Rookie Rundown: RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia

Rookie Rundown: RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia

Fantasy Football Rookie Analysis

Rookie Rundown: RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia

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Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This is the rookie running back that will likely draw the most interest in fantasy drafts and depending on where he lands, he could be an early-round pick. He follows the long-line of NFL-worthy backs from the Bulldogs backfield. The freshman burst on the scene with a 7.6-yard average while playing behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. He shared the backfield with Elijah Holyfield as a sophomore when he scored 13 touchdowns. He became the clear primary back as a junior for a team that usually relies on multiple rushers.

Height: 5-8
Weight: 212 pounds
40 time: 4.48 seconds

Swift was a five-star recruit out of high school and made the SEC All-Freshman team. He earned All-SEC honors last season. He’s the most complete, ready-to-start back in the draft this season as this season’s Josh Jacobs.

Year Games Runs Yards Avg. TD Catch Yards. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2017 15 81 618 7.6 3 17 153 1 771 4
2018 14 163 1049 6.4 10 32 297 3 1346 13
2019 14 196 1218 6.2 7 24 216 1 1434 8

Pros

  • Rare speed for a muscular back
  • Strong inside runner with great vision
  • Surprising leaping ability
  • Outstanding cutting, sets up the defender to miss
  • Tremendous balance after hits or cuts
  • Low center of gravity and shorter size makes him harder to see, harder to tackle
  • Capable receiver that can  run the entire route tree
  • Three-down talent stays on the field
  • Willing pass blocker
  • Lower touches in college mean plenty of tread left on the tires.

Cons

  • Pass protection skills need more work
  • Nagging injuries in college suggest durability issues
  • Never had more than 196 rushes in a season so not used to a heavier load in a longer season.
  • Smaller size could struggle to finish runs

Fantasy outlook

Swift projects as an every-down back who is NFL-ready. Like his fellow Bulldogs Michel and Chubb, he’s expected to be one of the early backs selected and likely the first if he remains ahead of Jonathan Taylor who has also come on strongly. Like 2019, this isn’t considered to be a great class for running backs but that only helps his stock. He’ll end up with a team looking for a Week 1 contributor.

His durability history is a minor concern though he’s never suffered any serious injury. His 4.48 speed is elite though he’s considered quicker than he is fast. He’s been great in traffic and notching first downs and touchdowns. But he’s less likely to rack up a lot of long scores.

His 73 receptions in college translate well into today’s NFL and that’s likely what makes him slightly more attractive than Taylor who only recorded one season with notable receptions.

NFL free agency will obviously impact which teams will still be in the market for Swift when the NFL draft is held and there is a chance that no backs are taken in the first round – that means all teams have a shot at him. Miami, Baltimore, Tennessee, New York Jets, and Kansas City are all in the market to upgrade their backfield – or at least potentially.

 

 

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