After not being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, Georgia running back D’Andre Swift didn’t have to wait long on Friday as he was selected 35th overall by the Detroit Lions.
“There are a lot of great backs in this class, but I think I’m the most versatile,” Swift said at the NFL scouting combine. “I think I’m a three-down back, and I can do whatever I’m asked to do. God gave me a lot of ability. I don’t take that for granted. I work hard every day, and I’m a leader.”
Nonetheless, Swift was taken as the second back in the draft behind LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was selected with the final pick (32nd overall) in the first round on Thursday night by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Swift amassed over 1,000 rushing yards in each of the past two seasons for the Bulldogs. He also proved he could catch the ball out of the backfield totaling 73 receptions for 666 receiving yards. Swift has also shown that he was great blocker as well whenever Jake Fromm decided to drop back and pass.
He’s also been known to jump over defenders or juke them out of their shoes, too. HIs long run against Auburn in the 2017 SEC Championship game in 2017 was the nail on the coffin for the Tigers.
Arguably his best game as a Bulldog came as a sophomore when he ran for 186 yards and a touchdown versus Auburn. Again, he had another long run in the second half that sealed the victory against the Tigers.
“You’re getting the best back in the draft,” teammate Isaiah Wilson said of Swift. “You’re gonna get someone who can fight tooth and nail until their body quits on you. He’s going to fight to the end to win the game.”
Swift was a highly recruited five-star prospect out of St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. He chose UGA over in-state school Penn State, Alabama, Auburn, and Clemson. Even though Swift let the city of brotherly love, he stilled repped it everywhere he went. He often has spoken about the importance of where he grew up, and why it was so important for him to make it out and be an example for the city.
“People from Philly don’t get the chance to make it out. I am one of the select few,” Swift said. “So why not do it the right way. Why not do it the right way?”
His father, Darren Swift, has been a big influence in his life and was apart of his recruiting process the entire way. Darren and the rest of the family would travel all across the country to watch their son play. He even became a social media icon after being discovered in the crowd during a live television broadcast.
When Swift arrived in Athens, he had to battle for playing time with future NFL backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. After rushing for 618 yards and three touchdowns in 2017, he thought he would finally get the starting job as a sophomore in 2018. But he ended up splitting time with current Philadelphia Eagle Elijah Holyfield, who also rushed for over 1,000 yards that year. It wasn’t until his junior year where he really got to take over the carries in a Georgia offense that already had three talented running backs behind him,
Swift’s determination and drive is what got him to where he is today. His journey wasn’t easy, but being motivated by his family and teammates really helped him excel.
“He’s been incredible for us,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “Just an incredible leader. He inspires others, catches the ball out of the backfield and we look at these backs in today’s day and age, the Alvin Kamara the McCaffrey, you have to be able to be a receiver, as much as a running back. So he is going to make a great asset to some organization.”