Pro Football Focus Compares D’Andre Swift to former Saints’ specialist

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Pro Football Focus Compares D’Andre Swift to former Saints’ specialist

Georgia vs. Tennessee 2018 - Pregame Photos - September 30, 2018
Georgia vs. Tennessee 2018 – Pregame Photos – September 30, 2018

Last week, former Georgia running back D’Andre Swift took part in drills during the NFL Scouting Combine. The combine takes place every year in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium, and this is where most professional teams get to evaluate and analyze a good portion of the draft class.

The combine began on Feb. 23 and ran through March 1. The on-field workout sessions began Feb. 27.

On Monday, PFF released their comparisons for the 2020 draft class of running backs to current and former NFL players. The article compared Swift to former Saints’ running back Pierre Thomas. This parity is interesting because others have compared Swift to Frank Gore, Alvin Kamara, and Dalvin Cook.

Thomas, a former Illinois product, finished his career in Champagne with 2,545 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in four years, also adding 57 receptions for 411 yards and three scores.

Thomas wasn’t invited to the combine and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints in 2007. He then beat out fourth-round pick Antonio Pittman for a spot on the Saints’ roster. That seemed to bode well for New Orleans as he proved to be a viable threat for their offense throughout his career. He led the Saints in rushing in 2008, 2009, and 2013, when he led all NFL running backs with 77 receptions for 513 yards and three touchdowns.

During his rookie year in 2007, Thomas was buried down the depth chart behind Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, and Aaron Steckler. The next year, he was able to secure the starting position mid-year as Bush went down with an injury.

Thomas would go on to play in 110 games with 38 starts over the course of nine seasons. During his career, he rushed for 3,809 yards and 28 touchdowns, adding 336 receptions for 2,692 and 12 scores.

“Swift’s calling card is his ability as a receiver out of the backfield,” according to PFF’s Michael Renner. “Swift is obviously a bit more explosive than Thomas was, but the natural receiving ability and shake in their routes is similar. Thomas was an incredibly productive player for the Saints despite being a UDFA out of Illinois back in 2007. He caught more than 50 balls in three different seasons for New Orleans and broke 20-plus tackles after the catch four times.”

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At this year’s combine, Swift’s height was measured at 5-foot-8 1/4 and he weighed in at 212 pounds. His hands measured in at nine inches, 29 7/8 inch-arms, and he had a 72-inch wingspan. He recorded an impressive 4.48 40-yard dash with a 35.5-inch vertical jump and a 121-inch broad jump.

In 2019, the Philadelphia native rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season, joining Herschel Walker, Knowshon Moreno, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb as the only ever Bulldogs to accomplish this achievement. During his three year tenure in Athens, he carried the ball 440 times for 2,885 yards and 20 touchdowns. Swift also caught 73 career passes for 666 yards and five scores.

This is Swift’s draft stock overview according to NFL.com.

Swift possesses the play traits and running style of a skillful NFL veteran and is the latest in an avalanche of talented Georgia backs. Tempo and decisiveness are his calling cards, making him a highly talented inside/outside zone runner. He’s a cerebral runner who understands block timing and uses quick-cut agility and rare spatial awareness to read and react to defenses beyond the second level. Swift isn’t overly explosive as a home-run hitter and doesn’t run with the violence of last year’s top running back, Josh Jacobs. He can step right in and provide early stability and production as an efficient, every-down back with Offensive Rookie of the Year potential.

The 2020 NFL Draft is set to start on Thursday, April 23, and end on Saturday, April 25. This year, the draft is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.