Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Packers Surprisingly Make A Trade For Chiefs RB Knile Davis

The depth behind RB Eddie Lacy was already non-existent after RB James Starks had surgery, and something needed to be done at running back. But I thought GM Ted Thompson would be wait until next offseason and the Green Bay Packers would make due with Lacy and WR Ty Montgomery, until Starks returns in a few weeks. Then it was announced that Lacy's ankle sprain is actually something more and he's seeking a second opinion. So the timeline to add depth was moved up to NOW and something had to be done and it was.
The good news is that burst of speed he showed after he got a wide open running lane. He's not a small back (5-10, 227 lbs.) but he has the speed to run away from guys. That extra gear is something the Packers haven't had from a running back in a while. The Chiefs aren't dealing away a problem either, they just have an embarrassment of riches at running back. They already had two quality backs ahead of Davis (Ware and West) and RB Jamaal Charles returned from injury last week. Davis made the roster this year because he's a special teams player (see above) but he was the 4th or 5th running back on the depth chart, which is too many backs for any NFL roster.
While the above aren't actual quotes, it looks true. The Chiefs were probably going to have to release Davis (5 RBs on a 53-man roster isn't workable) as soon as they needed a roster spot. But the Packers aren't the highest team on the waiver wire so they had to give up something to make sure they could get him. A conditional 7th round pick in 2018 is about the smallest draft pick an NFL team can surrender.

The Packers need a running back right NOW, and Davis has legitimate NFL skills. Unfortunately he's still not a very good player. His only significant playing last came in 2013 as a rookie, and according to Football Outsiders, while his teammate Jamaal Charles was the 3rd best RB in the NFL that season, in the same offense, Davis was one of the ten worst backs in the league. And the fumbles, oh the fumbles. He isn't a long-term solution but he's the best player they'll find right now.

The other bad news related to Davis's addition is that they moved CB Sam Shields to I.R. Shields is getting better and expects to play in a few weeks, but the move to I.R. confirmed it's going to still be a few more weeks. The cornerback position has been a dumpster fire this season and the only player who can really turn it around is Shields, but we'll have to wait longer to see him. Rob Demovsky might be correct and it's possible we'll never see Shields in a Packer uniform again. I'd be surprised if the Packers brought him back next season.

So Lacy and Shields are out, and the Packers traded for the best running back who was actually available at the moment. It's a desperation move, but at those two positions, that's the spot they're in. The good news is that Davis can help, especially if he can avoid fumbling the ball.

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