A guide to where you should draft Chiefs rookie sensation Clyde Edwards-Helaire

A guide to where you should draft Chiefs rookie sensation Clyde Edwards-Helaire

From the minute the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs took running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU with the final first-round pick of the 2020 NFL draft, the fantasy football buzz was everywhere.

Then, when Chiefs running back Damien Williams opted out of the 2020 season, the buzz was ratcheted up tenfold.

It’s gotten to the point where he’s definitely not a sleeper anymore. There are some experts who think he should go extremely high in fantasy drafts (we’ll get there), so this is your guide to figure out exactly how high you should take the rookie running back.

Let’s start with the numbers: as a junior starter with the Tigers, he amassed 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, all while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. He caught 55 passes for 453 receiving yards. And while he’s not the biggest player — 5-foot-7, 207 pounds — you can see why he’ll fit in immediately. He’s elusive, has burst and is a great pass-catcher, everything Andy Reid wants in a running back.

If you don’t know the history of running backs under Reid, you should: he’s taken lesser-known RBs (Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware, Kareem Hunt and Williams) and made them thrive in his offense. So it’s the marriage of a high-caliber talent with a coach who gets the most out of the position.

And that’s why you have tweets like this going around:

Here’s my feeling: really? First overall? No. However, I’m totally fine with him going in the first round. And if he drops further? Grab him.

With the first overall pick, you want a known stud who has proven he can be a top producer every week. That’s why you’re seeing Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley at the top, along with the always-dependable Ezekiel Elliott. So I’m not about to shove in all my chips on a rookie who hasn’t taken a single snap yet.

What if he’s terrible at picking up blitzes? That won’t make Reid or any NFL coach happy. And what if no OTAs, mini-camps and preseason games slow his development (this is true for every NFL rookie in 2020)? What if his size means he can’t necessarily handle all the work? Although CEH should get the bulk of the work, the Chiefs also have DeAndre Washington (formerly a pass-catching talent for the Raiders). I wonder if Reid will ease Edwards-Helaire in at first, even though he spent his valuable first-rounder on him.

Speaking of a valuable first-rounder: I’m more confident in names like Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook with their track records than I am in the uncertainty that comes with drafting CEH that high.

That’s when it gets interesting for me. I actually trust picking him there instead of Derrick Henry after the Titans’ workload eclipsed 300 carries in 2019. I wouldn’t take Michael Thomas there given how deep wide receiver is.

So there you have it. First overall? Nah. But he’s a first-round talent lined up for a perfect situation to thrive. Even though we don’t know the floor yet, the ceiling is extremely high.

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