’s awesome — I’m glad he’s getting to work that, getting those reps right now,” Lawrence said Saturday, via 247Sports. “He’s just a dynamic player. He could do a lot of different things. But that’s something that he’s not very used to. At Clemson, he was pretty much in the backfield all the time. He ran a lot of routes out the backfield, but splitting out wide is something he hasn’t done a lot. So it’s cool seeing him out there working, learning something new and just to see the improvements he makes every day is really cool. So excited for that and we’ve just got a bunch of great players out there that are flying around, and it’s been fun to watch.”
Lawrence is right about Travis Etienne being used as a pass-catching weapon at Clemson. As a junior and senior, he totaled 85 receptions for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns.
Still, there’s a difference between running your routes out of the backfield and doing so out wide. Lawrence himself says so.
But considering the Jaguars also have James Robinson and Carlos Hyde on their running back depth chart, it doesn’t hurt to see if Etienne can find other ways to utilize his talents as a rookie.