He’s become a Fantasy Football rock star. The Kansas City Chiefs are expecting big things from rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. On a team with some very big names, Edwards-Helaire is hoping to make a name for himself. He is already drawing high praise from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s college football career
Clyde Edwards-Helaire stands just 5-foot-7 tall, but he has a huge presence on the football field. A year ago, while Joe Burrow got most of the recognition, Edwards-Helaire had himself quite a year at LSU. He led the Tigers in rushing en route to a national title.
As a freshman at LSU in 2017, Edwards-Helaire had just nine carries for 31 yards. As a sophomore, he finished second on the team in rushing. Edwards-Helaire rushed for 658 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games. He really blossomed in his junior year.
Last season, Edwards-Helaire entered the season as the clear No. 1 back and he capitalized. Edwards-Helaire became a much bigger threat in the passing game a year ago and that was evident when he caught nine passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in a win over Alabama. He also rushed for 103 yards and three scores in that win. Edwards-Helaire finished the year with 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
Opportunity opens up in Kansas City
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was selected by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. The Chiefs are looking for someone to help balance their high-octane passing game led by Patrick Mahomes. Last year’s leading rusher, Damien Williams, has opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding the pandemic.
The role of the lead back in Kansas City is Edwards-Helaire’s for the taking. He’s ready to be the main guy when the Chiefs open the season Thursday night against the Houston Texans. Edwards-Helaire won’t have the benefit of any preseason games to get ready for life in the NFL. He OK with that and said he’s ready to go.
“I’ve always been a guy that felt like I just needed to be 100 percent tuned in from the beginning,” Edwards-Helaire said to ESPN. “I didn’t have to flip a switch and feel like, ‘Oh, now is the time.’ Since the day I was drafted, I felt like, ‘Get this playbook, start rolling and do my job.’ There was never really a shell-shocking moment for me.”
Patrick Mahomes impressed with Edwards-Helaire
The Kansas City Chiefs have faith in their first-round draft pick. Since camp opened, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been the main running back. He hasn’t let the bright lights of the NFL affect his play. He’s even gotten the backing of All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes sees Edwards-Helaire as a talented back, but one eager to work and get better. Mahomes said he’s eager to see what the offense can do with him in the rotation.
“He’s a hard worker,” Mahomes said to ESPN. “I think that’s the first thing you can see from Day 1. He’s always wanting to learn more. He’s always wanting to get in every single rep they get him in and he’s someone that’s gotten better every single day, so I’m excited to have him, adapt him and evolve him more and more in the offense. And as he learns more, he’ll progress and have more success every single day.”