The Chiefs chose to draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire with their first draft pick. How does their day one draft grade shake out?
Who is Clyde Edwards-Helaire?
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the starting running back for the National Champion LSU team. He finished his final college season with 1,414 rushing yards (third-most in school history) and 16 rushing touchdowns. He helped LSU win their championship with 164 all-purpose yards.
Edwards-Helaire isn’t the biggest guy (5’7) or the fastest (4.6 40 yard dash), but he is physical and excels on his cuts. He has the ability to get away from a swarm of tacklers using his balance, physicality, and magician-like ability to make jump cuts. Where he really succeeds is catching the ball. He has very nifty feet and can beat linebackers to get open. His hands are incredibly reliable as well. He will be a very dangerous dual threat in Kansas City.
The Chiefs offense succeeds by getting speed guys into the open field and then blazing past them. Edwards-Helaire does not have the speed to do that. He is the type of guy to get chased down from behind. He excels at making cuts but he sometimes gets too bouncy and will make a cut to the outside, even if the middle is open, and play right into the defense’s hands.
Low center of gravity, able to use his physicality to run over tacklers, nifty feet to make incredible jump cuts; those traits are something that Priest Holmes and Maurice Jones-Drew used to succeed at the pro level.
Day One Grade
The Chiefs took a running back with their first pick. With the holes on defense, was offense the way to go? The offensive issues the team faced is along the interior offensive line, was running back the choice for the offense? With the top two running backs still on the board, was Edwards-Helaire the right running back to choose?
Defense should’ve been the route. There were plenty of high-end defenders still available at 32. So going with a running back was a bit of a head-scratcher, especially a running back that was the third-best choice at best on most boards. Edwards-Helaire was not a bad pick. But that doesn’t mean he was a good pick either. He will be successful in Chiefs offense but there were better options on the board. Because of that, I give the Chiefs a C+ for their day one draft grade.
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