The Chiefs made running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire the final pick of the first round of the 2020 NFL draft and his first two seasons haven’t quite reached the heights that one would associate with a player drafted in that position.
Edwards-Helaire picked up 1,100 yards from scrimmage during his rookie season, but had gall bladder surgery after the year and then battled injuries while missing seven games during the 2021 season. He finished the year with 517 rushing yards and 129 receiving yards, which leaves Edwards-Helaire with a “sense of urgency” to reach his potential during his third season with the team.
One thing he believes will help is being available to work for the entire offseason. His rookie year came during the COVID pandemic and last year’s preparations were impacted by the surgery, but Edwards-Helaire said that head coach Andy Reid told him that having a full offseason this year should be a boost to his efforts.
“This offseason, it was pretty much getting back to the basics, being able to have a full offseason,” Edwards-Helaire said, via Nate Taylor of TheAthletic.com. “That was one of the things coach Reid and I talked about. He said, ‘This is really your first real offseason in the NFL.’ Really, health was the biggest thing.”
The Chiefs signed Ronald Jones and re-signed Jerick McKinnon, so they have backfield options in the event Edwards-Helaire can’t do everything they want this year. A perfect world would likely see the 2020 first-rounder finally produce at a high level.