Six touchdowns and an AFC Championship came in Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s rookie NFL season, though the abiding memory remains a painful Super Bowl defeat.
Edwards-Helaire was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the final pick of the first round in last year’s NFL Draft.
It was unexpected, not least by the man himself, but perhaps going so high should have been on the radar following his performances at LSU.
Edwards-Helaire impressed as the Chiefs reached a second successive Super Bowl though they couldn’t make much of a dent on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And despite his own impressive form, Edwards-Helaire admits that being a Super Bowl loser is how he remembers his rookie season.
“It’s a bad way to think about it, but losing the Super Bowl,” Edwards-Helaire said.
“That’s my last memory and you can think about the highs and the lows, but for me that was like the ultimate gut-punch.
“You feel like you’re doing everything right. I was thinking my season was over with, then I did everything I could to get back on the field, be out there and win a Super Bowl.
“I was fortunate enough to be out on the field, but we couldn't get the job done. So for me, my rookie season is in my mind as like a fire-starter.
“It’s something that's already given me a bit of edge, so I’m ready to compete.”
This year’s NFL Draft starts on Thursday as teams look to build for the coming season.
The Chiefs are expected to be on the hunt for a defensive end and maybe even a wide receiver, though Edwards-Helaire can relax a bit more this year.
“I was already preparing for the next day!” he says when discussing the 2020 Draft.
“I was fortunate enough to watch the guys that I played with [at LSU] go first round and watch numerous guys get drafted, and that was pretty much my plan for day one.
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“I was waiting on day two. That was the reason everything was so shocking, it took me by surprise.
“I went straight to Kansas City, a team with a target on their backs at that point after winning the Super Bowl.
“It felt like I was still being hunted, and that’s what you want to feel after winning a championship.
“Everyone was in the same mindset. It wasn’t like I was coming from a losing programme or somewhere where I’d just lost a championship. I’d just won, so we were in the same spot.”
Watch the NFL Draft live on Sky Sports NFL and NFL Game Pass on Thursday, April 29, with live coverage starting from 8pm
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