At the 2013 NFL Combine, the Green Bay Packers new running back, 5’10”, 227-pound Knile Davis, ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and did 31 bench presses. That is a bizarre pair of metrics.
As for the strength component, I could only find one Packers’ lineman, offensive or defensive, with a higher bench press total – Nick Perry had 35 reps. This muscle-bound specimen is bound to be able to provide some pretty solid pass protection for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay hasn’t seen a running back with Davis’ speed for longer than I can remember. DuJuan Harris recording 4.44 speed at his pro-day 40-yard dash. He also had a compact build, at 5’7” and 197 pounds, but Davis has him on the scales by 30 pounds and is also a good deal faster. In fact, Sam Shields is the only teammate who would be likely to beat Davis in a sprint. Davis is only 25 years old, the age that one’s speed usually peaks, so the 4.37 figure should still be a current measure of his ability.
While the Packers have several decent kick returners, Davis might soon jump to the top of the list. He’s been a regular kickoff returner in each of his three years and five games with the Kansas City Chiefs, and has averaged 27.2 yards per return on 69 tries, including two returns for touchdowns.
As a rusher, Davis has always been a backup. His total of 233 rushes for 775 yards averages out to only 3.33 yards per carry. Given his speed, it is also surprising his longest run is only 48 yards. He’s lost three fumbles, all as a runner.
Davis’ receiving stats don’t jump off the chart either: 31 catches for 264 yards, an average of 8.4. However, the Packers are in dire need of getting screen passes back to being an integral part of the passing attack. Davis should get his opportunities right away to show us what he can do as a receiver coming out of the backfield.
For a player in danger of being cut just two months ago, Davis suddenly has an opportunity to be a major contributor on the Packers – at least until Eddie Lacy and James Starks are healthy. Unlike some other running backs that the team passed on, Davis is just into his fourth year in the NFL – still on the upside of his career. A great opportunity just landed in his lap.
I suspect the Packers were hoping to add youth to the roster, even for what was being looked at as a backup role a few weeks back. It’s no longer a backup role at present. Fans can expect to see the new running back on the field quite a bit on Thursday.