Top running back prospect drops hints to Dolphins at draft event

Top running back prospect drops hints to Dolphins at draft event
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The 2021 NFL Draft process has made it challenging for players to get whatever narratives and messaging they’d like to communicate about themselves out into public consumption. With no NFL Combine featuring media and little opportunities to get into front-facing environments, the NFL Draft process seems to be quietly zipping by — we’re less than two months away from the featured event of the NFL offseason.

But just because there are significant hurdles to the process doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to circumvent them. Several NFL Draft prospects were able to get themselves out into the limelight this past weekend courtesy of former NFL All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall’s House of Athlete sponsored Combine event — which saw several notable players take the field and partake in workouts such as the 40-yard dash, the standing broad jump, the vertical and on-field drills. But even those who didn’t partake in the testing were able to grab the attention of those in attendance or watching from afar, including Clemson running back Travis Etienne.

Etienne, who is in the running to be the top running back drafted in this year’s class, had nothing but glowing things to say about the venue in South Florida — and dropped a little hint to the Dolphins during an interview on Friday at the event, in case the word circled back to them.

“I love it. There’s definitely not a better venue for this. I’m really not trying to leave Florida, honestly,” said Etienne.

What makes this even more intriguing is The Athletic’s latest mock draft from Dane Brugler, who mocked the Dolphins to trade up from No. 36 to No. 32 and draft Etienne with the final selection of the first round. His motivation?

“The Dolphins think highly of Etienne.”

So there appears to be some mutual interest here. But the Dolphins will need to gauge the value of the position in the draft and weigh out the depth of backs they’re comfortable with. But if the team wants a more dynamic (much more, if we’re being honest) version of Myles Gaskin to serve as their feature back, Etienne may just be the ticket for the Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft. An added bonus? Knowing in advance that Etienne is a big fan of the area.

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