Kansas City Chiefs: When Andy Reid says that Clyde Edwards-Helaire compared favorably to Brian Westbrook as a prospect, fantasy football antennae should stand up straight. Just don’t expect Super Bowl hero Damien Williams to completely vanish. Reid has always preferred a running back committee, even during much of Westbrook’s peak.
Edwards-Helaire was one of the draft’s late risers as his versatility would’ve made him a fit with most NFL teams. But it’s hard to imagine a better fit for his talents than the Chiefs.
As a result, Edwards-Helaire was given +800 odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, tied for the second-best odds with Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Few probably expected the short-but-not-small Clyde Edwards-Helaire to be the first running back taken. But the LSU product has the type of burst, lateral agility and quickness to create his own space as a runner, and he is a diverse weapon in the passing game.
A gripe with this pick is that you can almost always find a quality tailback in the middle rounds (yes, that old song) and there were good defensive backs still on the board. That includes Alabama’s Xavier McKinney, who would have been an excellent replacement (stylistically) for underappreciated departed free agent Kendall Fuller. But let’s remember: You don’t get the 32nd pick without doing a few things right as a franchise. It’ll be interesting to look back on this one a few years from now.
Kansas City Chiefs
Draft picks: LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mississippi State LB Willie Gay (No. 63), TCU OT Lucas Niang (No. 96), Louisiana Tech S L’Jarius Sneed (No. 138), Michigan DE Michael Danna (No. 177), Tulane CB Thakarius Keyes (No. 237)
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B
Overall grade: B+
Draft analysis: Coach Andy Reid found his all-purpose back in the first round (Edwards-Helaire), then took a chance on a couple of talented players with character (Gay) and/or injury (Niang) issues with great upsides on Friday night. Sneed is an outside corner who played safety as a senior to help his team. Not too surprised to see the Chiefs add Danna on Day 3 since they already have another former Wolverine (and similarly built edge rusher) in Frank Clark on the roster. Kansas City should be able to find interior offensive linemen to provide depth after the draft.
Kansas City, however, set itself up to be even more dangerous in 2020 than it was this past season.
Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off a Super Bowl win, the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t need to do much. The value of taking a running back in the first round can be debated, but at pick No. 32 it’s not that big of a deal. Kansas City used that selection on running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire of LSU. He’s a dynamic running back who is compact, fast, and violent with the ball in his hands.
Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. scared some teams because of his off-field issues, but he’s an impressive athlete who stars in coverage. Third-round pick Lucas Niang had first-round buzz early in his college career. If he’s healthy, he’s the type of player who can eventually succeed the great Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle.
The Chiefs could have done more at cornerback after losing several this offseason. L’Jarius Sneed, taken in the fourth round, is more of a safety/cornerback tweener.
The lowdown: I almost prefer the undrafted haul to their drafted players. Yeah, they reached for Edwards-Helaire, but they can afford to. There’s some legit character concerns with the talented Gay (Chiefs don’t seem to care about those).
Kansas City Chiefs
With Patrick Mahomes providing an almost unparalleled advantage, the Chiefs going defense in Round 1 would have been sensible. But Kansas City instead tabbing tackle-breaking LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who also profiles as a promising receiving back (55 catches last season), could form one of the great skill-position groups in a long time. The Chiefs managed to persuade Sammy Watkins to take a pay cut and re-sign No. 4 wideout Demarcus Robinson. With Edwards-Helaire joining Damien Williams, K.C. has somehow improved a skill group that already included two All-Pros (Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill).
2. Running back selected on Day 1, and it’s not D’Andre Swift
The only running back that was thought to have a chance at being selected on Thursday night was Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, who was considered the best running back in this year’s draft (with Jonathan Taylor also receiving consideration). CBS Sports’ Will Brinson actually had the Chiefs selecting Swift with the 32nd pick in one of CBS Sports HQ’s Mock Draft Mondays.
3. Mike Remmers
The Chiefs were in need of a backup swing tackle on the offensive line after Stefan Wisniewski left for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They opted to sign former New York Giants right tackle Mike Remmers, who was average at best last season. Signing a one-year contract doesn’t provide the veteran much security, and he got a stern message after the Chiefs drafted TCU offensive tackle Lucas Niang in the third round. Niang projects to be KC’s tackle of the future, while Remmers serves as an emergency option. Considering he carries just over $800,000 in dead money, the former Giant could be looking for a new job by the end of training camp.
Around the NFL
Each day of the 2020 NFL draft set records, the league said. An average audience of more than 15.6 million viewers watched Round 1 on Thursday, up 37% over 2019. More than 8.2 million watched Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday, up 40% over 2019, and Saturday’s coverage of Rounds 4-7 averaged more than 4.2 million viewers, up 32% over 2019.
10. 49ers sign CB Logan Ryan
San Francisco didn’t draft a corner despite wanting to improve opposite Richard Sherman. And the time is now to bolster its secondary for another Super Bowl run. Ryan has proven himself on multiple contenders and could come in as an immediate starter, not to mention potentially replace Sherman in a year or two. If he truly wants $10 million per year, so be it. John Lynch should be able to make it work, even if it’s a one- or two-year deal.
The deal is worth $21 million, including $16 million fully guaranteed at signing, plus $1 million more in performance incentives, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Yahoo Sports was first to report the details of Hill’s contract.
“I’ve felt a lot of love from the organization and the fan base. ... My wife and I always wanted to stay in New Orleans, so this worked out perfect,” Hill said on a conference call Sunday.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“We have time, and I think the ultimate goal for both camps is the same and that’s to establish a long line of winning here and continue,” said Veach. “Certainly the foundation was laid from the day we drafted him and then going to the AFC championship game and the following year following that up with a Super Bowl win. His goal and his mindset is the exact same mindset that we’re in and that’s just to win championships here and create legacies.
“Pat wants to certainly create his own legacy and he wants to do that in Kansas City and we want to establish a long line of winning Super Bowls here. I think at the end of the day, we all understand the dynamics that go into making that happen, both individually and as a team.
A tweet to make you think
Top 10 U.S. Metered Markets for 2020 NFL Draft by TV Ratings:— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) April 26, 2020
1) Columbus, Ohio (8.8)
2) Cleveland (8.7)
3) Philadelphia (8.6)
4) Kansas City (8.5)
5) Cincinnati (8.5)
6) Atlanta (8.2)
7) Jacksonville (8.1)
8) Nashville (8.0)
9) Milwaukee (7.8)
10) Denver/Baltimore (7.0)
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