Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Edwards-Helaire was the running back on the LSU team that had a magical season. They went undefeated in the SEC and went on to win the National Championship in a perfect season. Joe Burrow is getting a lot of credit for this as he should, but he could not do it without a running game.
Edwards-Helaire was the top running back on that LSU offense. In 2019, he ran for 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns. This was his best season because he was behind a lot of great backs like Leonard Fournette, Darius Guice and even Nick Brosette.
There is a lot to like about Edwards-Helaire’s tape. He is an elusive runner that is hard to bring down. He is also an explosive runner who can break out a big gain out of nowhere. He is guided by good vision to see the running lanes.
He also has some strengths as a receiver which can’t be understated. He has been asked to line up as an outside receiver and that is a testament to the fact that he is a good route runner for a running back. He also has helped the Tigers catching passes out of the backfield.
There is something to be said about taking a player from a winning culture. He won as a starter and was around a good offense at LSU. I think Ed Orgeron is starting to be recognized as one of the better coaches in College Football.
This is a big game back who won’t be phased by playing for a great franchise like the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has shown the ability to perform in big games and that will help him play for a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers who have a proud tradition.
I also think he could give the Steelers a lot of carries because he was only a one-year starter. Certainly, the Steelers could get more mileage out of a guy like Edwards-Helaire than a guy like Jonathan Taylor who has carried the load for three years.
Edwards-Helaire also wouldn’t cost the Steelers as much as he is more of a third-rounder while a guy like Jonathan Taylor is probably going to cost the Steelers a second-round pick.
Edwards-Helaire is capable of being a #1 back, but might have to run behind James Conner for a year until Conner’s contract runs out. This would also give Edwards-Helaire a chance to develop and still get some carries as a rookie.