Football season is ov…never ends! Next up is the combine (2/24-3/2) where grown men watch other grown men work out. Then, we get free agency (3/18) where billion dollar entities tell us they don’t have any money to spend. Finally, we’ll get to the draft (4/23-4/25) where talented 20+ year olds who were earning millions for a university will finally make some money for themselves.
Whether you are looking for dynasty rookie draft purposes or just to get ahead of the redraft crowd, it makes sense to start at the top.
D’Andre Swift – Georgia – 5’9″ 215 lbs. – 1/14/99 (21 years old)
There’s a decent chance Swift is my #1 RB for the 2020 draft class regardless of his NFL landing spot.
- He’s not Saquon or Le’Veon in his patience and visual ability in the backfield, but those are not your average dudes. His vision is an asset and among the best in this draft class.
- He doesn’t rush toward the first opening or only where the play is intended. He allowed that ridiculous O-line at UGA to do their work in front of him.
- One of his strongest assets behind the line is setting up and seeing the cutback lane. He’s both instinctual and responsible with his decisions.
- Acceleration through the line is top notch. He sees the opening and gets up field quickly, on to and past LBs. The acceleration and lateral agility are what make him such a special back. The top end speed is there and he’ll break big plays at the next level, but it’s not elite like his quickness.
- Ran mostly out of shotgun and single back sets at UGA, but with his elite lateral agility combined with the acceleration, there’s part of me that would love to see him in a primarily zone rushing offense.
- A zone rushing offense would be fun.
- Not a big running back by Derrick Henry standards, but Swift can, and will, square up and take on a defender or get in there and run physically when it’s time. His agility allows him to get defenders off balance and pull through their weak arm tackles.
- He has the balance to take a hit and stay on his feet, plus, he can gather himself and get back up to speed. Difference maker as some backs who take the hit, stay on their feet, but pretty much get tackled by the next defender immediately afterward. Will also use his balance to stay on his feet and allow the lineman to give him those crucial extra yards near the goal line. I’m sure Trojan had this motto at one point…you better wrap up.
- Despite running out of the shotgun formation a considerable amount, Swift did not have a lot of receiving work (73 receptions in 3 years). However, when given the opportunity, he showed to be more than capable of handling the task. Good hands and has the receiving ability to catch the ball out in front of him, in stride, and keep running for more yardage. He is not among the backs, or lesser receivers, that have to turn and look back toward the QB and the ball to receive it.
Here’s the full package in one run. Waits for the line, uses the lateral agility to make the first defender miss in the backfield. Then, he hits the jets and is into the second level quickly. Jump cut to avoid another open field tackler and back up to speed for a few more yards before he finally gets brought down.
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