Should D’Andre Swift Be the First Pick in Rookie Drafts? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile
Image Credit: Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: D'Andre Swift.

On January 1, 2020, D’Andre Swift and the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Baylor Bears in the Sugar Bowl. Following the exits of teammates, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, Swift took over an offense centered around the running game.

Background

Swift was one of the top RBs in the class of 2017. Per 247 Composite rankings, he was the No. 33 overall player and the fourth RB in the class. He was graded as a five-star all-purpose back and received scholarship offers from all of the top college programs.

College Production

Swift entered Georgia at a time when they had, arguably, the most talented depth chart in the country, which led to his usage being limited during his freshman season.

 AttemptsYardsRush TDsReceptionsYardsTDs
2017816189171531
2018163104910322973
201919512167242161
Career439288320736665

He averaged over 6.0 yards per carry during each of his three years and at least 9.0 yards per reception. And while he wasn’t a true receiving back, he did average more than 1.5 receptions per game.

 MS Rush AttemptsMS Rush YardsMS Rush TDsMS TouchesMS Total YardsMS Totals TDs
20170.130.160.080.120.120.06
20180.330.330.360.260.210.21
20190.440.500.370.320.270.19
Career0.280.310.230.230.200.15

Swift’s status as the centerpiece of the offense became clear during his second year on campus. He more than doubled his carries from 2017 to 2018 and nearly doubled his receptions, accounting for over 20% of Georgia’s total offensive output. The only concerning year is probably his 2019 campaign during which he dipped in rushing efficiency, receptions, receiving yards, and overall TDs.

However, Swift’s decline coincides with Georgia’s sharp decline in overall offensive production. They dropped from 19th in total yards per game to 60th.

Swift will most likely eclipse 200 carries for the first time this season which should help alleviate any concerns about his ability to be a workhorse back. While his receiving numbers aren’t overly impressive, he did lead all Georgia RBs in receptions each of his three years.

Draft Prospects

Swift is projected as one of the top RBs in the 2020 draft class. Mel Kiper has him listed as the top RB in his rankings and Todd McShay had him as a first-round selection in his recent mock draft. According to Grinding the Mocks, his expected draft position falls at the tail end of the first round. As with most positions, draft capital is one of the leading factors in future fantasy success so these placements, even early in the process, are a great sign for him as a prospect. If we assume this holds, he appears to be a strong target in Anthony Amico’s RB Model.

While he falls short of the elite node 7 with only 84.9 Adjusted All-Purpose Yards per Game, his career 6.6 yards per carry average places him in node 13 with a high probability for success. Using Swift’s projected draft position from Grinding the Mocks as the basis for his sims in the Prospect Box Score Scout, the results are a who’s who of overdrafted RBs from top schools, some of whom have had successful careers anyway.

This list shows that Swift’s combine will be critical to help separate him from the busts in this group. The clear disappointments — Matt Jones, Mike Davis, and T.J. Yeldon — all had forty times above 4.60.1

With his pedigree, production for a college powerhouse, and success rate in the advanced models, Swift should be in consideration for the top overall pick in rookie drafts.

Image Credit: Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: D’Andre Swift.
  1. And apart from Yeldon were all drafted well below where Swift is expected to go. Trent Richardson is the lone bust on this list who ran a sub-4.6 forty with first-round draft capital, but it’s easy to forget he scored over 250 PPR points as a rookie, an outcome Swift fans and drafters would gladly welcome.  (back)

Matt Wispe

Learned how to write letters in 1992. Learned how to coherently write in 2016.
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