Summary: Georgia has been a factory for NFL running backs, with a lot of excellent players coming out of Athens in recent years. Thus, it was very noteworthy that Swift could earn carries as a true freshman in 2017 despite Sony Michel and Nick Chubb also in the backfield. In his Georgia debut, Swift averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 618 yards and three touchdowns. Swift took over as a starter as a sophomore and had 1,049 yards with an average of 6.4 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns on only 163 carries in 2018. Elijah Holyfield split the touches with Swift that season. Swift also contributed well as a receiver as a sophomore with 32 receptions for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2019, Swift averaged 6.2 yards per carry for 1,216 yards with seven touchdowns. He had 24 receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown as well. The NFL Scouting Combine was another avenue for Swift to impress, and he blazed a fast 40-yard dash of 4.48 seconds there while looking good in the field drills.
Swift has illustrated his natural running ability and three-down starting potential for the NFL. The first trait that jumps out about Swift is his speed. He is a fast back with a quick first-step and a burst to the second level. He can pull away from defenders, making him a threat to take any carry or reception down the field for a huge gain. Swift does not have the speed of Chris Johnson, but he is a fast back who provides a speed mismatch out of the backfield. In the NFL, Swift will be a threat to break off long runs with rare quickness for a starting back.
On top of being fast, Swift is a natural runner. He has excellent vision and body lean, runs behind his pads, and is patient. Swift sets up blocks and uses his speed to dart through holes before they close. Defenders really struggle to get a hold of Swift, who has great feet that make him very elusive. He is sudden with his ability to cut and change direction. To go along with a nasty spin move, Swift has a devastating jab step with cuts back to the inside, and he routinely uses it to make tacklers grab air. His abrupt juke even works on defensive backs. With his change-of-direction skills and quick feet, Swift can create for himself, turning bad looks into big runs all on his own, plus he is an asset to bail out his line when blocking assignments are missed. Swift is a devastating runner who can overwhelm defenses.
While Swift is not the biggest of backs, he does have strength to his build and is able to break tackles while picking up yards after contact. He is not overpowering for the NFL, but he will be able to shed tacklers to pick up additional yards. Swift also finishes runs well, delivering some blows to defenders while falling forward.
Swift is well-suited for the passing-driven NFL because he is a talented receiving back. He runs good routes out of the backfield and has soft hands. All college backs need to be coached up and groomed for blitz protection in the pros, and Swift will have that learning curve as well. However, he has the potential to be a contributing blitz protector in the NFL.
Sources from a handful of teams say D'Andre Swift is worthy of being a top-20 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He may not go that high because of team needs. Some southeast area scouts say that Swift is a better prospect than Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Josh Jacobs. Swift has the potential to be an impactful back in the NFL as a three-down starter and could be a Pro Bowler early in his career.
Player Comparison: Alvin Kamara. Some team sources think Swift could be used like Alvin Kamara in the NFL. They have similar skill sets with devastating speed, running ability, receiving ability, and big-play potential. Kamara might be a better and more natural receiver, while Swift is a stronger and more natural runner.