With the 251st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs drafted running back Isiah Pacheco out of Rutgers. Regarding draft picks that late, you are hoping to strike gold but don’t have high expectations. Only 11 players were drafted after him, so Kansas City essentially just didn’t want to have to battle other teams to get Pacheco as an undrafted free agent.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, Pacheco has been a camp standout in the league and appears to be challenging starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for playing time in the offense. CEH is starting to teeter as a potential draft bust as his first two years in the NFL have felt underwhelming. Pacheco wasn’t expected to challenge him, but here we are. In last week’s preseason game, both players had the same number of carries (2) and yards (6), but Pacheco had a reception for an additional five yards. While he didn’t light up the stat sheet, the fact that a seventh-round pick was given the same workload as the starting running back is telling.
Here we’ll take a look at the workload for rookie RB Isiah Pacheco in the Chiefs' Week 2 preseason game against the Washington Commanders and how he performed during his reps.
How did Pacheco perform in Week 2?
Well, at the very least, you can say that Pacheco plays with a lot of intensity. He only had four carries for eight yards through the first half, but it isn’t like CEH is soaring up the stat sheet with his two carries for four yards. Pacheco is making his difference in the receiving game and has brought in both of his targets for a combined 16 yards. Edwards-Helaire has yet to be targeted.
Pacheco didn’t take the field in the second half, so his day was done early. While we don’t know exactly what this means to head coach Andy Reid, on paper, it means that Pacheco will likely be in the starting mix for running back carries. Whether he is the outright starter or just splits carries with Edwards-Helaire remains to be seen, but this is huge for the rookie.