Clyde Edwards-Helaire in clear lead for NFL’s Offensive Rookie of Year

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a very clear lead for the NFL’s Offensive ROY award.

In case you’ve been hiding under a proverbial rock somewhere, Clyde Edwards-Helaire needed only a single week of professional football to establish himself as the next shining star in the Kansas City Chiefs already-brilliant offense.

The Chiefs rookie running back, showcased his elite balance, vision, and agility in the team’s Week 1 win over the Houston Texans and, in so doing, took a clear and commanding lead in the race for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

With 138 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 25 rushes, Edwards-Helaire’s production wasn’t just elite for his offense, but the Chiefs back was actually the only running back to break the 100-yard mark through Week 1. Next up were Zeke Elliott and Christian McCaffrey, who both had 96 yards rushing in their first games of 2020.

Let’s take a look at some other heralded rookies and how they fared in our OROY rankings:

2. Joe Burrow, QB, CIN – 23 of 36 for 193 yards (0 TDs, 1 INT), 8 rushes for 46 yards (1 TD)

The final stat line won’t blow you away, but Burrow had Cincinnati in a position to beat the L.A. Chargers in Week 1 late if not for a iffy penalty call. Even then, the Bengals could have tied if kicker Randy Bullock didn’t come up short on an easy field goal. Remember Patrick Mahomes first start had the same sort of stat line at the end of the 2017 season, but the Chiefs knew they had a good one.

3. James Robinson, RB, JAX – 16 carries for 62 yards, 1 catch for 28 yards

Here’s a name no one saw coming. Robinson earned the starting RB role for the Jags heading into Week 1 and set a record for most yards in a debut by any UDFA running back in NFL history.

4. J.K. Dobbins, RB, BAL – 7 carries for 22 yards (2 TDs)

The rushing average isn’t great, but it was clear while watching the Ravens that Dobbins is going to be a significant add to an already tremendous run game in Baltimore.

5. CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL – 5 catches for 59 yards

The Cowboys have other targets worthy of attention at receiver, but Lamb is going to blossom with more experience.

6. Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN – 4 catches for 56 yards

Jeudy’s stat line looks solid enough, but it was his precise route-running and technique—did you see that footwork?—against the Tennessee defense that showed he’s an impact player from Week 1.

7. Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND – 9 carries, 22 rushing yards, 6 catches for 67 yards

The rookie from Wisconsin didn’t find his legs rushing the ball for the Colts but he showed solid hands out of the backfield. With Marlon Mack injured, Taylor is going to earn plenty more touches in his rookie year.

8. Joshua Kelley, RB, LAC – 12 carries for 60 yards (1 TD)

The Chargers replaced Melvin Gordon, who left in free agency, with Kelley in the fourth round of the draft, and the UCLA back put up solid numbers alongside Austin Ekeler in a Week 1 win.

9. Henry Ruggs, WR, LVR – 3 catches for 55 yards

Ruggs left for a bit on Sunday with a leg injury, but the Raiders got enough of a glimpse of his game-altering speed to know they got this pick right.

10. Laviska Shenault, Jr., WR, JAX– 3 catches for 37 yards (1 TD), 2 carries for 10 yards

The Jags have another impressive rookie on the offensive side in Shenault, and the team tried to take full advantage of his versatility in a win over the Colts.

Honorable mention:

  • Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI – 1 catch for 55 yards
  • Cam Akers, RB, LAR – 14 carries for 39 yards, 1 catch for 4 yards
  • Chase Claypool, WR, PIT – 2 catches for 38 yards, 1 run for 8 yards
  • D’Andre Swift, RB, DET- 3 carries for 8 yards (1 TD), 3 catches for 15 yards
  • Van Jefferson, WR, LAR – 1 catch for 31 yards
  • Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN – 2 catches for 26 yards
  • Quentez Cephus, WR, DET  – 3 catches for 43 yards
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