NAME: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
POSITION: Running Back
WEIGHT: 210 pounds
In today’s draft prospect profile, this running back has a very deceptive running style. He has the jitterbug type of ability to beat you with patience and anticipation. Elsewhere, the LSU product is willing to run you over for extra yardage. With his team’s offensive emergence in 2019, he was a nice extra layer to use to wear down opponents to close out games. Let’s get things started, with our breakdown of Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
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Edwards-Helaire simply makes defenders look flat out silly in space. You must be ready for quick cuts and jukes when he gets close to opponents in space. But before getting out in space, Edwards-Helaire has plenty of reps where he escaped havoc in the backfield when you did not think he had a chance. Also, he has the strong lower half to break tackles. When this combines with his quick eyes, and keeping his head up, Edwards-Helaire makes it look easier than it really is. His timing is perfect, as he rarely gets too far up field into his blocks before the hole opens up. Overall, this running back feels the defense’s flow well. He can press the line of scrimmage and bounce outside in the blink of an eye.
Generally, Edwards-Helaire does not rely on his speed or burst. If he breaks through into the second or third level, there is a second gear that he will find. However, this back does not have the explosiveness that others do in this class. There is a lack of power in short yardage situations. His ability to break tackles helps. Yet, if Edwards-Helaire gets piled up in between the tackles his feet quickly come to a stop. In those moments, it is best to let him press the play to the edge.
Feet/Change of Direction Skills
Truly, Edwards-Helaire is a beauty to watch when he’s gliding in the open field. This is impressive, because of his short, stalky build. His cuts and jukes are smooth. For example, Edwards-Helaire’s light and springy feet allow him to move under control. It is interesting how flexible he is, given the stiffness in his hips. Edwards-Helaire definitely manipulates opposing defenders with his angles and short strides.
In this area, there is a little bit of deception for this running back. He can bounce of tacklers. However, when his feet are taken away from him, Edwards-Helaire is dead in the water. There have been a few big hits that he has taken when getting gang tackled. When getting out in space, Edwards-Helaire use his free hand to shove defenders to the side. Once he jukes out an opponent, the ability to recovery and quickly reach 100 mph again is incredible.
This running back has a nicely developed route tree. Furthermore, Edwards-Helaire displays soft hands. There are the occasional drops due to not correctly placing his hands where the ball is going to. Elsewhere, there can be times where you will see him jump up to high point the ball when it is not necessary. Edwards-Helaire can overcome those knocks fairly quickly I believe. LSU did a nice job to expand his role as a pass catcher in 2019.
So far, we have not seen a lot of reps in this area for CEH. He displays good effort to get low on incoming blitzers, or with his punches at the point of attack. Nonetheless, Edwards-Helaire has struggled with knowing how to set himself up for blocks. There were a good handful whiffs throughout his tape. Opponents knew just when to step inside against him or around him. The fundamentals are there, but there will need to be some development here for Edwards-Helaire.
Kansas City really loves Damien Williams. Darwin Thompson is exciting as well. But, Edwards-Helaire would fit the Chiefs offense very well. He can excel in zone rushing concepts, as well as, gap style offenses too. Additionally, the balance, light feet, patience and anticipation would be a fine complement to Kansas City’s high flying pass attack. People may not remember how tough it was for the Chiefs to chew up clock early on in 2019. For Edwards-Helaire, he could change that mood just like he did while at LSU.
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– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.