On Friday, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer spoke to ESPN just prior to the start of the second round. When speaking about the team’s pick at No. 25 overall and the draft process as a whole, Meyer stated that there was one player that “broke (the team’s) heart” that he wasn’t there.
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer tells ESPN that someone who came off the board before pick No. 25 "broke our heart."— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) April 30, 2021
Given the Etienne pick/plan, Meyer had to be talking about Kadarius Toney, right?
The Jaguars would go on to select former Clemson running back Travis Etienne, a player they have since spoken incredibly highly of, noting his ability as not only a runner but a receiver too.
“We were a team that really struggled with big play hits last year and, especially in the NFL, but the opportunity to sustain 10-, 12-, 13-play drives, the percentages say that doesn’t happen, so we need some hits and we didn’t have it,” Meyer said of selecting the former Clemson running back.
“Travis has got that gift. He’s got that gift of if that guy touches the ball there’s a chance it’s going, and that’s the biggest thing I looked at.”
Shortly after the team concluded its draft on Saturday, Meyer was asked about the player he felt the team missed out on, one that ultimately “broke our heart,” as he made reference to the previous day.
“[Kadarius] Toney,” Meyer said hesitantly. “I’ve got to know him over the last couple weeks and obviously with my connection with Coach Mullen and those guys. I just think, if you watch him play, he’s a human highlight reel.”
Toney was picked just five slots before the Jaguars selected Etienne at pick No. 20 by the New York Giants. He was one of the most explosive players in college football last season, leading the Gators in receptions, 70, receiving yards 984 and touchdowns 10.
The Jaguars, and Meyer, have had speed on their mind since the start of the offseason. The team signed former University of Miami and Indianapolis Colts receiver, Phillip Dorsett and former Detroit Lions receiver Jamal Agnew during free agency. Both players possess game-breaking speed at the position.
Asked whether or not Toney would have played the same role Urban replied simply: “We talked about that. He can’t really run the ball.”
The Jaguars have a plan for Etienne, Meyer said during his post-draft press conference that the running back wasn’t “recruited” simply because of his position.
“He’s a guy that had a lot of production in the pass game at Clemson,” said Meyer. “He has excellent hands and he’ll be dual-trained, he’ll be a guy that we dual-train. Those guys are hard to find, but if you find one, we know how to use them. With him I expect an instant impact.”
The Jaguars may have missed out on Toney, but the team feels good about the player they did end up selecting, feeling as though Etienne brings plenty to the table as a an offensive weapon at receiver and both running back.