Relieved, excited, happy and blessed.
Former Georgia tailback D’Andre Swift said he was feeling all of those things at once after being selected by Detroit on Day Two of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Swift, a potential franchise back whose career 6.56 yards per carry rank second all-time in SEC history to Bo Jackson (6.62), was a second round steal for the Lions with the 35th overall pick.
Swift, per a transcript of his teleconference with Detroit media, said he’s ready to compete and play an role the team has in store for him.
That attitude — and his ability to back up his words with his versatile game — bodes well in a backfield where he’ll share the ball with Matthew Stafford, Kerryonn Johnson and Bo Scarbrough.
Swift indicated he may work more in space and utilize his pass-catching ability.
Swift played a similar role at Georgia his freshman season when Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were the tailbacks.
“I think just getting into space a lot more, but also running routes in the slot versus whoever,” Swift said, asked what skills he didn’t show at Georgia that he might be able to showcase in the NFL.
“Just being able to use my abilities to really showcase my talents, I think I can do that a lot more as far as getting in space and just getting mismatches and stuff like that.”
The Lions’ media seemed caught off-guard by the franchise choosing Swift, but Detroit GM Bob Quinn explained the value he saw in Swift made an impression leading into the second round.
I’d say (I was) a little bit surprised last night when we went back, and we said, ‘All right, well Swift is still up there,’ “ Quinn was quoted as saying in a Detroit News beat writer’s tweet.. “Kind of crossed our fingers for a couple of picks, but felt — going to bed last night, he was the guy that was on my mind the most. I was hoping we could get him.”
The Lions got their wish, and Swift found some relief and appreciation.
A student of the game, Swift has in fact always been a fan of Barry Sanders, and some of his cuts and spins might look familiar to long-time fans of the Detroit franchise.
“Everyone would always talk about him, (so) I started watching film and highlights and just looking at his stats. (It’s) kind of unbelievable,” Swift said. “As I got older, I tried to emulate my game to be like his in any way possible. I just love watching him.”
Swift was asked about becoming the Lions’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2013, but he made it clear it’s more about the team than his stats.
That sounds good whenever it comes down to it,” Swift said. “Right now, I’m just looking forward to meeting the team and just competing for whatever role they think is best for me right now.”
It’s all about preparation, Swift said in hs initial interview, explaining how Georgia turns out so many great running backs.
And Swift realizes the expectation is for him to fall into that same line.
“I just have to do my part, “ Swift said, “so I can be talked about with them further down the line.”
Love your draft crushes, like Bob Quinn loves D’Andre Swift: pic.twitter.com/XMaXvJkULU
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) April 25, 2020
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