For those of you who are unaware, the Kansas City Chiefs are set at running back with starter Jamaal Charles. While he’s had a history of untimely injuries, spending a third-round pick on a new ball-carrier seems illogical.
So why did the Chiefs draft Knile Davis this past April?
Apparently, Davis was brought to Kansas City to be their No. 2 back behind Charles after the Chiefs let Peyton Hillis walk via free agency this offseason. While their decision to spend a third-rounder on the injury-prone plodder is still misunderstood, the Arkansas product has plenty to prove during his rookie campaign.
Since his breakout 2010 season, Davis hasn’t been the same type of runner. After spending the entire 2011 campaign sidelined by a fractured ankle, he returned in 2012 and was generally ineffective. Throughout his final season at Arkansas, he managed only 377 yards and two touchdowns on 112 carries, averaging a measly 3.4 yards per attempt.
In a nutshell, Davis is a straight-line runner (4.37 40-yard speed) with limited elusiveness and athleticism. He was a chronic fumbler at Arkansas, a problem that could haunt his NFL career if not addressed immediately. Especially if Charles stays healthy, there’s almost no room for Davis to be a contributor for the Chiefs.
If he wants to lock down the backup running back spot, Davis will have to beat out several promising young runners during training camp. Third-year back Shaun Draughn saw some playing time last season, compiling 233 yards and two touchdowns on 59 carries, averaging 3.9 yards per tote. Cyrus Gray, a 2012 sixth-round pick, saw limited action in 10 games during his rookie campaign, picking up 44 yards on seven carries. Both will get every opportunity to push David down the depth chart during training camp.
If the Chiefs were looking for a poor man’s version of Jackie Battle, they found it in Davis. What’s worse is that they spent a Top 100 pick on him.
Training camp will give us a good idea if Davis can return to 2010 form, but the overwhelming odds have things going poorly for the Chiefs and their 2012 third-round pick.