Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards Helaire will be a star in 2021
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the all purpose running back out of LSU, has high expectations entering year two of his career. The Kansas City Chiefs elected not to bring back veteran RB Le’Veon Bell, nor draft a RB early with hopes of CEH proclaiming the draft stature he was given.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the RB that Patrick Mahomes personally wanted to be drafted. Many fanatics are harsh on the Chiefs halfback for not quite living up to his first round bill in 2020. However, it’s well seen that Helaire is a very talented player, amid a well oiled machine offense, and will be given the opportunities to oust high success in 2021.
It’s apparent that Helaire showed potential last season with his rushing yard tally that was knocking on the door of a 1,000 yard season (803 yds). I fully expect CEH to crack the 1,000 yard mark and likely oust around 1500+ all purpose yards. Here is why CEH will take the next step, which ultimately should earn him a Pro Bowl nod.
- Improved OL
The KC Chiefs offensive line was a musical chairs performance throughout the 2020-2021 season. The stud Mitchell Schwartz played in a mere six games, while Kelechi Osmele played in only five matchups. When CEH found rushing success early on, it was largely due to Osmele’s ability to maul defenders in his path. Osmele and Schwartz are no longer on the roster.
The Chiefs decided to not let their wounds heal on the OL, but rather acquire upgrades upfront. The reigning AFC champion signed OG Joe Thuney and made a blockbuster trade by acquiring LT Orlando Brown from the Ravens. The Chiefs undoubtedly improved their offensive line from a weak link into possessing one of the top AFC offensive line units. There is still a chance Mitchell Schwartz opts to return to the club.
- Absence of Le’Veon Bell
Le’Veon Bell wasn’t his All Pro self in KC, but he was an effective, involved weapon. He eked out 350 total yards and had 63 carries in the running game. CEH should see a noticeable increase in carries behind a titan like offensive line with Bell out of the building, which should result in an improved running effort from the second year RB. It’s also been reported by ESPN that Mahomes and Helaire have discussed with the Chiefs about a stronger passing game to the RBs. The team’s No. two wideout is currently Mecole Hardman, who recorded a mere 560 yards last season. CEH should get significantly more involved in the run and pass game and it helps he’s the lead back with no true 1B in the offense.
- Travis Kelce playing like a HOF TE
It’s no surprise that Travis Kelce was one of the best TEs in the league entering the 2020 season. At the eclipse of the 2020 campaign, it’s well documented that Kelce isn’t just elite, but the best TE in the NFL. His 105-1,416-11 mark was one of the best seasons from the TE spot of all time. Defenses now know that the TE can take over games with his superb connection to Mahomes. There will be extra precaution taken from the AFC West defenses and the rest of the NFL next season. CEH should see more dump passes, play action plays, and overall production with extra attention being demanded to Kelce.