D’Andre Swift NFL Draft Profile: A Filthy Cut and Speed to Kill (Scouting Report)

The University of Georgia has brought some strong running backs to the NFL of late, with Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel being the more recent ones. D’Andre Swift is the latest prospect who is coming out after three strong seasons. He never topped 200 rushing attempts in a season, but the production was there regardless. Swift is among a few talented backs that will be looking to go within the first two rounds of this draft. Miami remains linked due to their need for a three-down back and have draft picks up front to take a swing. Swift is a terrific runner and also works well in the passing game. His ceiling is high, and with the right landing spot, Swift can have a bright NFL career.

D’Andre Swift College Production

Year G Att Rush Yds Y/A Rush TD Rec Rec Yards Yards/Rec Rec TD
2017 15 81 618 7.6 3 17 153 9.0 1
2018 14 163 1049 6.4 10 32 297 9.3 3
2019 14 196 1218 6.2 7 24 216 9.0 1
Career 43 440 2885 6.6 20 73 666 9.1 5

Georgia has usually had two-three very good running backs that they rotate well throughout the season. A heavy workload was never going to be there for Swift, and that may be a good thing if you are a firm believer that the college workload has a negative affect on NFL upside. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons, averaging over six yards per carry. In his college career he rushed for over 6.5 yards per carry, and also averaged 9.1 yards per reception. He is a threat in both areas of the game. Swift had over 3,500 total yards on 513 touches with 25 touchdowns. He didn’t see the workload of Taylor or Dobbins, and therefor that massive production isn’t shown.

Video Breakdown

There is a lot to like about D’Andre Swift, and at 0:10 we see him make a decisive read through an open hole break two tackles before exploding in the open field. Swift has tremendous footwork for his size and great balance as well. As mentioned above he wasn’t asked to do a ton in the passing game, but he shows good hands and patience in the screen game at 0:35. He catches the ball before looking up field and then puts on that show of athleticism and speed. Swift is a shifty back and his cutting ability is going to make him a star at the next level. He is also someone who will look for the extra yards. At 2:17 we see him in a more short yardage situation where he lowers his pads and picks up the touchdown. This will be tougher at the next level, and he could give away some goal line looks. He may not look like a big bruising back, but he has tremendous strength and balance. We see that again at 2:26. Throughout the video we see his acceleration, where he can turn on the jets in just a quick second.

 

Pros

  • Vision
  • Footwork
  • Balance
  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Hands
  • Elusiveness
  • Strength
  • Cutting Ability

Almost everything about Swift’s game is a pro. He can be patient in the backfield and explode through holes with his strong acceleration and vision. Once he gets to the open field he is tough to bring down, and his cutting ability is second to none. A lot of this can be tied to his strong footwork and balance. His 40-time isn’t going to wow anyone, but he is a lot faster than what that will show. Swift can get to the outside and really turn on the burners. I like his strength for his size and he shows a tremendous work ethic. He will fight for extra yards and works hard on all three downs. The production numbers won’t show it, but Swift was efficient in the passing game, and is going to be used there at the next level.

Cons

  • Pass Protection
  • Size In Short Yardage Roles

Swift is going to be a three-down back at the next level, there is no doubt about that. We haven’t seen a ton of tape with his pass protection, but when asked there were some inconsistencies. He is a bit narrow which doesn’t help, but this isn’t a huge issue. In 2019 we saw Swift struggle a few times in short-yardage situations, especially near the goal line. At 5’9″ he is not a big goal line back, and we have seen guys of his stature give away some goal line touches to bigger backs. That might be the case for Swift.

NFL Comparison

Duke Johnson / Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook and Duke Johnson are two names that come to mind. Cook has that explosiveness and terrific vision. Johnson is an excellent receiving back, but an underrated runner. When Swift bounces to the outside and hits those one-step cuts, you can see a lot of Johnson from his days at Miami. It is unfortunate, but Swift is likely going to go onto have the career that Johnson should have had. Cook works well in a zone run scheme, and the same goes for Swift. All three are around the same size as well and show similarities in the way they play.

Best/Worst Fit

The best fit for D’Andre Swift would be to stay in-state and land with the Atlanta Falcons. Devonta Freeman has had injury issues the past few seasons, and is about to be 28 years old. While I believe Freeman still has some value, he is best suited as an RB2 behind a more explosive runner. Atlanta’s offensive line has been a work in progress of late, and would be a better fit than where many mock drafts see him going, which is Miami. The Dolphins offensive line is dreadful, and I have a hard time trusting them to use him the correct way in that offense.

Skill Ratings + Breakdown

Vision – 9

D’Andre Swift’s vision is one of his better attributes. He is patient in the backfield, but he also knows when to attack a gap as well. Whether it is inside or outside, Swift’s vision is elite.

Agility – 8

The one-cut move he has is lethal, and he is an extremely shifty back making him a tough guy to bring down but to also read where he is going. His acceleration is also a major plus for him.

Speed – 8

Swift projects to run around a 4.45-4.49, and we see his speed when he hits the open field. After cutting a corner or working in the screen game, Swift can hit that next level with a real burst. He is a home run threat.

Ball Security – 7

We did see Swift have some careless ball carrying mistakes, but this isn’t too much of a concern. However NFL coaches will likely put more of a focus tightening this up a bit.

Receiving Skills – 8

The footwork and hands make him a strong receiving back. He runs routes well and is also above average in the screen game as well. Swift projects to be a strong three-down back at the next level.

Pass Block – 6

I worry about Swift in the pass blocking department just a bit at the next level. He showed some promising techniques at the college level at times, but did have some issues against better defenses.

  
Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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