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LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s receiving abilities entice NFL draft evaluators

When you look at various mock drafts, the three running backs that are generally considered the best of their class is Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Georgia’s D’Andre Swift and Clemson’s Travis Etienne.

Then you have the next tier, led by Alabama’s Najee Harris, Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins.

So where does LSU junior Clyde Edwards-Helaire fit in the picture?

It’s possible he could wind up being drafted before any of those running backs, thanks in large part to his receiving abilities.

Edwards-Helaire (5-foot-8, 209-pounds) entered today’s Peach Bowl matchup against Oklahoma with 50 receptions for 399 yards, good for the second-most receptions in the NCAA by a running back.

By comparison:

  • Jonathan Taylor: 24 receptions in 2019 (40 for career)
  • D’Andre Swift: 24 (73)
  • Travis Etienne: 29 (46)
  • Najee Harris: 27 (37)
  • Chuba Hubbard: 23 (45)
  • J.K. Dobbins: 17 (65)

Edwards-Helaire, who entered the Peach Bowl as questionable due to a hamstring injury, finished the regular season with 1,290 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns while averaging 6.5 yards per carry – all tops in the SEC.

Edwards-Helaire entered the season a bit under the radar due to relatively modest production as a sophomore, when he rushed for 658 yards and caught 11 passes for 96 yards.

“Burrow is the undisputed lead singer, but Edwards-Helaire has been a vital cog in LSU’s offensive machine and continues to ascend in the minds of NFL evaluators,” Dane Brugler said in his latest positional rankings. “… Several talented wideout prospects (like Jalen Reagor and Henry Ruggs) have yet to reach 50 catches in 2019.”

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