The Detroit Lions made the move to pick D’Andre Swift as he was tumbling down the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that move could prove to be a very good one in due time.
Swift, from the Georgia Bulldogs, enters into the league at a time where running backs with similar college pedigrees are turning out in amazing fashion. From Todd Gurley to Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, the Bulldogs have put out some of the game’s best running backs lately, and Swift seems primed to be the next in line to carry that lineage forward.
But how good will he actually be? After falling out of the first round, Swift’s brand might be dinged a bit as he enters the league, but he heads to Detroit with a chance to change the narrative. That’s just what one SportsGrid pundit is predicting will happen. In debating the impact Swift will make this year with Kerryon Johnson, fantasy analyst Craig Mish predicted that Swift will become the best running back of the group of former Bulldogs.
“Swift was an absolute monster at Georgia. They’ve just been putting out running backs like crazy. Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Swift now too. I think Swift is going to be the best of them all probably in the end,” Mish said. “…Swift is going to be a better running back than (Clyde) Edwards-Helaire in the long run.”
Edwards-Helaire was picked ahead of Swift in the draft, and the others have all had solid NFL careers to this point in time. Arguably the best runners to come out of Georgia historically have been Terrell Davis, Gurley and before them, Hershel Walker. If Swift ends up being the best of that bunch even from a fantasy perspective, it will be huge for the Lions who have needed a consistent ground game to rely on for some time.
Swift will come to Detroit light on hype after slipping a bit, but it’s possible that is the best thing for him in the end. The chance does exist for him to get some immediate touches and become a stud in short order without much attention on him. That’s just what many see playing out this season.
D’Andre Swift Projected for Huge 2020 Season
This year, Swift is expected to play a huge role for the Lions in the backfield. As part of that role, Swift could see a ton of carries and put up some impressive numbers in his rookie season in the league. That’s just the kind of impact Pro Football Focus sees.
Swift is projected to rack up 179 fantasy points this season by PFF. That would represent the second highest total out of the entire rookie class behind only Clyde Edwards-Helaire of the Chiefs. Here’s a look at some of the projected totals:
Obviously, the Lions are going to work to establish the run in a big way this season and Swift figures to be a huge part of that plan. How much of an impact he ends up making could be determined by what the team’s offense looks like, although this projection would be a good one for the team.
Detroit got better at running the ball under Darrell Bevell in 2019, and with an improved offensive line and health, figure to be even better this coming season. If Swift is able to deliver a season like this in fantasy terms, he might just be positioned to be in play for Rookie of the Year honors in the league.
This is just the type of season Lions fans want to see.
D’Andre Swift Stats
Arguably the best runner on the board and a player who many figured would go off the board in the first round, Swift is a hard charging back out of Georgia who was tough in his career playing in the SEC. With 2,885 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career, there is little doubting how well Swift would do at toting the rock and fitting in well within Detroit’s backfield situation.
Swift coming from the SEC will be huge for him in terms of being able to fit in seamlessly to the team. Georgia has put a lot of great runners into the league lately, and the hope for Swift is that he can join the squad and become the next runner that follows in the footsteps of players like Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. All of them have become great, and Swift could be next. He could help Detroit’s ground game over the top in the process.
This rookie season could be a big one for Swift if these productions come true. The Lions hope that Swift can live up to his proud Georgia lineage in his career.