Former Georgia star and current Detroit Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford is among the favorites to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Some might even suggest he’ll get his first ever playoff win this season.
And D’Andre Swift is a big reason why.
Swift, the No. 35 overall pick in the NFL Draft, gives Stafford the perfect weapon to throw to out of the backfield with his pass-catching abilities and open-field running abilities.
The Lions haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013.
Swift might not hit that number, he’s the ideal compliment to a backfield that already features power backs Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough.
“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.”
But perhaps even more importantly, Swift provides Stafford with a loyal teammate who will have his back — something that’s come into question over the years in Detroit with skill players shuffling in and out.
Former Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta is another element of that sort of loyalty to Stafford, having coming out of a team environment under Kirby Smart where players rally around their quarterback.
Stafford, entering his 12th season in Detroit after the franchise made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, is generally regarded as the best quarterback to have never won a playoff game.
It’s a dubious distinction that doesn’t seem fitting for a player of Stafford’s talents.
Stafford played just eight games last season on account of a back injury. While he’s not at the end of the road, Stafford likely has had a glimpse of what it might look like and is probably operating with a sense of urgency.
Having young Lions around him like Nauta and Swift, eager to workout with him, follow his lead, and support him on the field or in the locker room, could make all the difference.
A little jump start on chemistry. Matthew Stafford being the leader he is with rookie RB D’Andre Swift, TE Isaac Nauta and rookie WR Quartez Cephus putting in work! #onepride pic.twitter.com/y2hrcO3YtL
— Malcolm Hart (@MrHart__) May 1, 2020
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