Of all the LSU players that heard their names called in the NFL Draft, Clyde Edwards-Helaire probably wound up in the best situation. The Tiger running back goes from the team that won the national championship, to the Super Bowl champs and it sure doesn’t look like the Chiefs are slowing down anytime soon.
Joining us to talk about how Edwards-Helaire might fit in with the explosive Kansas City offense, is Arrowhead Pride’s managing editor Pete Sweeney. You can find him on Twitter @PGSween.
Looking back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to Kansas City makes perfect sense considering his skill set and what the Chiefs like to do. How seamless will this transition be?
Based upon the last two decades of pro football (also known as Andy Reid’s head-coaching career), Clyde Edwards-Helaire found himself in the best possible place to take advantage of his skill set.
In covering Reid over the course of the last six season, what I have learned is that he designs his playbook around his players, not the other way around.
And just as Patrick Mahomes is the perfect quarterback for what Reid likes to do, Edwards-Helaire may just be the perfect running back. Reid asks all of his skill-position players to learn every single position for every play. It does not matter if that player is a running back, tight end or wide receiver.
To me, that plays right into what Edwards-Helaire has proven to be so good at, especially in his final year at LSU. He might be as good a wide receiver as he is a running back.
There’s been a lot of great passing catching running backs come into the NFL lately. Christian McCaffery and Alvin Kamara come to mind first. Who does Clyde remind you most of?
Those are both good names. I think Devonta Freeman and Austin Ekeler also come to mind. The thing all of these aforementioned players have in common is they are less running back and more straight-up weapon.
Edwards-Helaire being like McCaffrey would be a joy to Kansas Citians, given McCaffrey thrived under Ron Rivera, an Andy Reid disciple.
Clyde was basically handpicked by 2018 MVP and Super Bowl 54 MVP Patrick Mahomes. Now, I’ve never received a complement that nice in my life but that’s because people don’t like me. Anyway, has Mahomes talked about why he wanted the Chiefs to pick Edwards-Helaire?
Yes. I asked him on Friday morning, and I have the quote and video:
“I think the first thing that stood out from Clyde is when the competition and the games got bigger, it seemed like he played better,” Mahomes said. “I always like guys that can rise to the competition, and whenever you’re on the biggest stage, you play your best football, and you rise up and compete with your team. So, that was the first thing that stood out to me as I watched the College Football Playoff and at the end of the college football season. “The way he’s able to catch the ball out of the backfield but still be able to run rough between the tackles. You can tell he’s a high-character guy. He loves football. For me, [Veach] asked me, and obviously I wanted to add to the offense, obviously to help me out and to help our team out. So, Clyde was the first name that came to mind and I know we have a great running back room already, so I think just bringing him in, I know he’ll fit right in and he’ll compete. And we’ll be able to bring the best out of each other, ever single position group, and go out there and play our best football hopefully this next season.”
Lastly, for our fantasy football readers, how highly would you take Edwards-Helaire in a draft considering he’ll get to run wild in the best offense in football?
Any skill-position player in Kansas City’s explosive offense is worth a high pick in a fantasy draft, but given the fact that — as we mentioned — Edwards-Helaire was Mahomes’ first choice and Andy Reid signed off on taking him the first round, you can expect production.
I would not be surprised if Edwards-Helaire eclipses 1,500 yards from scrimmage his rookie season.