6 Kansas City Chiefs on Thin Ice Following OTAs

Which Kansas City Chiefs are on thin ice after OTAs?
Kansas City Chiefs, Skyy Moore
Kansas City Chiefs, Skyy Moore / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Running Back

When the Chiefs used the 32nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on Clyde Edwards-Helaire, it appeared to be the perfect match. He came into the league slightly undersized at 5-foot-7 and 205 pounds but Edwards-Helaire was a major weapon for the 2019 NCAA Champion LSU Tigers.

During his junior campaign, he ran for 1,414 yards with 16 touchdowns — averaging 6.6 per attempt. He was also a threat as a pass-catcher, hauling in 55 passes for another 453 yards with a touchdown.

Kansas City was coming off the first Super Bowl win in the Patrick Mahomes era but they were thin at running back. Damien Williams was their top runner during the regular season, followed by 31-year-old LeSean McCoy who had 465. Edwards-Helaire was supposed to take over as the top back, which should have taken the offense to new heights.

As a rookie, he was on his way to doing that. CEH had 803 yards on the ground and 297 through the air with five total touchdowns. Since that season, however, his numbers have gone in the wrong direction. He was outgained by Darrell Williams in 2021 and then seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco surpassed him in 2022.

Pacheco remained the lead back in 2023 and Edwards-Helaire managed just 223 yards on the ground with a career-low 3.2 yards per attempt. He was re-signed on a one-year deal, which was a slight surprise.

Even without much depth at the position, Edwards-Helaire isn't guaranteed a spot on the roster. Pacheco is still the top back and while Edwards-Helaire has more experience, they will give rookie Carson Steele and Deneric Prince every opportunity to leapfrog him.

There's also long shot Louis Rees-Zammit, a rugby star trying to make it as a running back. He might not be ready for a role in the backfield but he has the makings of a special teams monster, and Edwards-Helaire doesn't have experience there to help him.