Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Kansas City Chiefs Are a Perfect Match
Wow. Welcome to the Kansas City Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire!
One of the most exciting prospects in this running back class, CEH, is also often considered the consensus top pass-catching back among the group.
While Edwards-Helaire benefited from playing with Joe Burrow, his skills as a route runner and after the catch are unquestioned. If he's able to improve in pass protection, there's legitimate three-down potential here.
After all, he just got of the few unquestioned quarterback improvements in the league going from Joe Burrow to Patrick Mahomes.
The Scoop on Edwards-Helaire
Edwards-Helaire improved significantly each of his three seasons at LSU, putting together a banner 2019 in which he produced 1,414 yards (6.6 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns on the ground along with 55 catches, 453 yards (8.2 yards per catch), and 1 touchdown through the air.
Edwards-Helaire capped the season off with an impressive performance in the National Championship Game, helping move the chains with 164 yards on 21 combined touches en route to a victory.
In JJ Zachariason's prospect rankings, CEH ranked seventh overall and fifth among running backs. Zachariason cites CEH's strong running back reception share as a huge bonus but also mentions his diminutive size as a reason to question his touch ceiling.
Ultimately, Edwards-Helaire is a dynamic receiving back with elusive between-the-tackles ability, yet his size is a concern and his pass protection needs work. That last part will be the most important factor for him staying on the field as a rookie.
What to Expect
From a pure offensive situation standpoint, Edwards-Helaire lands in the best spot possible. Kansas City had numberFire's second-best offense in 2019, while Chiefs running backs saw an 18.6% target market share and combined for 13 rushing touchdowns.
The backfield competition clouds things somewhat, however. Many thought Damien Williams deserved Super Bowl LIV MVP. Darwin Thompson was a favorite preseason sleeper last year, Darrel Williams was competent in a relief role, and the Chiefs added DeAndre Washington to boot.
At the same time, Reid wouldn't push general manager Brett Veach to draft a running back in the first round just to have him act as a change of pace. The last time a Reid-led offense drafted a running back in the first round was the aforementioned McCoy, who went on to become one of the best fantasy running backs of the decade.
As the first running back picked and considering the the first round draft capital spent, CEH is now comfortably a top-5 rookie dynasty pick at worst. Re-draft is a little more complicated though.
If we crudely project CEH to soak up the vacated 118 carries, 33 receptions and 5 touchdowns at 4.5 yards per carry (averaged 5.7 in college) and 8 yards per catch (averaged 8.6 in college), that's roughly 142.5 PPR points.
Last year that would have ranked as the PPR RB24. RB18-RB30 feels like a fair range of outcomes until we learn more about what the share will look like in the offense.
JJ Zachariason initially projects Edwards-Helaire for 150 carries, 675 rushing yards, and 7.4 rushing touchdowns along with 58 targets, 43 catches, 293 receiving yards, and 1.6 receiving touchdowns for 194.0 PPR points.