Analyst thinks former Detroit Lions underachiever is in real position for career year in 2023

D'Andre Swift was largely a disappointment in three years as a Detroit Lion, but one analyst thinks he's well lined up to have a career year in 2023.
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D'Andre Swift underachieved pretty noticeably as a Detroit Lion, but one analyst thinks he's in position to have a career year in 2023.

Over the course of three seasons as a Detroit Lion, D'Andre Swift teased what his potential was. But he was also consistently banged up, missing games entirely or having to have his workload managed carefully so as to keep him on the field.

After two seasons of seeing it, head coach Dan Campbell was clearly not too impressed when he spoke about the effort to keep Swift healthy at the NFL Combine.

"We tried to do that last year. We tried to take care of him in camp….We thought we had a recipe going into the year, and it didn’t work out,…We’re going to start all over from scratch again. Let’s find another way to see if we can help him stay on the field, you know?"

That was, in hindsight, a foreshadowing that the Lions would trade Swift this offseason. Taking Jahmyr Gibbs No. 12 overall in the draft was the final salvo there, as the Lions then sent Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles on Day 3 of the draft.

Analyst thinks D'Andre Swift will have a career year in 2023

This is the point in the proceedings where fans of any team who trades a player who couldn't quite put it together there will say "watch, now he'll go off playing for the (insert new team)". That fear will exist with Swift among Lions fans until further notice.

Swift certainly landed in a very good situation with the Eagles. He now has one of the few offensive lines in the league better than the Lions' blocking for him, and Philadelphia's overall offensive talent is inarguably better than Detroit's. It also appears the Eagles were teased by Swift's showing against them in Week 1 last year, Or faked out by it, based on the way things mostly went for him after that last season.

Garrett Podell of CBS Sports has Swift on his list of 10 NFL veterans who are positioned for a career year in 2023. The optimistic view starts off pretty thick.

"D'Andre Swift has been a productive NFL running back since joining the league. He's one of five running backs with at least 1,500 rushing yards and at least 150 catches across the last three seasons since 2020, when the Detroit Lions selected him 35th overall in the 2020 Draft. The others in this club are Green Bay Packers Pro Bowler Aaron Jones, New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara, Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowler Austin Ekeler and Super Bowl LV champion Leonard Fournette. "

Podell then obviously mentions Swift's injuries, 10 missed games in three seasons as a Lion, then turns back to laying on the optimism (which is the tone of the piece, to be honest).

"The best supporting cast of his career should be enough for Swift, whose 5.5 yards per touch ranks fifth most in the NFL among 24 players with at least 500 touches since 2020, to stay healthy and produce at a Pro Bowl-caliber level for the first time in 2023. "

In a broader sense, this season is a big one in Swift's career. He's of course going into the final year of his rookie contract. And even if he performs well, the running back market says he probably won't really cash in in free agency next March. But he could do enough to persuade the Eagles to keep him, and/or at least get a multi-year deal.

As for a certifiable career year from Swift in 2023, Lions fans and anyone who follows the NFL enough to know his resume will believe it when they see it.