Sep 29, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Knile Davis (7) runs for a touchdown against the Texas A

Knile Davis: Kansas City’s Newest Weapon


As the dust settled on the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2013 NFL Draft there was a variety of opinions. Some fans loved it. Some fans hated it. Some fans had mixed reviews. However, there was one pick that seemed to have more questions and complaints than any other. That was the selection of Arkansas running back Knile Davis with their late third round pick. By now, most KC fans know the essentials about Davis. He was an explosive playmaker and productive running back against tough SEC defenses in 2010. Then he missed the entire 2011 season with an ankle injury. Finally, last season he (along with the entire Arkansas offense) struggled. Davis particularly struggled with fumbles last season. Davis’s fans list his size (227 lbs), strength (31 bench press reps), speed (4.37 forty yard dash), and production against the best defenses in college football in 2010 as reasons to have high hopes for Davis. His detractors point to his history of injuries and fumbles as reasons that KC shouldn’t have gambled on Davis when so many other highly regarded prospects were still on the board.

Before I made up my own mind I wanted to do some research because I didn’t really know much about Davis except for what I had read online from so called draft “experts”. So I set out to watch all the footage on Davis that I could find. After viewing it and making some observations I decided that I would put my findings together in a video for you. So I’ll just let the video take it from here.

Here’s my latest Armchair Addict Video Production, “Knile Davis: KC’s Newest Weapon”.

So what do you think Addicts? Will Davis realize his upside or will his fumbles and injuries get the best of him? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Tags: Featured Kansas City Chiefs Knile Davis Popular

  • ILChiefan

    I like the way he doesn’t run for the sidelines……in all the plays, I only saw one time he ducked out of bounds. Most of the time, he was trying to gain extra yards. Very rarely did one guy or one hit bring him down. Like you said – if he can control the fumbles, this could have been a steal

    • Lyle Graversen

      Yeah he doesn’t initiate contact, but he’s clearly not afraid of it either.

  • kmon

    It seems like he plays faster than JC. injuries is a hard subject to judge, but I think he can be a dangerous backup with some ball security

    • Danny W

      Faster than Charles?! I disagree.

      • superman_25_58

        I disagree as well.

      • Lyle Graversen

        Yeah I wouldn’t go there. I think he hits the hole with less hesitation, but that’s not because he’s faster but because he isn’t looking for the home run like Charles usually is.

    • BigGil

      In terms of metrics, they’re very similar (notable difference between weight and strength… Knile being bigger and stronger). That being said, I will disagree with “faster”, but could agree with “as fast” or “nearly as fast”.

      • kmon

        JC ran a 4.38 at his combine and knile ran a 4.37, so can one of you guys plz tell me how its so lopsided in speed? I’m not saying he’s a better back, I’m just saying he plays the game faster

        • kmon

          Especially the last clip on the straight ahead speed segment on the video, that’s pure speed

        • BigGil

          Yeah… so why wouldn’t “as fast” or “nearly as fast” work? I’m just disagreeing with “faster” when they’re about as fast as one another. Knile is a thousandth of a second faster in the 40, yes. But if we’re splitting hairs, JC is slightly better in the 10yd dash and broad jump, indicating he has an ever so marginal advantage when it comes to burst. I’m the one that pointed out the similarity of their metrics in the first place. Why you would point something out to me that I had just pointed out myself and expect that to be enough to support your argument of “faster” against my argument of “as fast” is beyond me. And how is “as fast” lopsided? “As fast” or “nearly as fast” means “about even” or “on the level”.

          • kmon

            dont take it personal at all, it was more so towards the other comments, u just so happened to be the last one to reply so I responded to yours hoping everyone saw it. so no I’m not blasting u out lol

  • TAZMOSIS

    Lyle,
    What a great piece of work! You gotta’ love the way this dude runs. He reminds me a lot of Larry Johnson, except faster, with better moves. Wow!!!

    • Lyle Graversen

      I think the Johnson comparison is an interesting one. I think Johnson was a little more physical.

  • TAZMOSIS

    Now, I am getting really juiced about Nile Davis! Holy crap!!!

  • Dustin Joyce

    Great video, thanks for putting it together. To me it looks like he is good at getting to the second level in highly orchestrated plays, but looks a little unsure what to do at the second level. With his speed shown towards the end I would think he could have taken a few I those to the house. Overall, I have to think it came down to the interview with R&D, if he is a hard worker and wants to improve, Charles would be great to teach him what to do at the second level. If he is a hot shot and thinks he arrived, it will be wasted, IMHO.

  • Miles Yi

    Great video, Lyle! And nice touch with the music.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I thought you would appreciate that. If ever I was going to work Miles Davis into a football video it was this one. The name similarity was just too tempting.

