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Crushing the Draft

Crushing the Draft: D’Andre Swift

The Kansas City Chiefs had one of the best offenses in the NFL for 2019. The one area of the offense where the Chiefs struggled during the season was running the football, ranking 23rd in rushing offense. While Damien Williams played lights out in the postseason, the Chiefs could attempt to upgrade the running back position in the 2020 NFL draft. If they do, they should take a long look at D’Andre Swift.

In three seasons playing for the Georgia Bulldogs, Swift amassed 2,885 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. He also had 666 yards and 5 touchdowns receiving out of the backfield. In both 2018 and 2019, Swift rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season. The fact that Swift averaged over 6 yards per carry and 9 yards per reception all three years at Georgia is really impressive. He could very well be the first running back to come off the board in the upcoming NFL draft.

At 5-foot-9 and 215-pounds, Swift is similar in size to many NFL RBs. He is an explosive playmaker that has the potential to score on any play. He runs with great balance and power, usually able to shake off initial contact to pick up extra yards. He has excellent vision and is good at setting up down-field blocks with shifty moves. If he can get to the outside, look out, because he has the break-away speed to take it to the house. Swift is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. He has good hands and is a complete mismatch for any linebacker in coverage.

D’Andre Swift is already receiving plenty of hype leading up to the draft. He is being heralded as having the skill set to be a feature back in the NFL. His skills as a rusher, threat as a receiver, and blocking ability project him to be a three-down running back at the next level. Most experts believe Swift can be a day one starter. And he is already being compared to some of the current top NFL RBs. Matt Bowen of ESPN compares Swift to Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller compares him to New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara.

Does Swift fit with the Chiefs offensive scheme? The answer is a resounding yes! If he is considered an every-down back in the NFL, then he would fit almost any offensive scheme. But looking at the specifics of Kansas City’s offense, Swift is a perfect fit. Watching some of his college film, it appears that Georgia runs a version of a Run-Pass Option (RPO). The Chiefs run RPO often so Swift’s experience with the scheme would make him feel comfortable in the offense almost immediately. The Chiefs also like to throw to their running backs and Swift would be a great weapon out of the backfield.

One could argue that the Chiefs have more glaring needs at positions other than RB, e.g. LB and CB. And it seems to be out of fashion to select an RB in the 1st round unless they are on the level of Ezekiel Elliot or Saquon Barkley. But D’Andre Swift’s abilities are hard to ignore and if he is available when the Chiefs are on the clock, they should strongly consider selecting him. Adding an explosive player like Swift to an already explosive offense is a move I think most Chiefs fans would love.

Projected draft round: Late 1st/Early 2nd

Player Draft Grade:  A

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