Knile Davis is an intriguing prospect in this year's NFL draft. When healthy, he is as talented as any running back, but the injuries have slowed him over the years.
Davis is a big running back with outstanding speed. At 5'10'', 227 lbs., he is a guy who can get up the field in a heartbeat. He ran a 4.35 40-time and could factor in as a third-down back at the next level.
In 2010, Davis led the SEC in rushing with 1,322 yards and had 13 touchdowns. After that, the injuries took a toll on him, and he was largely relegated to a backup role for the remainder of his collegiate career.
Injuries will be the focal point for teams, but his speed and patience will stand out on film. He definitely has the size to compete in the NFL but just needs to stay healthy. He is worth the chance for a team in the sixth or seventh round.
Here are some of the standout moments in Knile Davis' career at Arkansas.
A quarterback's best friend is the high-percentage throw to a running back that results in a touchdown.
This is an easy throw to Knile Davis. What stands out on this highlight is not only his ability to make two guys miss but also the presence of mind to stay in bounds going down the sideline.
Once he clears the two defenders, Davis lets his best attribute stand out. His pure speed carries him into the end zone from there.
Once Knile Davis gets the football, he turns on the jets with the best of them. His speed is a force to be reckoned with.
Here are various examples of Davis' speed and how it puts pressure on the defense. As soon as he gets the football, he is up the field in a blink of an eye, catching defenders out of position.
What really stands out is his ability to beat defenders one-on-one in the open field. He is a nightmare to bring down with no help around you.
You always like to see skill position players against an elite defense. Here is a matchup of Davis against the LSU Tigers back in 2010.
Throughout the highlights, you can see Davis struggle to run between the tackles. His best plays come on the edge and stretch plays.
LSU was a fast defense that year, but Davis' speed still stood out. His touchdown run at the 1:42 mark shows off his ability to bounce it to the outside and blow past the second and third levels of a defense.
Most speed guys want to get the football and rush up the field without allowing a play to develop. Usually when that happens, they get stuffed at the line of scrimmage, because no matter how fast you are, you can't run through a brick wall.
This is the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Ohio State. In this game you see Davis show a great deal of patience in waiting for his blocks to develop. He understands he has a ton of speed but doesn't shift into second gear until he knows there's a hole to go through.
Patience is vital for any speed back. A guy like Davis can't rely on his strength and needs his lineman to set up the blocks before pushing the envelope.
A good home run hitter will sit back and wait for the pitcher to tire and make a mistake. The same can be said for an explosive running back.
In this clip, you see Davis against SEC rivals South Carolina and Auburn. In both cases, Davis' first few carries are for short gains, but he turns it on as the defense begins to wear down.
Then, all of a sudden, it seems as if Davis is getting faster as the game goes along. His speed really stands out and his runs start to stretch out. This is when those explosive plays start to come, and one or two of those can be the difference in a football game.