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Knile Davis’ role for the Pittsburgh Steelers will be two-fold in 2017

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The recently added running back could help the Steelers in a variety of ways in 2017.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers acquired Knile Davis, an unrestricted free agent formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, my first reaction was they picked up a very versatile running back.

That isn’t a false statement, but when you look closer you see the Steelers also acquired a pretty good kick returner at the same time. Davis has three kickoff return touchdowns in his short NFL career, and you would be hard pressed to find a kickoff return man for the Steelers who returned three kickoffs past the 30-yard line in 2016.

To get more information on Davis, I reached out to Joel Thorman, editor of SB Nation’s Chiefs website Arrowhead Pride, to ask what he thought of Nile’s time with the team, and expectations in the black and gold.

Here is what he had to say:

I'm interested to see what happens with Knile's time in Pittsburgh. If you watch him run you can clearly see some talent but he never topped 3.5 yards per carry in Kansas City. It always felt like he was on the verge of breaking out but the results just weren't there. It's hard for a lot of Chiefs fans to forget a key fumble in a playoff game agains the Patriots a couple of years ago. He was a total team guy the entire time despite all that. The Steelers will like him. And of course there's his kick return abilities which was his main role in Kansas City the past couple of years. He could make the team based on that. For evidence, the playoff opener in Houston.

Davis isn’t the perfect free agent prospect, but what free agent prospect is? What Davis lacks as a pure running back, he makes up for by filling the gigantic kickoff return man vacancy on the Steelers’ current roster.

One of the aspects of Davis’ game which will be a welcome sight, is how he is a lot more similar to the style of running back Todd Haley wants to deploy. DeAngelo Williams is a great back, and performed well in Le’Veon Bell’s absences, but he never truly seemed to fit the scheme.

Davis does, or at least moreso than Williams did in his time with the team.

Although some might scoff at the Steelers signing of Davis, he very well is bringing versatility and dynamic play to the lineup, even if it is as nothing more than a kickoff return man and a No. 3 running back on the depth chart.

All-in-all, a good signing for the Steelers, and for Davis.