For 31 picks on Thursday, the NFL draft moved forward without a running back’s name called.
Then the Super Bowl champion Chiefs added another offensive weapon to their already loaded arsenal.
With the 32nd and final pick in Thursday’s first round, Kansas City selected LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Tigers’ team MVP from their remarkable championship run.
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Yes, the All-SEC running back was named team MVP in 2019 over quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow. And unlike his former quarterback and new Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller, he’s jumping directly into a position to thrive as an NFL starter.
Named by Yahoo Sports draft guru Eric Edholm as his sleeper pick for the first running back off the board, Edwards-Helaire is a strong, versatile running back who thrives as a ball carrier and a pass catcher.
‘Elusive, great vision ... burst and shiftiness’
From Edholm’s draft profile of Edwards-Helaire, whom he ranked as the No. 22 prospect.
“Elusive runner with great vision — always seems to find escape hatches when things look bottled up. Runs with toughness, burst and shiftiness. Can make defenders look foolish trying to tackle him in space — flashes a spin move.”
Head coach Andy Reid thinks so.
Brett Veach told Andy Reid to watch some Clyde Edwards-Helaire film and told Reid you’ll see Brian Westbrook. Reid watched. Then got back to Veach and said he’s better than Westbrook.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 24, 2020
The 5-foot-7, 207-pound running back was second among FBS backs last year with 55 catches. Meanwhile, he tallied 1,414 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 6.6 yards per carry. His 4.59 speed isn’t elite, but with his elusiveness in a loaded offense, it doesn’t have to be for him to break free.
He’s the kind of player ready to step in and be a three-down back on an NFL team. With the departure of Kareem Hunt last season, no Kansas City running back eclipsed 500 yards on the ground in what operated as a true committee.
This is a prime spot for Edwards-Helaire to thrive and the Chiefs to improve the best offense in football.
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