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John Dorsey's drafts with the Chiefs: running back

In the days leading up to the draft, we’ll look by position at the two Kansas City Chiefs drafts since John Dorsey became their general manager. It’s a small sample size -- the Chiefs drafted eight players in 2013 and six last year -- but we can still learn from it.

We started this series with the offensive line and tight end. We’ll continue here with running back.

Players drafted: (3)

Knile Davis, Arkansas, third round in 2013

Braden Wilson, Kansas State, sixth round in 2013

De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon, fourth round in 2014

For a team with a workhorse featured back like Jamaal Charles and one that doesn’t utilize a fullback a great amount, the Chiefs have spent considerable draft resources at these positions.

But none of these players have been selected with a premium pick, considering Davis was drafted with a pick toward the end of his round. Thomas is also much more than a running back. He lined up as a rookie in a variety of spots, and since he has to be classified at some position, we’re listing him at the spot where he’s also listed by the Chiefs.

Wilson was a huge whiff, even considering he was a sixth-round pick. He was cut at the end of his rookie training camp, and the Chiefs never brought him back, even on their practice squad.

Given the huge presence of Charles, it’s not a surprise Davis and Thomas have been better players at spots other than running back. Both have been good as kick returners, Davis on kickoffs and Thomas on punts. That’s a good sign for the Chiefs that they’re getting something from their running backs when they’re not playing at the position where they were drafted.

Neither appears to have much of a future as a full-time featured back. Davis through two NFL seasons is averaging only 3.5 yards per carry, or far below the average for Charles (5.0). Davis has had his share of problems as both a pass receiver and pass protector.

Thomas is small (5-8, 176 pounds) for a back. The best hope for him on offense is as a receiver.