Chiefs position analysis: running back

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Today’s positional analysis takes us to running back, where the Kansas City Chiefs’ best player resides.

Roster (7): Jordan Campbell, Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray, Eric Kettani, Joe McKnight, Anthony Sherman.

Potential 2014 free agents: none.

The position: The Chiefs asked a lot of Charles last season and he consistently delivered. Charles led the Chiefs in rushing, receiving and touchdowns. It took a concussion that knocked him out of the playoff game in Indianapolis before Charles stopped being productive. Charles is still only 27 but has a lot of wear and tear on him. It would be wise for the Chiefs to plan for the day Charles slows down or has another long-term injury similar to the ACL tear that ruined his 2011 season. They drafted Davis in the third round last season. His season started slowly and he had trouble with his long-standing problem with fumbles. But late in the season, Davis proved to be more than adequate of providing relief for Charles and capable of stepping in to the featured role. Then Davis broke his leg in the playoff game and Kansas City’s offseason plans at this position hinge on how quickly he will return. If Davis won’t be ready by the start of the regular season, the Chiefs need to find some help for Charles. They clearly weren’t comfortable with Gray, who was passed over for playing time even when Davis was struggling. The signing of McKnight, formerly of the New York Jets, is an interesting one. McKnight has loads of ability but he wasn’t very productive in New York. Sherman was excellent as a lead blocker at fullback last season and also has some receiving ability.

The Chiefs should keep: Charles, Davis, Gray and Sherman. McKnight could knock Gray from the roster with a strong showing at training camp and the preseason.

The Chiefs should dump: Campbell and Kettani.

Free agency/draft priority: The Chiefs have other places to spend their resources.