Rookie Spotlight: D’Andre Swift, University of Georgia
Height: 5’ 8 1/4” (official)
Weight: 212 lbs (official)
Arm: 29 7/8”
40 yard dash: 4.48 (official)
NFL Comparison: Alvin Kamara, Duke Johnson, Dalvin Cook
– elite footwork
– low center of gravity
– high football IQ
– quick change of direction
– accelerates quickly
– reliable pass catcher
– ball security issues
– punishing running style
– doesn’t always drive his legs through tackles
– never handled a full load
Scouting Notes: Swift lives up to his name as the fleet-footed Junior from a storied Georgia running back system. He shared the backfield with current NFLers Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Elijah Holyfield during his time in Athens, managing a 7.6 YPC average as a true freshman with Chubb and Michel in the mix. The season after that, he shared the backfield with Holyfield almost evenly, and he still managed over a thousand yards.
Footwork is the name of Swift’s game, and you’re going to be hard pressed to find another runner with the open-space evasiveness he possesses. He can embarrass defenders in so many ways, whether it’s his ability to stop and start on a dime, his quick cutbacks, ankle breaking spin moves or just good old-fashioned strong arms – Oh, I forgot to mention the hurdles too. He rarely gets stopped in the backfield, and though he is pretty easily brought down with a good level tackle, he usually keeps his center of gravity low enough to glance indirect blows.
Swift has a comprehensive knowledge of blocking schemes, and he’s willing to wait for his plays to develop before striking out. It’s the kind of patience you learn in a pro-level system like Georgia’s. The one knock on Swift’s game as a runner is his ball security. He had 7 fumbles during his career, so he’ll need to shore up his ball protection at the next level.
It’s debatable whether Swift’s relative lack of carries is a hindrance or a plus – He had only 440 carries in college, while in comparison Jonathan Taylor had over 300 just in 2018. Swift is comparatively fresh compared to a lot of feature backs entering the league, but we don’t know if he can handle a full workload like someone of Taylor’s experience.
There’s an argument over whether Swift is actually the best running back entering the draft, we still like Taylor more, but he is almost certainly the best receiving back of the top-end group. Swift dropped only 3 of 76 catchable passes in his college career. He also ran a more diverse route tree than most 3-down backs entering the draft. As a pass blocker, Swift will need to improve his consistency, but he has the capacity to be a serviceable blocker if coached up.
Fantasy Outlook: Georgia churns out starting caliber backs, and Swift is no exception. His pedigree will probably give him the leg up over Taylor in the draft for that reason. You can’t really fault a guy who put up solid numbers with such premium competitors as Michel and Chubb sharing the backfield. Swift isn’t as fast as Taylor, but speed for a running back isn’t the vital trait it is among receivers or corners – and 4.48 isn’t slow anyway. Swift will get a chance to start almost anywhere he lands, and he’s likely to do a bang up job as a 3-down back. He’s extremely versatile, so he doesn’t need to come off the field for any reason. Like I said before, I still prefer Taylor overall – we’ve seen him carry the weight of a full workload and excel, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Swift leads all rookie backs in total yardage. He’s the complete package and worth a top 2-3 RB pick in dynasty and at very least a mid-round pick in season-long formats.
From the Georgia Athletic Department:
* 186 rushing yards vs. Auburn, 2018
* 25 rush attempts vs. Florida, 2019
* Long rush of 83 yards at Kentucky, 2018
* 6 receptions vs. Alabama, 2018
* 84 receiving yards vs. Florida, 2017
2019: Coaches’ All-SEC 1st Team…All-SEC 2nd Team by AP…named one of four permanent team captains…co-winner of Vince Dooley Offensive MVP, given at team’s post-season awards gala…a key player on Georgia teams that won 11 or more games three straight seasons, won three straight SEC Eastern Division titles, and played in three straight New Year’s Six Bowl game (2018 Rose, 2019 Allstate Sugar, 2020 Allstate Sugar)…finished with 2,885 rushing yards for his career, good for seventh place on UGA’s all-time list…played in all 14 games, starting in 11…team’s leading rusher with 1218 yards on 196 carries, with seven TDs…also had 24 catches for 216 yards, including a 48-yarder for a TD vs. Arkansas State, as well as a 44-yarder vs. Tennessee…in the Auburn game he became the fifth player in UGA history to have multiple 1,000-yard seasons and first since Nick Chubb (2014, 16-17)…also had nine career games of over 100 yards rushing…SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance vs. Kentucky…named one of three team captains for the Kentucky, Florida, Missouri and Auburn games…limited significantly in season’s last two games because of a shoulder injury…named to pre-season watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year…Sporting News Preseason All-America Second Team…Athlon Sports Preseason All-America Second Team… Sports Illustrated Preseason All-America Second Team … CBS Sports Preseason All-America Second Team … Preseason All-SEC First Team Offense by media.
Quotable from the Combine: