The Detroit Lions grabbed D’Andre Swift early in the 2020 NFL Draft as he was sliding down the board, and that decision might pay off in the long run if Swift becomes a star player in the league.
What could push him to that end, though? Talent might only be part of the story. Swift attended a running back factory at Georgia, and it just so happens he leads that factory in terms of one career stat in yards per carry.
ESPN’s Field Yates was quick to point out the stat when discussing Swift’s potential for the Detroit backfield as he gets set to enter the league this year.
“This is one of my favorite stats. You think about all the great running backs that have come from Georgia. Nick Chubb, great player. Sony Michel, who had an awesome rookie postseason, we’ll see what he makes of his NFL career.Todd Gurley, one of the greats. We’ve seen some studs out of Georgia. Knowshon Moreno. We’ve had a lot of really, really good players. You know who leads Georgia in terms of career yards per carry? (D’Andre Swift).”
The implication, of course, is that Swift will be able to make a huge impact in the league with the Lions as a result of his stellar college career in a place that routinely churns out great running backs. For Detroit, that’s the hope in a big way moving forward.
If Swift can live up to this billing, he might just end up the best of a great bunch in his career.
D’Andre Swift Called Rookie of the Year Candidate
Recently, NFL.com took a look at projecting some of the top contenders for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Writer Lance Zierlein placed Swift in the No. 3 position entering the season just behind the likes of Joe Burrow and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
“Swift deserved more run in conversations about the top offensive players in the 2020 draft. He ultimately slipped to Round 2, where the Lions nabbed him with the 35th overall pick. While Matthew Stafford has filled up stat sheets on a consistent basis during his 11 seasons, Detroit hasn’t won a playoff game since the 1991 campaign, and the team’s running-game woes have been a main culprit for that drought in the past two decades. Swift enters the NFL with plenty of tread still on the tires. He features outstanding vision and change-of-direction efficiency to make the most of what is blocked for him. His team might not win as many games as Edwards-Helaire’s this season, but his numbers could look similar.”
The Lions haven’t had a running back in the conversation for such an elite award in seemingly ever, so if Swift can deliver right off the bat, that would be a huge thing for the team’s offense.
Swift is getting a ton of buzz coming into the 2020 season, and if he starts off fast, the team will benefit. Obviously, Swift will have huge competition for such an award, but there is a chance he will be in play for it as this analyst predicts.
Analyst Predicts Huge Things From D’Andre Swift
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 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 to help in getting his career going.
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