Detroit Lions: D’Andre Swift will be a dynamic weapon for the offense

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

It’s becoming clear that Detroit Lions second-round pick D’Andre Swift will be a multi-dimensional threat capable of playing all over the field in 2020.

The early reports from Detroit Lions training camp are here, and rookie running back D’Andre Swift is having an abundance of success in the team’s passing game. In the early going of activities at the team’s training facility in Allen Park, he’s already managed to turn heads with only a few practices under his belt. Some of those heads aren’t even on location currently.

“He is a very good route-runner, he has excellent hands, and he has a very good understanding of space and body control when it comes to his route running,” says NFL analyst and former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

During a recent interview with MLive, Orlovsky also theorized, “I just see them utilizing him as much as a pass-catching threat as he’s going to be a run-commitment threat in the run game.”

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The former University of Georgia Bulldog has specifically stood out in one-on-one drills against defensive players and is drawing comparisons to current NFL multi-threat backs Christian McCaffrey (Carolina) and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans).

Talk on the street says Swift has been virtually unguardable when drilling against teammates as a pass-catching threat out of the backfield and downfield.

Although this may be surprising to some, Swift’s statement posted on the team’s website seems to suggest otherwise. “I always took pride in anything getting out of the backfield, playing mismatches against linebackers, and just get into open space, making people miss and running crisp routes and catching the ball.”

What can Lions fans expect from Swift this season?

If the reports and comparisons are accurate, expect Swift to receive plenty of opportunities during camp and the early part of the season to establish himself as the team’s lead back. His combination of speed and elusiveness will bode well for a Lions ground game that’s seen only three 1,000-yard rushers since Barry Sanders retired in 1999.

Swift will be expected to push third-year starter Kerryon Johnson for playing time, as the Auburn University product has missed 14 games due to injury over the last two seasons for a Lions offense that has produced only three 1,000-yard rushers since Barry Sanders retired in 1999.

By taking a platoon approach with this stable of backs, second-year offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will hopefully keep each player fresh and upright. In the long run, both he and Lions fans can hope for similar successes seen by multi-back tandems in New Orleans and San Francisco in recent seasons.

Head Coach Matt Patricia has been talking about establishing the Lions as a “run-first” team dating back to last season. However, at the time, the organization lacked the necessary depth to make that a reality.

Now, with the acquisitions of Swift and budding Guard Jonah Jackson, the ideology may come to fruition. At the very least, Swift himself has the potential to be a game-breaker for the Detroit Lions.

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Watching his collegiate film on YouTube, it’s quite apparent this young man is a big play waiting to happen. Whether it be in the run or pass game, this rookie will break for big chunks of yardage and move the chains every Sunday this fall.