When the Kansas City Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, he was expected to share carries with veteran Damien Williams. However, Williams opted out due to an illness in the family, and the rookie became the odds-on favorite to get the bulk of the carries for the defending Super Bowl champion. On Monday, NFL.com’s Adam Schein wrote that the switch is likely going to make KC’s offensive attack “absolutely unstoppable.”
The analyst started off his praise for Edwards-Helaire by using a comparison the running back has seen before. He compared him to former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook.
Comparing the two smaller-bodied backs was originally done by Chief’s head coach Andy Reid shortly after he helped select Edwards-Helaire. In a conversation with general manager Brett Veach, the coach reportedly said the recent LSU graduate was “better” than Westbrook, despite not yet having a single carry in the pros.
Schein said he believes the former Eagle is one of the most underrated players in the last quarter-century. He was quite impressed that some of the most renowned talent evaluators in the league think Edwards-Helaire is better.
“It’s almost unfair, giving Patrick Mahomes another playmaker to go along with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson,” Schein wrote. “This guy can do it all.”
The writer then pointed to a game in 2019 when the LSU Tigers took on the Alabama Crimson Tide. In that game, Edwards-Helaire carried 20 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns. He also showed off his ability to hurt defenses through the air, catching nine passes for 77 yards and another TD.
It was arguably his best overall performance of 2019, against one of the best teams in college football. Even being that impressive, it was sandwiched in the middle of a four-game grouping where he rushed for yardage of over 100 in each contest and totaled eight touchdowns on the ground.
It’s Edwards-Helaire’s ability to do damage as a traditional running back and catching passes out of the backfield that reportedly made him a first-round pick. It’s also what drew early comparisons to Westbrook.
While the Chiefs’ offensive attack was among the top five in the league in passing offense but the squad’s rushing offense was near the bottom of the NFL in rushing and the middle of the league in yards per carry.
Edwards-Helaire is expected by team officials and analysts alike to help improve those numbers.