D'Andre Swift Draft Profile
Pros: Swift has a rare mix of speed and strength. In the open field, Swift is one of the hardest backs to tackle due to his killer stiff arm and cutting ability. His low center of gravity and compact structure makes it harder for defenses to bring him down. In the backfield, Swift's vision is impeccable. He sits behind his offensive line waiting for a hole to open up, then explodes through it. His work ethic is shown on and off the field as he fights for every yard. His passing production in college wasn't jaw-dropping, but he was efficient with the ball in his hands, averaging close to 10 yards per reception throughout his collegiate career. Finally, Swift comes from the University of Georgia which has produced some great running backs. Todd Gurley, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb were all products of the Georgia Bulldogs. Given their track record, Swift should be in line for a great NFL career.
Cons: He hasn't been a three-down back in his collegiate career due to his pass protection skills. While they aren't terrible, they still need some polishing. He isn't very great in short-yardage situations. Instead of getting that extra push, he will wait for a hole to open up, which results in loss yardage most of the time. He has never had more than 196 rushes in a season and his collegiate career was bombarded with injuries so durability is a big question mark.
Comparison: Swift shows a lot of traits that can be seen in Dalvin Cook. They are both underrated in the passing game, and while both players don't have that second gear to elude defenders, their strength and agility make up for it. However, both running backs have the great acceleration to burst through the hole and their vision is great. In the right zone run scheme, Swift can be very deadly and effective as a three-down back.
Expectation: I expect Swift to go in the late first or early second. Jonathan Taylor and Swift should be battling it out to see which running back is selected first. I could see a team like the Miami Dolphins or Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking a shot at him in the late first. I don't like the Dolphins situation as the O-Line isn't very good (ranked 32nd in the league last season), but adding him to the Buccaneers offense, with Arians at the helm, could result in a big fantasy season for Swift. Arians was the coach of the Cardinals when David Johnson had both 1000 yards rushing and receiving. Arians also loves pass-catching backs and Swift was very efficient in the passing game so if he lands in Tampa, it certainly boosts his PPR value. The Falcons could be another team that drafts a running back, but in their pass-heavy scheme, I don't know how much damage Swift would do. Regardless, I expect Swift to be an elite running back in the NFL if he can stay healthy.
Fantasy Expectations: Swift has the capabilities to be an effective three-down spot, but his fantasy value depends on his landing spot. Much like Dalvin Cook, he will be the most effective in a run scheme, especially an outside zone run scheme. Teams that run an outside zone run scheme include: Texans, Bears, Giants, Steelers, and 49ers. Swift in a Steelers uniform would be the best landing spot from a fantasy standpoint as we have seen the Steelers produce great fantasy numbers from the running back position regardless of the players: Nonetheless, wherever Swift goes, he should be a three-down back, which will give him the volume to potentially finish in the top 10 running backs.
Ceiling: Dalvin Cook
Floor: Duke Johnson (Miami Dolphin Days)