Former NFL and college head coach Jim Mora knows exactly who the Jets should take in the draft this month.
As much as New York already has a few capable running backs on their roster, to Mora, Clemson's Travis Etienne is too much of an impact player to pass on.
"Travis Etienne is an amazing weapon," Mora told Jets Country. "If you watch Clemson play, he made teams look ordinary, he made defenders look ordinary. When he gets into space, you can't tackle him. He is great between the tackles, you can split him out, he can catch the ball, he will step up and protect for your quarterback. He's a three-down back."
Over four seasons at Clemson, Etienne produced historic numbers. Through 55 games, Etienne moves on to the NFL as the Atlantic Coast Conference all-time leader (since 1956) in rushing yards (4,952), rushing touchdowns (70), all-purpose yards (6,107) and points (468).
Mora says he's been addicted to watching Etienne play for virtually his entire career.
"I've liked him since his sophomore year. Not just like, it was like a love affair," he said. "Every week, I just couldn't wait to turn on the TV and see what he was going to do. Of course it was fun to watch Trevor Lawrence, it was fun to watch the way they played that swarming defense, but my eyes always went to Travis Etienne because of his versatility."
New York added another running back this offseason, signing former 49ers playmaker Tevin Coleman in free agency. They already have former fourth-rounder La'Mical Perine, along with Josh Adams and Ty Johnson, in their RB room.
That said, Etienne's upside makes him as good a weapon as any other player on this roster. Plus, Mora isn't concerned one bit about this running back's durability, even after four years of carries at the college level.
"We always worry about the hits running backs take, and the wear on their body," Mora explained. "He can get hit a lot because no one can touch him and a lot of the hits he took were glancing hits. You never saw him just get drilled and I liked that about him."
Beyond the flexibility coming out of the backfield, Etienne's experience makes him even more of an appealing prospect.
The running back helped Clemson win four ACC titles, make four College Football Playoff appearances, play in two national championships and win one.
"He's a winner," Mora said. "Listen, when you're the New York Jets and you're trying to build a different type of culture then that's been there, you want to populate your team with really high character men that are winners, that come from great programs that understand what it takes to be a champion, not just a good player, but a part of a championship team."
Over the course of this offseason, we've seen Etienne mocked to Gang Green several times from a variety of NFL draft insiders. Give Mora a chance to fill general manager Joe Douglas' shoes, and he said he'll target Etienne to start round two if he's still available.
As for the second overall pick, Mora has his eyes on a different type of impact player, a stud that he believes will make it to the Hall of Fame down the road.
- Jets Four-Round Mock Draft: New York Adds Playmakers at Six Different Positions
- 'They Should Stick With Sam Darnold': Former Jets Star Defends New York's Quarterback
- Jets Pick Lineman Liam Eichenberg in Second Round of Mock Draft