KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Early Thursday evening, more than two hours before the NFL Draft started and more than six hours before the Chiefs went on the clocks for their first selection, general manager Brett Veach made the call. He told head coach Andy Reid and club chairman and CEO Clark Hunt LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire would be his selection if available at No. 32.
Veach picked up his phone to text quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“I asked Pat, ‘Give me a name,’” Veach said. “I said don’t think about it. He said, ‘Clyde.’ I said, ‘Well, good.’”
Reid couldn’t wait to tell the running back that he was the guy Mahomes wanted.
“Listen, we’re fired up for you, man,” Reid told Edwards-Helaire on the video chat when the Chiefs made the selection. “We asked Pat Mahomes who do you want, and he picked you.”
The idea of sharing the same backfield as Mahomes entered Hellaire’s mind intensified during the NFL Combine when he met with the Chiefs. Lining up next to the Super Bowl MVP was a dream coming true for him Thursday night.
“Ultimately hearing the draft story and him getting the final text and just shoot me one name and the only name he sent back was Clyde, it makes me feel wanted,” Edwards-Helaire said. “It makes me feel like there’s a plan, and we know once we execute the plan, we can be back-to-back Super Bowl champs.”
Edwards-Helaire deemed Kansas City an ideal fit for him beyond the opportunity to play with Mahomes and bid for a Super Bowl ring. He feels his nature as a running back who can make defenders miss and catch the ball out of the backfield suits the Chiefs offense comfortably.
“They were big on being able to get the running back out in space, and I feel like that was where I absolutely thrived,” he said. “The Chiefs, they made a great call The offense, the whole game plan, everything is a perfect fit for me.”
Running backs coach Deland McCullough said he told Edwards-Helaire a few days ago to stand ready if the Chiefs came calling on draft night. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy also warned his new running back to prepare to hit the ground running.
“Be ready to go work, bro,” Bieniemy said. “We’re going to continue doing what we do. You come in and coach Deland is going to get you straight, we’re going to get you all lined up and ready to go. But when it’s all said and done with, bro, we’re just going to come and continue doing what you did.”