The Detroit Lions have lacked an impact runner for a long time, but with the emergence of D’Andre Swift, it’s possible those days can now be over.
Swift has taken on the look of a very imposing running back early in his career, and it’s possible he is even starting to look like one of the top runners in the league if some analysts are to be believed.
Bleacher Report took a look at buying or selling some early storylines and breakout players this season. Naturally, Swift made the cut on the list, and writer Brent Sobleski is buying the fact that he is a breakout player this year.
As he wrote, while Swift has been solid early in his career, it hasn’t seemed he has enjoyed the potential to be this dominant ever before. Now, given the personnel he is running with in Detroit, a breakout could be firmly in the cards.
“A healthy Swift plays behind one of the league’s best offensive lines. The Lions’ passing attack is taking off thanks to Amon-Ra St. Brown’s ascension and improved weapons elsewhere at wide receiver. Detroit’s featured back has the potential to be in the same conversation as Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb by the end of this season.”
As Sobleski was quick to point out, injury is a variable to watch with Swift, but so far, it looks as if he is able to make a case as potentially a top back in the league.
Putting him in the conversation with players like Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb is quite the complement. That group has been a who’s who of league ground attacks the last few years, with six Pro Bowls, three rushing yardage leader finishes and three first-team All-Pro selections to their credit.
Swift hasn’t been able to hit those numbers so far, but it could be coming time for that soon according to analysts given what he is doing in 2022.
Swift Having Fantastic Impact for Lions
On a hurting ankle, Swift delivered some of the biggest plays of the day for the Detroit offense in Week 2, showcasing his overall talent and ability.
Early in the game, he had an electric 50 yard run to his credit, which showed his ability to burst through the hole and make a big play.
Later on, Swift also had perhaps one of the most impressive touchdown catches a running back will ever make, tumbling to the turf to nab a tipped ball, then getting up and alertly sprinting to pay-dirt.
Swift would finish with 87 total yards and one touchdown on the day, which was solid considering his status into the game was uncertain. That score also came at a critical time to rescue momentum.
So far, Swift is enjoying a great season on the field. He has 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns to his credit to go with 62 receiving yards and one touchdown. That certainly makes him feel elite this season so far.
Durability Swift’s Biggest Question Right Now
As was pointed out in the piece, Swift is a solid player, but his biggest question remains injury history. That’s slowed him down most of all early in his career.
This offseason, Swift committed to bulking up and looking more imposing. He worked hard to make himself more durable, and so far, it looks as if that paid off. Folks took note during OTA sessions as well as training camp. It might not be a mistake, then, that Swift did not miss time in Week 2 with his ankle injury.
Should Swift stay on the field, there isn’t any reason that he can’t start to be thought of as one of the top runners in the league. He can catch and run, and might be a player that looks like an Alvin Kamara clone.
With health, there is no reason he can’t reach this ceiling, proving analysis points like this correct in the end.