  • steve james

    It seems he thinks to much once he hits the second level. Like he is waiting for a block when he should be blazing with that eliete speed.

    • Danny W

      I agree. I expected to see more huge runs with that elite speed but once he gets to the second level there isn’t much there.

      • superman_25_58

        Well at least he has the talent, now we just need the best in the game to help him out and show him how things are done at running back! Thank the Lord for Jamal Charles!!!!!!!!!!!! GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lyle Graversen

      I don’t know if that’s quite it. It’s like he’s in-between the power back and speed back approach. A power back looks to run people over and grind out yards. A speed back jukes and cuts looking for that opening to hit and break a long run. Davis hits the first hole he sees even if its not a home run size hole similar to a power back (where a back like JC might cutback or wait for something more). However, instead of then plowing into someone at the second level like a power back would he tries to go around them while keeping his momentum and moving forward. The result is more long runs than power backs but not as many as a true speed back like Charles (and not as many runs for loss either).

  • mg2098

    Lyle great post my man! I was very excited about the Davis pick myself. I watched a lot of Razorback back ball over the past 4 or 5 years in hopes that KC would draft either Mallet or Wilson. Although neither happened I got to watch a lot of Davis. I do agree with the running style as straight up and down but disagree with the easily tripped up. I think its common for backs over six foot to cary the rock like that because of how they view the field over smaller backs. We as fans have got used to the 5’10 200 lb scat back over the years and it has skewed the way we perceive how a running style should be. Backs like MJD, JC, and Ray Rice all have an advantage to hiding behind, and getting lost out of the back field due to their height. The lower they get the better. Priest Homes was the master at this type of running style. Davis on the other hand defiantly fits the mold of the other two freakishly fast big backs in DMC and AP. I think what has not be portrayed here is that at 230 lbs running a 3.7 forty takes almost a perfect running style to achieve. When Davis is running he has no wasted motion or body lean to achieve that kind of speed. Its not that Davis cant juke its that his running style is one cut and hit the hole, and all of his runs are north and south. He will flourish in a zone scheme much like Foster. Even in his subtle shifts he waste just enough lateral motion to make his man miss. He lowers his shoulders and drives his feet on impact to running with aggressiveness to gain extra yards. In all reality Davis is what every coach in the NFL is looking for. In 2010 the man had no flaws to his game in transition to the NFL, and like you I hope he gets back to that form in 2013 for the Chiefs.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I’m not saying he should change his running style, but when a back his size tries to run by defenders (as opposed to over them) with that upright style he leaves himself vulnerable to being tripped up. You can see it happen in several of the clips.

      • mg2098

        That’s true, but you really have to like his balance too. He does break a lot of tackles and always falls forward.

  • chiefridgy

    Thanks for piecing that video together. He looks good.

  • ArrowFan

    I don’t mind the risk of a 3rd pick vs the potential reward. He is big and fast reminds of one Bo Jackson.

    • Danny W

      Bo Jackson? He may have the body type but he doesn’t have the body of work.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Measurables maybe, but he doesn’t run like Bo. I think Bo ran a lot more physical than Davis does.

      • ArrowFan

        See above and then tell me again what you think?

    • Scott Mahurin

      In 1986, Auburn’s Bo Jackson ran the fastest 40 yard dash at an NFL combine, with a reported time of 4.12. This time was scrutinized, but a time of 4.18 run by Jackson within the same week added some support to the legitimacy of the times. Bo was also reportedly able to bench 400lbs. He might remind you of Bo Jackson…but, he isn’t really that close. There has never been another running back quite as big, strong, and fast as Bo Jackson.

      • clay simester

        There’s no way in hell Bo Jackson or anyone else ran a 4.12 or a 4.18 regardless of what anyone else says. Deon Sanders and Darrel Green have been widely considered to be the fastest players to ever play in the nfl at any position, and neither of them ran under a 4.2. Not real sure about the 400lb bench press either, even though thats more realistic than the 40 time

        • BigGil

          Bo’s 40 was hand-timed (as opposed to the partial-electronic timing now used at the combine). General rule of thumb is to add about a quarter of a second to account for human reaction time (which incidentally would put Bo’s time in the Knile range). I could also buy that Bo “benched 400lbs.” since all that’s needed to say that is to do one rep once, even if it damn near kills you. I’m sure lots of NFL players could eke that out (and not just linemen). Hell, after putting up 225lbs. 31 times, I wouldn’t be shocked if Knile could eke out one rep of 400lbs.

