Scouting Report: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

By: Pete Davidson : April 23, 2013 3:48am

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Arkansas tailback Knile Davis is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma. He is a bit like Texas A&M’s Christine Michael in that he often looks as good as any back in this draft class, but red flags keep him from being a viable first round alternative.

Davis is a large man at 5’10” 227 pounds, but the truly amazing thing about Davis is his speed. The hulking back ran an almost inexplicable 4.37 at the combine. Knile’s measurables alone make him worthy of a selection in this draft, but he can play the game too. There is plenty to like if you watch him over the course of his college career.

The main rub with Davis, and it is a very real issue, is his ability to stay healthy. He’s had serious ankle woes in both high school and college. If I was an NFL GM, I would have a tough time taking Davis in the early rounds in such a deep draft. If NFL GMs feel the same way, Davis could be a steal in the fourth round or so.

As far as his game is concerned, I see a few weak spots. The big one is ball security. Davis has had a few patches where he’s put the ball on the ground. His speed is real and it shows up on film, but his quickness is sometimes hampered by hesitation. Some of this could be attributable to his long layoffs. The one other issue I see is his base. He runs with a thin base at times and that leads to problems. When he keeps a wider base on inside runs, he can be very effective.

So I’ve covered the bad stuff. Let’s itemize Knile’s strengths....

  • Size/speed combo. At 5’10” 227, it is amazing that he ran a 4.37 forty.
  • He’s a north/south runner and he can get downfield in a hurry.
  • Makes strong cuts when he is running well. He can change direction effectively for a man his size.
  • Has quick feet for a big back.
  • He can get to the corner and has the long speed to be very dangerous outside.
  • Has the ability to lean forward and finish runs.
  • Strength.  He did 31 bench reps at the combine.
  • He’s a functional receiver with decent hands. Not a Michael Turner type.

Here’s some game film on Davis. It showcases both the good and the bad. This is the game to watch if you want to be scared off by his ball security issues, but you also see his upside. In fairness, this game is not at all indicative of how well he holds onto the ball.

Knile Davis is a player to know for fantasy footballers. He will be a guy to add for sure in dynasty and long term leagues and he could have a role in redrafts too if he lands with the right team.  We'll firm up his fantasy value in the coming months.

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