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Etienne practicing with wide receivers in Jacksonville

The rookies are practicing in Jacksonville, and it’s looking more likely that Travis Etienne is going to be used in a hybrid kind of way. He’s been practicing not with the running backs but the wide receivers.

Urban Meyer on draft day referred to Etienne as a third-down back, indicating that James Robinson and Carlos Hyde probably would handle more of the traditional running duties. Meyer also let slip that Jacksonville was hoping to select Kadarius Toney.

It’s early, but I’m thinking Meyer considers Etienne to be his new Harvin. Meyer also had those kind of players at Ohio State – Curtis Samuel, and to a lesser degree Parris Campbell.

I picked through the old stats, I see three times where there was a hybrid receiver at Florida or Ohio State who carried the ball over 50 times. Those players averaged 83 carries for 732 yards and 8 touchdowns in those seasons, along with 58 catches for 789 yards and 6 TDs as receivers.

All of these guys averaged about 12 games per season. All of the teams were really good.


Etienne, of course, is a different kind of cat. He’s thicker and more of a running back than those guys. I am not expecting he’ll carry the ball fewer than 100 times. But he could be more of an accent piece as a runner, with a whole bunch of a touches as a pass catcher. With jet sweeps and quick throws, I think there’s a chance he catches 60-70 passes in his first year.

If we’re going PPR scoring, I would select Etienne over James Robinson. If it’s more traditional standard scoring, then perhaps Robinson.

—Ian Allan

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