The Detroit Lions organization hasn’t had a consistent go-to running back since Reggie Bush briefly in 2013. But since the old regime drafted D’Andre Swift in the second pound of the 2020 draft, the Lions hoped to rebuild the running attack. Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes weren’t shy about letting the media know they plan to be a run dominate team after being hired. Especially with an offensive coordinator like Anthony Lynn. Who’s been responsible for helping teams lead the league in rushing as an offensive coordinator. Even though they didn’t draft Swift, everyone loves his overall game.
Swift, who was born six months before Barry Sanders retired, is the third running back the Lions have spent a second-round draft pick on in the last six years.
Rookie Year Struggles
D’Andre Swift was ready to handle a majority of the carries his rookie year. At Georgia, Swift didn’t have a high number of total carries with impressive production. So he was perfectly ready to transition seamlessly into the NFL. But with a coach like Matt Patricia who didn’t play Swift as much as he should and splitting the carries with Kerryon Johnson and newly signed veteran Adrian Peterson. In his first 4 games as a Detroit Lion Swift had a total of 12 carries on the season. Before having a monster game against the Jaguars going 14 carries for 116 yards. After a career high in yards he wouldn’t hit double digit carries for the next two games.
Check out the highlights from that game below.
Having a coach who doesn’t believe in you doesn’t help your confidence and production your rookie year. Swift finished with 521 yards rushing for the year on 114 total carries. He did also excel in the passing game, achieving 357 yards with limited targets. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn were both fired after that season and soon Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes were introduced.
They both set goals build from the trenches.
Second Year Predictions
The 2021 NFL Draft was a success for the Detroit Lions. Drafting their future cornerstone offensive lineman in Penei Sewell with the seventh overall pick. The 6’6 331 pound left tackle out of Oregon was rated the best offensive lineman in the draft. Sewell was known for protecting Justin Herbert’s blindside through college but more importantly can tremendously help the running game with his run block ability. The Lions also took a chance on a 7th round running back Jemar Jefferson and signed Jamaal Williams from the Green Bay Packers. Regardless of who they sign, it shouldn’t pose a threat to Swift who offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn calls a “three down back”.
D’Andre Swift was ecstatic to have a guy like Sewell to help him have success in this league.
With an already average offensive line and adding a supreme talent like Sewell is only going to create more positive for the offense. And if Swift can get the ball as much as he should, he’s more than ready to achieve 1000+ all purpose yards this year.