Most experts would say the Kansas City Chiefs’ first round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, was a great pick.
He has the traits that make him a perfect fit for the team. The Chiefs have been in need for a running back to help their running game. Kansas City was ranked 23rd in rushing yards and didn’t have a runner get over 500 yards in the season. Finding a consistent starter would help their running game. Edwards-Helaire could be that guy and could be one of the best draft picks in 2020.
Where Clyde Edwards-Helaire Can Help
Andy Reid loves versatile running backs who can catch and run out of the back field. Edwards-Helaire proved that he can do both last season. At LSU in 2019, he ran for 1,414 yards and recorded 453 receiving yards off of 55 catches. Reid has had running backs like Brian Westbrooks, LeSean McCoy, and Jamal Charles who all have similar styles.
The staggering stat from Edwards-Helaire is 36 percent of his carries were either first downs or touchdowns. That shows that he can make positive plays often running the ball. He is an elusive runner who has quick feet and make moves on the dime. His rushing abilities can also make tacklers miss him easily. Edwards-Helaire has great yards after contact because of his lower body strength and bouncing off of tacklers with ease.
The team could also use him as a kick returner as he was a returner for three years at LSU. While his numbers are not staggering to look at, Edwards-Helaire can still make an impact on two phases of the game.
How Edwards-Helaire Fits with Chiefs
It’s no secret that Damien Williams will most likely be the starter on the Chiefs for 2020. Despite only playing 11 regular season games, Williams put up career numbers in rushing yards and touchdowns. Edwards-Helaire could step in and be more of an impact player on the offense. Coming off the bench could benefit Edwards-Helaire.
He could be used on third down in passing situations and help with pass blocking. Reid will split the carries between Williams and Edwards-Helaire to offset any durability or fatigue issues. Williams is faster than Edwards-Helaire, but not as powerful of a rusher. The two players compliment each other well to be worth a look at as a duo.
Is Edwards-Helaire the Future in KC?
Running backs have to be used at a young age since most of their careers die out by age 30. Their workloads slowly start to go down as the years go on. That’s why it’s important for NFL teams to have at least two quality backs to run the ball. Williams is their immediate feature back for 2020. Edwards-Helaire will eventually be the future.
His speed won’t kill defenses, but catching the ball and being a hard runner will help. Edwards-Helaire was not projected to be the number one running back out of the draft. There are other backs who might be more qualified to be better runners. How he separates himself from the rest is everything he can do for an offense.
Versatile running backs go a long way in the NFL with the passing age. Ignoring what Edwards-Helaire can be for Kansas City would not be wise for NFL defenses. He’s a playmaker.