It was plain as day against the Dallas Cowboys that the Green Bay Packers needed another running back. Well today, after making a trade with the Chiefs for Knile Davis — they have one.
The trade was first reported this morning and here is a tweet from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, saying that Davis will not only run the ball for the Packers, but may return kicks as well.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 18, 2016
The question is, what kind of impact can he make and how soon can he make it?
Davis was a third-round draft pick back in 2013. He has 775 career rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, yet has a career average of just 3.3 yards per attempt.
Davis also has 31 career receptions, including 16 in 2013 and 11 in 2014. Yet, over the past two seasons, his workload with the Chiefs has diminished.
Last season, Davis had 28 carries for 72 yards. This season, he has one carry for -2 yards. He also has just two receptions for 14 yards and three kickoff returns for 51.
When you look at those numbers, you might be asking yourself, why the hell would the Packers even trade for him?
The answer is because of his potential. If you are going to trade for someone midseason, he might as well have upside and Davis has plenty.
However, the move is a little curious, seeing as it comes one day after the Packers reportedly promoted rookie running back Don Jackson to the 53-man roster Monday.
Unless the trade for Davis changes things, that would mean Green Bay would need to make two roster moves to keep the roster at 53. It could also mean James Starks injury, is worse than previously expected.
As far as Davis is concerned, it’s hard to see him doing much against Chicago Thursday night. But as the season progresses, he could help both in the return game and in the backfield.
The Packers were in desperate need of some experience in the backfield. Someone who understands how to pass protect and that can play in a pinch if needed. He also represents a different kind of runner, which could be refreshing for a team with two big, power backs at the center of its ground game.
Up to this point, Davis’ career has been a disappointment. Yet, in Green Bay, he has a chance to turn things around.
One thing that will make his transition easier, is that the Chiefs, like the Packers, run the west-coast offense. So, even though terminology may be different, many of the concepts will be the same.
It’s hard to determine what kind of impact he can make. But there’s no question about his talent and athleticism. He runs the forty in 4.37 and has some shifty moves as you can see in the highlights above.
The former third-rounder has yet to live up to his potential, but Davis could be the quick third-down, receiving-type back, the Packers have needed for years.
Davis is capable of making explosive plays, both as a back and a returner and while he has failed to reach his potential, maybe he’s a late bloomer and maybe, playing for the Packers will finally help play up to his capabilities.