The New York Giants aren’t going to be investing a high draft pick in a running back. That’s one thing we can probably feel pretty confident about saying. We can’t say definitively that they won’t be selecting a running back at all in in the draft, but if they do, it will likely be a late round pick.
So it is very unlikely that the Giants will be spending a draft pick on D’Andre Swift out of Georgia. Swift is one of the most well-rounded running backs in the draft and has the potential to be the first back off the board. But what kind of runner is he, and in what kind of system would he fit best?
Prospect: D’Andre Swift (RB, Georgia)
Games Watched: vs. Notre Dame (2019), vs. South Carolina (2019), vs. Florida (2019), vs. Auburn (2019)
Red Flags: None
Games Played: 43
Yards: 2,885 (6.6 yards per carry)
Yards: 666 (9.1 per catch)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 25 (20 rushing, 5 receiving)
Yards: 1,218 (6.2 yards per carry)
Yards: 216 (9.0 per catch)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 8 (7 rushing, 1 receiving)
Best: Short area quickness, agility, balance, vision
Worst: Long speed, pass protection
Projection: A starting running back in an offense which uses zone concepts and running backs in the passing game.
Georgia running back D’Andre Swift has good size to go with good overall athleticism, great agility, contact balance, and good vision to make a well-rounded skillset for a running back at the NFL level.
Swift lines up across the Georgia offensive formation, playing snaps at running back in the shotgun, behind the quarterback, as a slot receiver, and as a wide receiver. As a runner, Swift shows very good patience behind the line of scrimmage, running with good tempo to allow holes to develop. Once he gets to the line of scrimmage, he does a good job of exploding through the hole and up to the second level. He has good vision and cutback ability, showing strong start-stop agility to make defenders miss and take advantage of cutback lanes as they develop. Swift shows very good contact balance and play strength, with the ability to use subtle moves to deflect incoming tacklers, allowing him to bounce off of hits and pick up yards after contact. He also has a good ability to sink his hips, lower his center of gravity, and make sudden cuts to force missed tackles.
Swift is a capable receiver, both out of the backfield and lined up as a receiver. He generally runs his routes well and presents a good target for his quarterback. He is also frequently used as a check-down option in the passing game.
Swift has the ability to generate big plays, but does not show the long speed to run away from defenders. And while he shows good play strength and competitive toughness as a runner, he needs to show it more consistently as a pass protector. Swift needs to be more consistent in his pass protection technique, and be more aggressive in engaging defenders.
Overall Grade: 6.4 - Has the traits to become a quality starter as a rookie. Should be an immediate contributor on any team that drafts him. A late first round, or early second round value. [Grading Scale]
D’Andre Swift projects as a starting running back in the NFL, and should be at his best in an offense which uses a zone blocking scheme and incorporates the running back position into its passing game.
While Swift has the play strength and contact balance to run in a man-gap scheme, zone schemes offer more opportunities for him to use his vision and cut-back ability to create. Swift is shorter than average for an NFL player, but he has good thickness throughout his upper and lower body, as well as an ability to lower his (already low) center of gravity. This makes him difficult to tackle, as he can change direction quickly as well as let him carry defenders to pick up extra yards after contact.
He is a good, but not great, athlete, with enough speed to get the edge as well as maintain separation from most linebackers to pick up chunk yardage. He doesn’t, however, have that elusive “second gear” to run away from defenders in the open field. Swift is still capable of big plays, but will likely be much more of a consistent producer than home run threat at the NFL level.
Some coaches might want to see an improvement in his pass protection before he sees consistent reps on all downs, however his ability as a receiver should be an asset to teams like the Kansas City Chiefs or New Orleans Saints who use running backs as match-up weapons.