The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t just want to watch Travis Etienne at his Pro Day workout. They wanted to talk with him, too. In a conference call following his Pro Day, Etienne said he had a Zoom meeting with Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
From ESPN’s Brooke Pryor.
Clemson RB Travis Etienne said he's had zoom meetings with both Matt Canada and Mike Tomlin, said he thinks with his versatility he'd be a good fit in a Matt Canada offense.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) March 11, 2021
Without question, the Steelers are in the market to draft a running back early this April. They had by far the league’s worst rushing attack a year ago and James Conner is being let go to free agency. None of the current backs on the roster, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland, and Jaylen Samuels, are considered feature backs for this offense.
Etienne had a fantastic Clemson career, rushing for nearly 5000 yards and 70 rushing scores with another eight receiving touchdowns. He was one of college football’s best in 2018 and 2019, rushing for over 1600 yards each year, before a down senior season that saw him held under 1000 yards and just 5.4 yards per carry.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah tweeted out Etienne’s workout numbers and compared him to former Kansas City Chiefs’ RB Jamaal Charles.
This was my comparison for Etienne after studying him on tape. pic.twitter.com/sM9YzxM01x
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 11, 2021
Our own scouting report wasn’t as high on Etienne, citing concerns about his power and need to build up speed to get going. But he is expected to be one of the top backs taken in the draft and he is in play for the Steelers at #24. The Pro Day/Zoom meeting combo is telling.
Other RBs they may consider include Alabama’s Najee Harris and North Carolina’s Javonte Williams.