FAYETTEVILLE — Knile Davis had given up for the night.
After watching the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys make their final selections in the third round, the former Arkansas running back figured he was waiting until Saturday to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Then his phone rang.
“I answered and nobody answered,” Davis said. “So I thought it was just somebody calling me. Then (Kansas City) called me again and the (general manager) picked the phone up and said, ‘Do you want to be a Chief. I was like, ‘Of course I do.’”
Davis relived his draft-night moment a day after becoming the first Arkansas player selected. He was grabbed by the Chiefs with the 96th overall pick, which was two shy from the end of the third round and the second day of the three-day draft.
Davis, who watched the draft with family in Houston, said he was “happy” and “overwhelmed” when his name was called Friday night.
“I’m just ready to put the jersey on and be out there with those guys,” said Davis, who will report for a rookie mini-camp in two weeks.
He’ll have an opportunity to get immediate carries in the backfield, too, working with leading rusher Jamaal Charles. Davis said Charles called shortly after he was selected Friday night and welcomed him to the Chiefs.
“He’s embracing the situation,” Davis said. “He’s taking me under his wing. He’s excited for me to get there and I’m excited to work with him. … That’s big-time.”
Davis rushed for 1,862 yards and 19 touchdowns in his Arkansas career, but most of the production came during the 2010 season. He played a big role in Arkansas’ Sugar Bowl appearance, rushing for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Davis missed 2011 after suffering a broken ankle in preseason practice and struggled throughout the 2012 season. The rough year included several fumbles, which became a red flag for NFL teams as they evaluated the back.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid said Friday night he believes those issues will be corrected when Davis begins practicing with the Chiefs. He called Davis’ a “good football player” who will supply power and speed to the offense.
“It gives you a threat very similar to Charles that when he touches the football he can go the distance,” Reid said Friday night. “You’re talking about a kid that his slowest time is 4.35 so he can skedaddle. He’s 230 pounds. So you go, ‘This is a pretty impressive kid.’ And then he’s a great kid on top of that.”