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D’Andre Swift Is Ready For Workhorse Role (2020 NFL Draft)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 3, 2020

D’Andre Swift should walk into a 15-touch role on day one

D’Andre Swift, Georgia

Height: 5’8″
Weight: 212 pounds
40-yard Dash: 4.48 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35.5 inches
Broad Jump: 121.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: N/A

In the battle for the No. 1 spot in the running back rankings, Swift is a favorite of many analysts, as he gives you the frame size you want to withstand hits, but the agility of someone who can play all three downs. There have been many backs who’ve had a lot of success coming out of Georgia in recent years, including Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel.

While Swift is a three-down workhorse, he doesn’t have too many miles on his frame just yet, as he was only used heavily these last two years where he totaled 359 carries, 2,267 rushing yards, and 17 rushing touchdowns. He also chipped in with another 56 receptions for 513 yards and four touchdowns through the air. The only downside to his numbers were that his yards per carry declined each year while at Georgia, as he took on a larger role. Still, 6.2 yards per carry in 2019 is nothing to scoff at.

Here’s my detailed scouting report on D’Andre Swift (ratings out of five stars):

Vision/Awareness

Keeps his head on a swivel. Has solid vision, knows where he needs to get on the field, though he’ll sometimes overlook where he currently is while trying to project where he needs to go, leading to a shoestring tackle. He’s good about staying in-between the tackles, doesn’t try to bounce everything outside. In fact, most defenders seem to look for that, and it’s when Swift makes them look most silly, as he cuts inside more often than not. This is a trait that NFL coaches will love, as there are far too many backs who try to bounce runs outside, looking for the home run.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Elusiveness (twitch, juke, tackle-breaking)

Doesn’t “get skinny” as much as I’d like. Breaks plenty of tackles, but he doesn’t do it as consistently as he should. His low center of gravity allows him to move through most weak tackle attempts. Has natural athleticism that allows him to spin, jump, do whatever necessary. Will time his attack on the line of scrimmage with his feet, something that displays patience.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Size/Speed

He’s the perfect build for a three-down running back in today’s NFL. Has enough bulk to break tackles and absorb hits, but not too big to the point he’s sluggish. Has good weight everywhere, properly proportioned. Once he gets downhill, he has plenty of speed to his game, can outrun defensive backs. His initial burst isn’t anything spectacular, though not sluggish, either. For someone with his size, he’s slightly faster than you’d expect. To know that he may not have crazy 40-yard dash times may turn off some, but the ability to break long runs and not get caught from behind is a plus.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pass-catching/Pass Protection

Very competent pass-catcher, doesn’t have to concentrate too much to haul in screens, and was used quite a bit on them. Once the ball is in his hands, he turns into a receiver looking to get yards after the catch. Pass protection does seem to be his biggest issue, though. Lowers his head into blocks and will completely whiff at times. If he were to land with a coach who relies on his backs to stay in and pass-block, he needs to improve quickly, or he’ll be taken off the field. While I believe it’s overrated as a trait, it affects his grade here.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Versatility

He’s not someone who’s going to line-up as a wide receiver any time soon, but that’s not to say a defense doesn’t have to respect him as a pass-catcher. He is someone who should be able to succeed in both man and zone schemes, as his vision/patience combination allows. Bottom line: there’s not an offense that couldn’t make it work with Swift.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Projected Draft Spot

There’s little doubt about Swift coming off the board by the end of Day 2 in the NFL Draft, though the end of the first-round is a possibility when you consider the team would get a fifth-year option on his contract, which is extremely valuable with young running backs. The Dolphins are a team with the biggest need at the position and have picks at 26, 39, and 56. My best guess would be that he goes to them with one of those picks. Other teams to pay attention to are the Titans (if they don’t re-sign Derrick Henry) and the Chiefs.

NFL Comparison

Being a successful running back in the NFL all comes down to opportunity, and Swift is going to get plenty of it based on where he’ll be drafted. For those who’ve never seen Swift play, he’s similar to Dalvin Cook in the fact that he has a low center of gravity, which allows him to bounce off would-be tacklers. Both have a big enough frame to withstand the hits to be a workhorse running back and have good enough hands to not be pulled off the field on third downs. Swift may not be a master of many traits, but he’s solid in all aspects of the game.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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