Chiefs GM: Damien Williams to Start at RB, Clyde Edwards-Helaire Will Compete

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 1, 2020

LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The high-octane Kansas City Chiefs offense should be in the driver's seat to lead the league in scoring next season after the explosive unit used a first-round draft pick to take LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who amassed 1,867 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns for the undefeated national champion Tigers last year.

Kansas City already has a No. 1 running back in Damien Williams, however, naturally begging the question on how the two will co-exist in the backfield.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach provided some insight on that front to Pro Football Talk, per Mike Florio:

“I certainly think it’s going to be a shared load. Damien has been in this offense for a long time and certainly has shown what he can do on that playoff run. The guy’s a really good pass protector [and] can catch the football. I mean, both these guys can run and catch and certainly Damien will come in as the starting running back and Clyde will have to come in here and compete for playing time, which we think he’ll do. But I think it will be a one-two punch.”

Williams, who is entering his seventh NFL season, has rushed for 4.7 yards per carry in two years with the Chiefs following four seasons on the Miami Dolphins.

He was the hero of Super Bowl LIV, helping lead Kansas City to a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers following 133 scrimmage yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Williams didn't do anything last year to put his job in jeopardy, but the talented Edwards-Helaire is too good to keep on the bench.

Veach referenced the natural competitiveness that may take place between the two in regards to fighting for a place in the backfield before telling Florio the following in part: "But I think once these guys come in the building and once you get this thing rolling, I think everyone kind of gels as a cohesive unit, but our situation is certainly good for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams because these guys will be really good complementary players to one another."

The Chiefs' explosive offense has been an absolute force since quarterback Patrick Mahomes took over under center in 2018, and the team has reached two AFC Championships and won a Super Bowl since.

Kansas City was first in points in 2018 and fifth in scoring last year despite Mahomes missing two full games and most of a third with a knee injury.

Now they add another weapon in Edwards-Helaire, who joins an embarrassment of skill-position riches in wideouts Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman, tight end Travis Kelce, Mahomes and Williams.