Making the Case to Not Draft D’Andre Swiftby Mason Thompson August 21, 2020 2 comments
The 2020 NFL Draft featured a plethora of intriguing options at the running back position and even included a first-round selection. Unfortunately for this year though, most of those running backs are being featured in a committee instead of being labeled as the bell-cow back. Earlier this week, I dived into why Jonathan Taylor shouldn’t be selected at his current draft price which you can view here. Now, I will take a look at D’Andre Swift and why redraft players should stay away from him this year. Currently, Swift is being selected 64th overall as the RB26.
Make sure to check out all of our other Making the Case articles.
Despite having another young back in Kerryon Johnson, the Lions thought they needed another running back and took Swift with the 35th selection in the draft. Following an impressive college career where he had almost 3,000 rushing yards and over 600 receiving yards, Swift was touted as one of the best backs in the class. Unfortunately for him, he goes to a Lions squad that already seemingly had their back of the future in Kerryon Johnson, if only the coaching staff had given Johnson opportunities.
While Johnson only played eight games last year, the coaching staff only let him receive 113 carries and 10 receptions. Even when Johnson was given any opportunity, Detroit’s offensive line didn’t give him much help. It seems as though the Lions have given up too early on him, which is also another cause for concern for Swift. The Lions are afraid to commit to a running back, even if that back shows that he has talent, which Swift has a ton of. Johnson has tried getting on Patricia and the coaching staff’s good side but hasn’t been able to do so yet and was even losing snaps to Ty Johnson and Tra Carson at the beginning of the season last year. Even Bo Scarbrough has gotten playing time in this offense but has done well with his opportunities.
While Swift is talented, the shortened offseason drastically impacts him. Even without that though, he would’ve been in a committee with Johnson and Scarbrough who both have playing time already in this system. Don’t be surprised when Johnson starts getting the majority of the carries earlier in the season with Swift taking a backseat. Don’t get in love with a rookie running back who might not even be the starter in a non-rushing offense.
The Lions coaching staff has been scrutinized since coming to Detroit and it will continue to as long as they continue to lose, which drastically impacts Swift. Coming in as RB26 right now, he is being taken over Raheem Mostert, Kareem Hunt, and even J.K. Dobbins, all who are in run-oriented offenses that Detroit is far from. Detroit ranked 21st in the league in rushing offense last year and was even worse in that regard in 2018. Matthew Stafford is coming back from an injury and showed that he can still play at a high-level and was on-pace for an MVP-like season last year. Detroit is a passing team and what makes matters worse for any running back here is that the Lions aren’t a very good team, meaning Detroit will be passing more often than not.
Those two points are enough as it is but to put this even further, the Lions offensive line was bad enough already last year and had two starters leave in free agency. Graham Glasgow and Ricky Wagner went to Denver and Green Bay. Detroit severely downgraded and will have either Oday Aboushi or Jonah Jackson starting at the right guard spot, and the severely overpaid Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle. Lions running backs averaged 3.9 yards per carry last year and had a better offensive line than they do this year.
Swift has all the talent to be a great running back but unfortunately, he’s on the Lions. The lack of an offensive line, along with being in a committee on a losing team isn’t a good equation for fantasy success. Players should look elsewhere in the fifth and sixth rounds as Swift won’t give players weekly RB2 numbers and might not even be a weekly FLEX play either.
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