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Travis Etienne

Jaguars could use more of a committee approach

Doug Pederson indicates the Jaguars will spell Travis Etienne more often this year, and I believe him. I don’t think Etienne is the kind of back they want to be feeding the ball 20 times per week.

Etienne isn’t tiny. He was listed at 205 pounds when they drafted him, and they’ve got him at 215 now. But he’s not a tackle breaker or a grinder. They replaced him some with Tank Bigsby in short-yardage and goal-line situations early last year, and I’m not sure why they moved away from that. (Bigsby went 9 of 10 in short-yardage situations situations last year, and I remember a really cool tackle-busting touchdown at Indianapolis in the opener).

Jacksonville also has D’Ernest Johnson, who’s run for over 120 yards twice during his career, and threw a fifth-round pick at Keilan Robinson, who was stuck behind first- and second-round NFL backs for his entire college career (at Alabama and Texas). Pederson at the OTAs said they want to do a better job of getting other backs involved in 2024.

Etienne definitely faded last year. That can partially be attributed to getting dragged down by a team that fell apart, and he was questionable on the injury injury twice with a rib injury. But he also might have worn down by being used too much.

In the first half of the season, Etienne averaged 18.9 carries and 106 total yards, with 9 TDs in those eight games.

In the second half of the season, Etienne averaged 6 fewer carries and 35 fewer total yards, and with only 4 touchdowns in nine games. In PPR formats, his per-game production was down 32 percent.

While Etienne is a solid enough back (a clear starter on a team that probably will finish with a winning record) I’m inclined to let somebody else use the high pick that it will take to secure his services.

The season split numbers appear below. In PPR leagues, Etienne was the 3rd-best back in the first half of last year. That’s using per-game numbers for backs with at least six games in those nine weeks.

In the second half of the season, he was just the 18th-best back.

Christian McCaffrey, S.F.817.
Alvin Kamara, N.O.615.857.77.245.3103.0.5620.8
Travis Etienne, Jac.818.972.93.433.3106.11.0820.5
Raheem Mostert, Mia.912.
Saquon Barkley, NYG621.083.73.718.3102.0.5016.9
D'Andre Swift, Phil.816.876.43.620.897.1.5016.3
Jahmyr Gibbs (C), Det.612.766.54.727.594.0.3316.1
Derrick Henry, Ten.817.175.12.320.695.8.5014.8
Josh Jacobs, L.V.917.756.23.126.983.1.5614.8
Bijan Robinson, Atl.812.864.33.524.688.9.3814.6
Rachaad White, T.B.814.
Kenneth Walker, Sea.815.866.51.913.980.4.7514.4
Breece Hall, NYJ811.861.62.924.986.5.3813.8
Tony Pollard, Dall.815.059.33.623.883.0.2913.7
Joe Mixon, Cin.815.861.33.019.881.0.3813.4
Isiah Pacheco, K.C.913.858.32.717.876.1.4412.9
Brian Robinson, Was.912.649.71.615.264.9.8112.9
Jerome Ford, Cle.612.747.22.819.066.2.5012.5
Gus Edwards, Balt.912.253.1.711.965.0.8112.1
Rhamondre Stevenson, N.E.911.843.83.223.967.7.3312.0
Kyren Williams, LAR621.8114.73.216.8131.51.3924.7
Christian McCaffrey, S.F.816.9100.94.434.0134.91.0023.9
Breece Hall, NYJ914.355.75.943.699.2.7020.0
Joe Mixon, Cin.914.660.
James Conner, Ari.817.584.52.416.9101.4.8817.8
Rachaad White, T.B.917.868.03.430.098.0.6717.2
Bijan Robinson, Atl.813.957.43.836.393.6.6316.9
Jahmyr Gibbs (C), Det.911.860.72.716.877.41.0016.4
James Cook, Buff.816.177.02.829.3106.3.5016.4
Raheem Mostert, Mia.616.767.
Saquon Barkley, NYG815.157.52.421.378.8.9215.8
Alvin Kamara, N.O.712.149.74.627.777.4.5215.5
Devin Singletary, Hou.917.176.62.316.893.3.4414.3
Brian Robinson, Was.610.847.73.738.586.2.3314.3
Najee Harris, Pitt.917.
David Montgomery, Det.913.970.01.15.775.7.8113.6
Derrick Henry, Ten.915.962.91.15.468.3.8913.3
Travis Etienne, Jac.912.947.23.423.370.6.4413.2
Jaylen Warren (C), Pitt.910.357.93.617.975.8.3313.1
Chuba Hubbard, Car.917.
Tony Pollard, Dall.914.759.02.913.472.4.4412.8
DeVon Achane (C), Mia.79.348.62.618.667.1.5712.7
Javonte Williams, Den.914.146.33.316.763.0.4812.5
Jerome Ford, Cle.910.843.12.720.063.1.5612.3
Kenneth Walker, Sea.713.353.

—Ian Allan

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