2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report


D'Andre Swift

September 14, 2019 1:00 AM EST


DeAndre Swift Scouting Report picture

School: Georgia

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 215

Eligibility: JR

Uniform: #7

Position: RB


Evaluated by: Austin Smith
smith.austinj14@gmail.com
September 14, 2019

Prospect Overview

In recent years, Georgia has been spoiled with the amount of talent they've boasted in their backfield, and D'Andre Swift's name belongs up there with guys like Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley. He may not have the career numbers of guys like that, but 2019 could see him have a special year as the feature back. After sharing carries with Chubb, Sony Michel and Elijah Holyfield over the last two seasons, Swift is primed to get the lion's share of the work as a junior. Considering he racked up 1,667 yards on 244 carries and 450 yards over 49 receptions over his first two seasons, I'm expecting big things from him. Swift may not continue to break off 7.4 yards per run or 9.2 yards per catch, but considering he put up the majority of those numbers against SEC defenses, I believe we could see him push to tally upwards of 1,500 yards of total offense this season. Not only will he get the opportunity to play a featured role in the rushing game, but considering the Bulldogs lost each of the five players that had more receiving yards than the Swift last season, he's going to be the focal point of that entire offense. If he succeeds in that role, Swift could see his draft stock cement itself in the first-round conversation.


DAndre Swift Scouting Report image 1

Positives

Swift's ability to make tacklers miss in the open field is on par with any of the top backs we have seen in recent drafts. He runs with a low center of gravity, and his feet are lightning quick, and the result is often him making tacklers look foolish when he has space. What's more impressive is that Swift has the build to run in between the tackles as well. Listed at five feet, nine inches, his 215-pound frame is more than capable of surviving a constant dose of carries in the trenches, and his explosive play shows up there as well. Swift plays with patience and keen vision, and when he spots a running lane, the explosion shows up as if he were in the open field. He can also adjust on the fly when defenders get initial penetration, which makes him even more difficult to corral. It really doesn't matter where he gets the ball, if multiple defenders aren't flowing to him, he's got the ability to turn it into a chunk play.

DAndre Swift Scouting Report image 2

Also, because Swift has had to share the backfield with a lot of the aforementioned backs, he has developed a presence in the passing game that NFL teams are looking for in a top-tier back. He catches the ball naturally and has the body control to adjust to off-target throws. Swift is also a willing participant in pass protection. I'm not going to say he's an NFL-ready pass blocker, but he positions himself appropriately and delivers a blow. Swift will have to learn to sustain blocks by incorporating his hands in the process, but he's ahead of most backs in his development. I also believe teams will look to take advantage of his quickness by running him on a variety of routes out of the backfield. New Orleans, among a number of teams, find ways to get their backs matched up against players in coverage that don't possess the same athleticism. Georgia doesn't get too creative with their running backs in the passing game, but Swift's skill set should allow him to do so at the next level.


Finally, I love discipline on the football field. So many times, guys with his speed and quickness think they can consistently bounce the ball outside to turn one should be a minimal gain into a big play. Often, that decision turns into a loss of yards that drives coaches crazy. However, Swift is very picky about when he attempts to bounce runs to the outside, and instead, finds ways to grind out an extra yard or two on the inside. That is a very mature approach to running the football, and one that scouts will appreciate. He also plays with a ton of intensity, but we don't see him let his emotions get out of control which is another trait scouts will value.

Areas for Improvement

My biggest criticism with Swift is that he isn’t an intimidating runner when it comes to being powerful. He does occasionally lower his shoulder on players, but he's not a guy that pushes the pile or sets a physical tone. His power comes from his leverage, and when a defender gets as low as him, this deficiency really shows. This area won't ever be a strong suit for him, but there are things he can improve to make him a more powerful runner. Often, his feet go dead at contact, and that won't help his cause. In some of the more intense matchups, such as the 2018 SEC Championship, we saw his feet become much more active once he was wrapped up, but it's certainly not common on his tape.


DAndre Swift Scouting Report image 3

Outside of that, the only questions I have is that we haven't seen him get 200 or more touches in a season. That should change this season, but is this going to be a guy that still offers the same big-play ability in final few games of the season after taking a consistent beating throughout the year. We will get our answer in due time, but until we have it, the grueling 16-game schedule that awaits in the NFL will be a question mark for him.

