The Detroit Lions drafted D’Andre Swift in the second round. Is he the future in the backfield?
Not going to lie, it was definitely surprising to see the Detroit Lions take Georgia Bulldogs’ D’Andre Swift in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With more glaring needs defensively, taking a running back at that time didn’t seem like the best move.
Nonetheless, Swift was still a great prospect. And frankly, I’ll take the skill set he brings even if it’s not necessarily needed. He was arguably one of, if not the best, running back going into the 2020 draft.
However, with an already stacked running back corps, one has to ask if drafting Swift was a move for the future. I mean, 2018 running back draftee Kerryon Johnson is entering only his third year with the Lions. So it’s not like he’s getting too old or anything of that sort.
However, in two seasons, Johnson has barely played the number of games that add up to a full season due to injury. Obviously, it’s not his fault that he got injured. It’s just a part of the game, especially at the running back position.
But you definitely have to wonder if this is going to be a long-term thing for Johnson. Two straight seasons, two straight knee injuries that kept him out for a good portion of the year.
You don’t want to give up on the kid as he’s still very young, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. While Johnson can’t essentially make himself immune to injury, there’s still time for him to do things to lower the chance of getting injured again.
Early in quarterback Matthew Stafford’s career, he suffered a major injury setback as well. Mostly in the upper body/clavicle area. To help himself lower his chance of having another similar injury, he got in the weight room in the offseason and really bulked up around his neck and shoulders. The man hasn’t had another serious injury like that since.
But still, it’s easier said than done. With Swift looming in the backfield now, Kerryon’s time as the Detroit Lions No. 1 back could be running out. The rookie brings a different type of nimbler and shiftier running style than Johnson, which promotes less unnecessary contact.
On the flip side, this could just be an overreaction. The glass-half-full theory is that maybe Swift was brought in as a way to help with Johnson’s injury issues by lowering his workload. I know that’s probably not ideal from Kerryon’s perspective, but in the long run, it really benefits everyone to some degree.
Until we see both of these running backs in action, no one really knows if D’Andre Swift will be the long-term solution for the Detroit Lions over Kerryon Johnson. Everything changes once they get the pads on. Only time will tell how this situation plays out.