The Miami Dolphins want to address the running back position, whether through the addition of a free agent, a trade, or the Draft later this month. The team has already added depth with the recent signing of Daniel Thomas and Isaiah Pead, but they are still looking for someone to either take over the starting spot on the depth chart, a position held by Lamar Miller last year, or to work as the complimentary back paired with second-year running back Jay Ajayi. One possibility that has floated over the last few days has been Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis.
Davis is buried on the Chiefs' depth chart, a position that has led him to ask the team for a trade. According to a report from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have spoken to the Chiefs about a trade for Davis. If the Dolphins were to make the trade, and as of right now nothing seems imminent, what would they be receiving in Davis? I asked Joel Thorman of SB Nation's Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride, for a closer look at Davis.
Knile Davis is a good sized back with some speed so I can see a place in the league for him. He felt like one of those backs that needed 20-plus carries to really get going. He was the Chiefs kick returner because of his speed and ability to hit a hole and go, which is pretty much who he is as a back. Jamaal Charles went down last season and many of us thought Knile would step in but he hardly played on offense. The culprits are his pass blocking, pass catching and fumbling issues. All three of those contributed to why he wasn't playing last year when Jamaal went down. He has other abilities but he just didn't fit into the Chiefs system very well.
Davis was drafted by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. After an impressive 2010 season at Arkansas, Davis missed the 2011 season with a broken ankle and then seemed inconsistent in 2012 before being selected. Injuries have long been the story with Davis, who also missed time in high school and earlier in his college career due to collarbone and ankle problems. He came into the league with the potential to return to his 2010 form as he fully recovered from his ankle issues, but it never seems to have fully come together for Davis, who shows flashes but was jumped in the depth chart last year when Charles was injured.
Thorman's assessment of pass blocking and receiving issues also do not bode well for Davis. The Dolphins have to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill for once in his career and adding a running back who is a liability in blocking and may not be a great option as a check-down target may not be the best move.
That said, Davis could provide Miami with depth behind Ajayi, and could work as a returner, relieving wide receiver Jarvis Landry of that role. If the Dolphins are serious about keeping Daniel Thomas, who is a solid pass blocking running back and pass catcher, as a third-down back, with Ajayi getting the majority of the carries in the game and Davis picking up a few touches as needed, maybe the move makes some sense. It might all depend on exactly what the Dolphins would have to pay to get Davis, and perhaps it is a trade that is made during the Draft as the Dolphins look at how the board falls, and what running backs are available later in the selection process.