Draft Stock

Based on what I’ve read, I am higher on Swift than most. I honestly think he could be a top-20 selection. Still, most evaluations I have seen of him put Swift in the first-round conversation, and I expect that to be the case. There just aren't a ton of backs in the league that can impact the game with his combination of explosion and versatility. Many teams value backs differently, and there are a number of talented backs that can enter the 2020 class, but Swift is the most complete of the bunch. With the high emphasis on passing the ball that has taken over most of the league, Swift should have that much more value with his abilities in that area. He's continuously found ways to contribute on a team that has had a lot of talented backs, and Swift is also an intense competitor that brings energy to the offense every time he touches the ball. With a strong junior campaign as the feature back, Swift will likely declare for the draft, and if he tests well, I don't see a running back that has more appeal than him.

Player Comparison

My first thought when I saw Swift was that he reminded me of Sony Michel, who was currently ahead of him on the depth chart. The difference between the two is Swift has a little thicker build than Michel did at Georgia. Still, Michel was an explosive player that could make big plays from any spot on the field. He also had to find ways to contribute thanks to the presence of Nick Chubb, which Swift has done an excellent job of mimicking. Michel played some receiver as well as special teams and complimented Chubb well. The result was Michel becoming a first-round pick despite a career of sharing the backfield and some injury concerns. With Swift having been healthy to this point, and finally getting an opportunity to lead the way, I am anxious to see how that raises his draft stock.

Games Evaluated

vs. South Carolina (9-8-18)
vs. Missouri (9-22-18)
vs. LSU (10-13-18)
vs. Florida (10-27-18)
vs. Kentucky (11-3-18)
vs. Auburn (11-20-18)
vs. Alabama (12-01-18)

Notes from Film

  • He certainly has all the tools to be an NFL back. Speed, agility, and size.
  • Hits the hole hard and runs through arm tackles. You can tell by the way he hits the hole that he is mentally tough. He does so with an urgency as if there is nothing on the other end that can stop him.
  • Runs with a nice center of gravity that allows him to cut with authority. Sinks his hips so sell well when he needs to move laterally.
  • That center of gravity also makes it difficult for defenders to get him down. Perfect example against South Carolina, when he caught a ball in flats. The defender has him squared up, goes to hit him but Swift was low and subtly cut outside. The defender ended up trying to rip him down by the front collar of his shoulder pads, but Swift was too strong and broke through the attempt to pick up the first down. If you're a tackler, you better make solid contact with him, and you better wrap him up.
  • Not afraid to step up in pass protection. Needs to do a better job of extending his arms following contact, but the willingness is there. He also has a good idea of where to position himself in protection.
  • Has no problem being patient when his blocks dictate it. His knowledge of the blocking scheme and vision both appear to be very good through the first few tapes. His ability to accelerate so quickly also makes him all the more dangerous when he's patient.
  • Vision is impeccable when running in the box. He keeps his eyes open and seems to have a knack for finding escape lanes into open space.
  • He makes defenders look foolish when he sticks his foot in the ground and cuts against the grain. Sets defenders up well to use that cut move. He will push hard to the outside to get them running full speed, then stick that foot in the ground and run right by them. There is no better example of this than the first quarter of the LSU game when he left Grant Delpit, one of the best defenders eligible for the 2020 draft, standing straight up after barely getting a hand on him.
  • The combination of his short-area quickness and his ability to separate shows up as a receiver, and he could be a dangerous player in the passing game. Georgia doesn’t ask their running backs to get involved as receivers often, outside of and occasional swing pass or just leaking out into the flats, but Swift could be so much more than that for the team that drafts him.
  • He also looks exceptionally comfortable catching the football.
  • One of the criticisms I have about his running style is that he doesn't tend to push the pile forward. Usually, I would say the player needs to add strength in their lower half, but I don't think that's the case with Swift. I think he lets his feet go dead at the point of solid contact. I'd like to see better leg drive from him in this area.
  • His feet are extremely quick, and he is not a long strider. Because of this, he is always prepared to cut and really makes some wow plays at a moment's notice.
  • I like how he picks and chooses when to bounce runs to the outside. So many college backs do it too often and then get to the NFL and realize that the speed of the game won't allow that. He understands how to grind out tough yards inside, but every once in awhile, he makes the defense pay for overcommitting inside.

    Scouting Video Courtesy of College Sports Wave




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