Detroit Lions rookie running back, D’Andre Swift, is in a great situation.
As Detroit Lions fans, we have some shiny, new toys for the team and none are more intriguing than our rookie running back, D’Andre Swift. Lions fans are out trying to buy his jersey and have Barry Sanders visions going through their heads. While we probably need to give Swift room to be himself, what can we expect from the second-round talent?
There are lots of attributes to love about the former Georgia Bulldogs star. What we’re going to do is compare him and his game to other recent rookies drafted in similar positions to see how he might produce even with backfield mate Kerryon Johnson still in the fold. Swift was drafted early in round two but many thought it was possible for him to be drafted mid-to-late round one.
Swift is just over 5-8, weighs 212 pounds, and runs a 4.48 forty-yard dash, with an explosive 1.59-second ten-yard split time. Translate that to what those numbers mean, he’s a quick, thick-built runner who isn’t that big overall. Many teams prefer the 6-0, 225-pounds type of back, in the Le’Veon Bell mold.
However, when you look at his production in college, the best things are balance, vision, acceleration, elusiveness, and that he’s an all-purpose back that you never have to take off of the field. Not only that but he only had just two years as the featured back at Georgia, never getting more than 193 carries in any year of the three where he played. You can look at his college stats here, at Sports Reference-CFB.
As we mentioned, D’Andre Swift does have to contend with Kerryon Johnson as he competes for carries this fall. While vice president-general manager Bob Quinn drafted both men, Swift was hand-picked by current offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to join the team. Johnson has had two years of being the top running back and had some injuries which have hampered his talents.
Johnson has rushed for a total of 1,044 yards, including 403 yards in 2019. He also started 14 of 18 games that he has played in, stats from the Detroit Lions website.
There are other players who could carve out a role in the offense, too, like thumper Bo Scarbrough, speed back Ty Johnson, and rookie Jason Huntley. We do not see those players as major threats to take carries specifically from Swift, though.
The question is, “Who are some players who have been in similar situations that we can compare D’Andre Swift to?” Here are a few that we can use, Sony Michel, Miles Sanders, and Dalvin Cook come to mind after looking at Draft History’s website.