02 Dec D’Andre Swift: College Spotlight Series
College football season is coming to a close and scouts are starting to get a clearer understanding of certain player’s skillsets entering the 2020 NFL Draft. This series will focus on offensive players from college that could make a difference in redraft fantasy football leagues. First up, D’Andre Swift.
D’Andre Swift (Georgia)
Almost every analyst’s consensus number one running back is D’Andre Swift. The 5-foot-9, 215-pound collegiate star represents the Georgia Bulldogs, which is the previous home of Terrell Davis, Garrison Hearst, Herschel Walker, Todd Gurley, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb.
Swift is tremendous when cutting back and does so on a dime because of his excellent footwork. He has a jump-cut that breaks ankles and is slippery when defenses try to bring him down. Swift’s power comes from his legs, large frame, and a balance that deflects defenders trying to tackle him low.
With a dead-leg move that demonstrates he is going in one direction, the Georgia running back can swiftly (no pun intended) plant and move in the opposite direction, creating running room which was not initially present. Swift will need to apply more creativity in the NFL, though. He needs to learn that using a low pad level and plowing through the line is sometimes the best option, something he doesn’t do often enough in college.
Swift is patient and will find the holes. As a strong finisher, Swift possesses the strength to carry defenders, gaining valuable extra yardage. He doesn’t need to bounce everything outside or get around the corner, but has the speed to do so.
Swift is also a capable pass-catcher. He catches the ball naturally and adjusts well to poorly-thrown balls with good body control.
Most importantly, he is willing and able to pass block. He has a good base, but definitely needs some work to be more NFL ready.
Here is a look at Swift’s 2019 season thus far. Graphics by Expand the Box Score.
Swift’s Experience Level
Swift’s experience is limited, as this is his first full season as Georgia’s primary running back. He found it difficult to get playing time, backing up Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, as well as sharing time with Elijah Holyfield in the year prior. This did, however, limit the wear and tear on his body and help him prepare before stepping onto the field.
“I learned how to carry myself as a pro without even being in the league,” Swift recently told The Draft Network. “As one of the leaders on this team, people look up to me now, and I have to make sure that I’m setting the example by doing the right thing, which is what I learned from [Michel and Chubb] when I was a young player. I gotta lead by example.”
Even though Swift didn’t get much action early on, he did have opportunities in 2017 as a true freshman and five-star athlete out of St. Joseph in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 618 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.
In his sophomore season, Swift became the starter, showing even more promise by collecting 1,049 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 6.4 yards a carry while splitting time with Elijah Holyfield. Swift showed promise as a receiver, as well, catching 32 passes for 297 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.
As a junior, Swift is averaging 6.3 yards per carry with 7 touchdowns and 921 rushing yards on 147 attempts. Below is an inside look of Swift’s last three seasons at Georgia. Graph provided by Expand the Box Score.
Swift’s future was in jeopardy after a scary moment in the Georgia Tech game in 2019. When Swift went down in the third quarter with a shoulder contusion, he did not return. Head coach Kirby Smart announced he would be “fine” for the upcoming SEC Championship game against LSU, adding, “We’re hopeful that he’ll be able to play.” Even if Swift doesn’t play, this injury doesn’t seem serious and shouldn’t have a major impact on his draft status in 2020.
Swift has a good build and explosive burst, hitting the hole hard with the capability to accelerate through the opening. His long speed is a concern, but he possesses great vision and can see into the second-level. His lateral agility helps him play on any offensive scheme. Swift has a lot of upside and should be the first running back off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft.
My love of sports came as far back as I can remember. Included in that passion has come my enjoyment of writing. You can find my editorials covering anything fantasy related from injuries, podcasts, to videos throughout the interweb. I look forward to bringing an unique insight to anyone who may be searching for it. Follow Mike @RFLRedZone