Now before we dive into the future of Kansas City discussing the long term value of Knile Davis, we must first acknowledge the present day greatness of Jamaal Charles. After all, the career he’s built in the NFL is anything short of super human.
NFL games – 95 (64 starts)
Rushing attempts - 1249
Receiving targets - 376
Total Yards from Scrimmage – 9,122
Touchdowns – 57
Those numbers are remarkable when you consider Charles stands a modest 5’11” and tips the scales at 199 pounds. Since he entered the NFL in 2008, Charles has been a production machine. With world-class speed and endless-elite moves, he’s been chasing Jim Brown’s record for career yards per carry ever since he became a starter.
Now we could spend 10,000 words describing Charles and what he has meant to the Chiefs over his seven remarkable seasons. We could also mention the vital first downs he produces highlighted by breathtaking jukes, perfectly timed stiff-arms and break-away runs that end in touchdowns, but we all know about that already.
The fact is the legend of number 25 can’t be stopped. Charles continues to build his legacy, one that will no doubt belong in the Chiefs Hall of Fame someday, perhaps even Canton itself. When you consider his drive to be the very best, and leave his mark in the game for several more years, his value to the Chiefs can’t be understated.
Less clear though is the future of the backfield in Kansas City once Charles slows down. After Charles, the running back currently boasts Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray, Charcandrick West, Keshawn Hill and Spencer Ware
Each name above is intriguing in its own unique way highlighted by varying differences in tailback potential. However, for today, it all starts with the first name on the list. As the standout in the group is the man the Chiefs drafted 96th overall in 2013 NFL Draft, Knile Davis. With that selection, General Manager, John Dorsey and Head Coach, Andy Reid, specifically choose the Arkansas running back to run the ball for the Kansas City Chiefs west coast offense.
Stating the obvious when Davis was drafted, everyone knew Charles was the Chiefs only option at running back. Yet now, it’s safe to feel a sense of modest security knowing that Davis has a future in KC’s offense today and tomorrow.
If you unfairly compare the two backs, Charles and Davis, the understudy doesn’t the produce the same numbers as the master. The presumed fear with Davis is the fact he averages two fewer yards fewer in each rush attempt than Charles. Should the starter fall victim to injury, those precious yards can sidetrack the Chiefs offense.
Davis has stated he believes that there’s no drop off or gap between himself and Charles in talent, but that is only evidence of a football player that believes in himself, as Davis realistically has a long way to go to be on Charles’ level.
At the moment, because Charles continues reign supreme as a statistical anomaly, defenders have to be aware of the fact, with Charles, that gaining five plus yards every time he touches the ball is simply an NFL reality. That once in a lifetime stat can’t be underscored by his back-ups. They must strive to become the elite runner Charles remains today, especially Davis.
Fortunately, Davis has some special attributes of his own. Not many other guys his size run a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash. At 6’0” - 227 lbs, Davis is a large back, and so far in his modest NFL career, he has racked up 2,077 all purpose yards and 13 touchdowns backing up Charles and contributing on special teams.
The fact he’s accomplished all that at the age of 23, one would think he would be pushing for his own starting gig. But to entertain that thought for the time being would be foolish…
”We have one goal, that’s to win a Super Bowl,” Davis said this off-season. “For myself, it’s just to stay healthy and when I get in, take advantage of my opportunities.”
Still not convinced, he’s sincere and confident in his role, whatever that might be in Kansas City?
“I feel like a vet. This is going on my third year, so everything’s kind of slowing down. I know what to expect, I’m comfortable, I’m having fun and I’m enjoying my NFL career, Davis said.
It’s comments like those, that convince me there’s no running back better suited, nor more prepared and physically equipped in this Chiefs offense, to eventually become the successor to Charles than number 34.