Chiefs Conspiracy #3: RB Cheat Code


Damien Williams, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor, Isiah Pacheco, Deneric Prince. One of these things is not like the others. One of these things is not quite the same.

Damien Williams

In the 2014 draft class, Damien Williams had elite athleticism (4th overall) but subpar college production (24th). At 222 lb, he ran a 4.45 40, but he hadn’t done much in college at a big-time program like Oklahoma with 1,909 total yards and 19 TDs in 2 years. When the team asked him to leave the program for breaking team rules, he decided to enter the pros. He went undrafted and signed as a UDFA by Miami. In his 4 seasons in Miami he had 1,210 total yards from scrimmage (477 rushing + 733 receiving) on 218 touches. Then in 2018, he signed with the Chiefs. He didn’t do much in the regular season, 250 yards on 50 rushes and 160 yards on 23 receptions. But in the playoffs, he was unleashed: 250 scrimmage yards (159 rushing and 91 receiving) and 4 TDs in 2 games. Something similar happened in 2019: 498 yards rushing and 213 yards receiving during the regular season. Then the playoffs came, and Damien was unstoppable again: 290 total yards (196 rushing + 94 receiving) and 6 TDs in 3 games including the 38-yard clincher in SB LIV.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

To celebrate their victory in SB LIV, the Chiefs drafted LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He had just put up 1,867 total yards and 17 TDs for the national champion Tigers, nearly equaling what Damien had done in 2 years. He was also a unanimous 1st Team All-SEC selection. Running a 4.60 40 at 207 lbs, he reminded Andy Reid of Brian Westbrook (4.58 40 at 203 lbs). He finished a promising rookie campaign with 1,100 total yards and 5 TDs. However, the next 2 years were more disappointing as he only had 1,099 more yards from scrimmage and 12 TDs while dealing with various injuries and health issues. He is currently averaging 540 rushing yards/season. The next RB selected in 2020, Jonathan Taylor, is averaging 1,280 rush yards/season including a monster campaign in 2021 where he led the league in both rushing yards (1,811) and rushing TDs (18).

Isiah Pacheco

Following the Tyreek Hill trade, the Chiefs had a boatload of picks in 2022. Late in the 7th round they used one of those picks on a RB out of Rutgers, Isiah Pacheco. With Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon ahead of him on the depth chart, it was not clear when the young man might see the field. He got mop up duty against Arizona and Tampa Bay early in the season, and seemed to run with a tenacity not witnessed in recent years by Chiefs fans. Finally, in Week 10 against Jacksonville, he was given a chance to shine and he did, gaining 82 yards on 16 carries for a 5.1 average. He would continue his tear throughout the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, finishing with 1,027 rushing yards and 195 yards receiving. In his 3 playoff games, he had 262 total yards, averaging 5.3 ypc and 10.8 ypr. Particularly worthy of mention were his big runs in the 98-yard TD drive while Mahomes was out getting his ankle looked at against Jacksonville. In short, he was a beast.

What to learn from this?

What have the Chiefs learned from the success of Damien Williams, Jonathan Taylor, and Isiah Pacheco? And what have they learned from the relative disappointment of CEH? Well, let’s take a look at their speed scores (Click here to see what speed score is and how it’s calculated):



40 time

Speed score

Damien Williams








Jonathan Taylor




Isiah Pacheco




You can teach someone to find the hole, to hit the hole, to run the route, to catch the pass, to identify the blitz, and to block the blitzer. You can’t teach someone to be big and fast. The Chiefs have decided to go with big and fast at RB and let everything else figure itself out. That’s why they gave Deneric Prince nearly a quarter of a million dollars guaranteed as a UDFA. Here are his numbers:

Deneric Prince




Based on some numbers crunched by Bryan Knowles, having a speed score over 110 gives a RB about twice as good of a chance of hitting certain metrics in his first 5 years in the league than a RB with a speed score of 105-110. And if your score is below 95 and not you’re not named Arian Foster, you have exactly 0% chance of being a consistently elite back in the NFL (even A.F. really only had 3 great seasons sandwiched between 2 unimpressive ones).

If you’ve got a speed score over 110, you have a 1 in 9 (historically 8 in 72) shot of getting to 5,000 yards in 5 seasons. If you’re anybody else, that number drops to 1 out of 78, and most of those will have a score over 105. Other current RBs with 110+ speed scores:

· Saquon Barkley 124.3

· AJ Dillon 117.3

· Breece Hall 116.9

· Kenneth Walker III 114.7

· Jahmyr Gibbs 110.1

It’s true Kareem Hunt only had a 94.8, but he seems to have run his 40 with an injury. It’s likely he was much faster healthy. Nick Chubb just missed 110+ at 108.8. Alvin Kamara has a surprisingly low 99.0. Christian McCaffrey is basically at 100. But these last 2 are more "weapons" out of the backfield than true RBs. AND they can make people miss.


Have the Chiefs found a cheat code for RB success in the NFL? Maybe. Could Deneric Prince be the next secret weapon in Andy Reid’s offense? I guess we’ll wait to see…

As always I love to hear from you guys. What do you think about what I’ve written? What have I missed that you would add? What would you tweak a bit?

On a side note, I tried to post a chart I had put together, but it didn’t work out. I don’t know enough about HTML to make it work. Any ideas? I'd appreciate the help.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.