Andy Reid Says Clyde Edwards-Helaire Is Better Than Brian Westbrook on Film

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Clyde Edwards-Helaire #22 of the LSU Tigers runs the ball against the Clemson Tigers during the fourth quarter  in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the team's first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, looked better on film than Brian Westbrook, who earned two Pro Bowl selections under Reid's guidance with the Philadelphia Eagles.

James Palmer of the NFL Network provided the tidbit after Kansas City selected Edwards-Helaire with the final pick of the opening round Thursday night:

James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV

Brett Veach told Andy Reid to watch some Clyde Edwards-Helaire film and told Reid you’ll see Brian Westbrook. Reid watched. Then got back to Veach and said he’s better than Westbrook.

Reid and the Eagles selected Westbrook in the third round of the 2002 draft. He then developed into one of the league's most dynamic dual-threat weapons over the next three seasons, a status he maintained for the duration of his prime years in Philly.

His best season came in 2007 when he led the NFL with 2,104 yards from scrimmage and scored 12 total touchdowns in 15 games to earn first-team All-Pro honors.

In 2012, Reid said he'd "never coached a player as smart" as the 5'10", 203-pound Westbrook, who spent eight years with the Eagles before finishing his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.

That's a high standard for Edwards-Helaire (5'8", 209 lbs) to live up to after a standout 2019 season at LSU.

The 21-year-old Louisiana native recorded 1,867 yards from scrimmage and found the end zone 17 times while playing in all 15 games during the Tigers' undefeated run to the national championship.

"They were big on getting the running back out in space, and I feel like that was where I absolutely thrived," Edwards-Helaire told reporters about what he saw on Kansas City's film. "And the Chiefs, they made a great call. The offense, the whole game plan and everything is a perfect fit."

He should get an opportunity to make a significant impact right away for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The Chiefs cycled through several running backs last season, but none rushed for over 500 yards or locked down the starting job heading toward 2020.

Edwards-Helaire will likely compete with Damien Williams for the top spot on the depth chart during training camp and the preseason.

His ability to make plays both on the ground and through the air while operating in Reid's high-powered offensive system gives him a chance to live up to or exceed Westbrook's accomplishments.


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