Clyde Edwards-Helaire has his fair share of doubters, but there are actually very good reasons to be hopeful for his future.
At this point, after two years of watching Clyde Edwards-Helaire, some fans have already made up their minds about the Kansas City Chiefs running back. Whether or not they label him a bust or at least a moderate disappointment, some fans are ready for the franchise to turn the page completely or at least bring in considerable competition for 2022 and beyond.
But what if there are (still) great things ahead for Edwards-Helaire?
Yes, Edwards-Helaire has not performed as expected in his first two seasons in the league. As a first-round pick of the Chiefs as recently as 2020, the very first back taken in a class that also included Jonathan Taylor, Edwards-Helaire has put up middling production and the metrics tell a similar story of a promising rookie season that faded toward a pedestrian trajectory after the 2021 season.
To make the sledding even tougher for Edwards-Helaire in terms of expectations and fan perception, general manager Brett Veach had made a habit of dealing away first-round picks in the years around Edwards-Helaire’s selection. Deals for Orlando Brown Jr., Frank Clark, and even Patrick Mahomes meant that CEH was the only first-round investment in a four-draft stretch.
To use such a rare, cost-controlled pick on a running back was already questionable enough. For that back to have taken a step back in his second season after a decent freshman year makes things look even worse. Hence the reason why some fans have overinflated expectations for a signing like Ronald Jones. (We’ll get there.)
However, there are solid reasons to believe Edwards-Helaire’s best work is ahead of him and that he still might make Veach look good for believing in him in the first place.