The Detroit Lions used a premium pick on D’Andre Swift in the 2020 NFL Draft. How might the Lions use their new runner his rookie year?
With the 35th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions surprised most people by selecting Georgia running back D’Andre Swift. The Bulldogs running back first burst onto the scene as a freshman by forcing the coaching staff to give him over 80 carries that year despite being behind future NFLers Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.
Swift took advantage of his carries, running for over 600 yards at 7.6 yards per carry and finding the endzone on the ground thrice. He also caught 17 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown that year.
Swift took off as the top back in 2018, carrying the ball just over 160 times for over 1,000 yards and 6.4 yards per carry while scoring 10 times on the ground. He also contributed heavily in the air, catching 32 passes for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns.
His final year at Georgia in 2019, Swift was featured and given the ball almost 200 times on the ground. He turned those carries into 1,218 yards and seven touchdowns, once again finishing with over 6 yards per carry. He averaged 9 yards per catch as well, totaling 216 yards and one touchdown through the air.
Swift does all of this thanks to his solid straight-line speed (ran in the high 4.4s), impressive open-field vision, and contact balance. However, his most devastating ability is his “dead-leg” move.
The Pennsylvania native has an uncanny ability to plant either leg on the ground no matter how fast he is moving and then explode off that leg in the other direction. Despite knowing how often he uses this move, defenders are left helpless and often grappling at air when they try to bring him down in the second level.
Here’s an example of Swift embarrassing half of the Kentucky defense:
Swift does an excellent job of getting to the open hole along the offensive line and then using his dead-leg move to send a defender flying past him. He then breaks out the move again to send a second defender flying by and the third grasping at air. Lastly, he pours on the speed, accelerating quickly to split two Kentucky defensive backs for the touchdown.