          • clay simester

            You are absolutely correct about the hand timed 40. No doubt he was a burner though. As far as the bench press, he was definitely a beast and its really hard to doubt anything about what Bo was maybe capable of. I really really wish i could see legit comparisons between the two, but i havent seen Knile do anything close to being worthy of a Bo comparison. Bo ran right over people and just kept going. Too bad his career was so short

    • ArrowFan

      Bo was unique at his time in that he was big enough to run upright and right at defenders, yet he was fast enough to also turn the corner and go up the side line like someone 50 lbs lighter than he was. Is Davis Bo Jackson no he is not. However he is big enough to run upright and straight ahead yet fast enough to turn the corner and go straight up the side line outrunning everyone on the D. Some of his around the corner runs up the side line reminded me of what Bo did in the NFL.

      • ArrowFan

        See 8:41 and compare to 1:01 of this video. Compaire the entire video and I see lots of similarites. My personal favorate is the one at .31 against the donkeys. I still wonder how was he not playing for Chiefs instead of the Faiders? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBZJHBi33JQ

  • Brody Hall

    So is this guy our new #2 back?

    • Lyle Graversen

      I don’t think there is any question with how high of a pick they spent on him.

  • Jim Harper

    Nice work Lyle. You have releived my reservations about Davis. He may be the perfect compliment to Jamaal.

  • Danny W

    Thanks for the work. What I saw mostly was him getting some huge holes which tells me he at least has the vision enough to hit them. So thats something. I don’t think this guy is elite though. In my personal opinion he should have went in the sixth round (maybe). I just can’t get impressed with this kid I would think if your taken in the third round you should be capable of starting. I sincerely hope he changes my mind though.

    • Lyle Graversen

      I think if he stays healthy and fixes the fumbles he is starting caliber. Does he have “elite” upside? I don’t think I could say that. I don’t think he’s elusive enough right now. Besides the size/speed combo, what I like best is that you almost never see big loses with Davis since he almost always is moving forward. He doesn’t hit as many home runs as JC does because he doesn’t bounce around looking for one. He just heads forward to the nearest opening. JC is the better back, by a landslide, but I think he also has more no gains and runs for loses than Davis will because JC sometimes bounces around looking for the home run.

  • chiefdeorty

    We will have to wait to see what this can bring to the Chiefs 3rd or what ever it is what is,can he be a good back? I think he has all the tools so we will find out, I just understand all the negative talk.

  • dominicscarlatti

    Nice video, Lyle. Thanks for this, and a little Miles to brighten my rainy day.

  • KCPauly

    His open field running kind of reminds me of Steven Jackson, but that sidestep thing he does is frickin’ awesome…Go Chiefs!!!!!

  • clay simester

    Good job on the video. I know that stuff takes time to do. What i saw from the video was that maybe we should have drafted some of those linemen or that fb(#44) cause they opened up holes you could drive a truck through. Most of those runs he doesnt even get touched for the first 15 yards or so. I also noticed that the first man to touch him usually made the tackle. Out of all those plays, he barely breaks any tackles at all, and as soon as someone gets their hands on him he goes down.(even the db’s). He runs a little stiff but he is shifty and looks like when he has the open field he’s gone. On the few receptions it showed, there wasnt anyone within 10 yards of him. I hope he pans out but it looked to me that he had some excellent blocking more than anything else

    • Danny W

      This^

  • Stacy D. Smith

    The kid runs so tall, he’s going to get one hell of a welcome to the NFL. Someone is going to blow him up if he doesn’t learn to get smaller when contact is coming. He’s got wheels though. This team is going to be hell on earth in the open field.

  • BigGil

    The more I think about it, the more I like the pick. Fumbling issues can be cured (didn’t JC have fumbling concerns earlier in his career?). And though he underwhelmed at the beginning of last season, as the season went on and Knile built up his confidence (being less scared at the prospect of potential reinjury) he began to perform much better. JC can be a helluva mentor in both respects. Also, if drafted later he could have been in the mindset of “I’m gonna prove all these teams that passed me up foolish”… could have. But really for a team to do so could have also borne self-doubt: “they’re only taking me b/c it’s low risk for them if I fail, which makes me think that they’ll think I fail”. By taking him so early and while there were other safer good-to-great RBs on the board R&D are basically saying “we believe you’ll be as great as you’ve shown yourself capable of being and are confident that you aren’t as big of a risk as anyone else thinks…”. That’s not to say everything will work out, but I think between a JC-mentorship and his new team (rather publicly) showing confidence in him that he’s in a great environment to return to his 2010 self. Especially if confidence was a bit of a major factor last year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1387073453 Phantom’Da Rhymocide Spade

    I see vision. He uses his blockers, and don’t out run them. The hole that gets you 4-5 yards is the right hole. Anything more is bonus. Also I wouldn’t mind him going down first contact after the first downs been picked up. Except trailing in the fourth quarter. But he will, get lite up running so high if that heads not on a swivel.