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Georgia tailback D'Andre Swift was knocked out of the Georgia Tech game with a bruised shoulder and was limited in the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl, but he's looking healthy now and projected to be the first running back off the board at the NFL draft in Las Vegas in April.

D’Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football ‘RBU’ once again

D’Andre Swift could give Georgia bragging rights as “RBU” if he’s the first running back selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.

And Swift might ultimately be the first Georgia football player off the 2020 NFL Draft board if he has a strong enough showing at the NFL combine.

Swift has a chance to impress in Indianapolis next week. A sub-4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash would be a game changer.

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projects Swift will be the first running back selected in the draft, which begins on April 23 in Las Vegas and runs through April 25.

“Swift I have going to Miami at 26, he’s still the number one running back,” Kiper said on a national teleconference on Wednesday. “He’s more complete than the other two, in terms of running, catching and blocking, particularly catching out of the backfield.

“He’s been more reliable in terms of not fumbling the football.”

The “other two” are Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins and Wisconsin tailback Jonathan Taylor.

Swift will likely be first Georgia tailback selected first at the position in the draft since Todd Gurley was the No. 10 overall pick for the then-St. Louis Rams in the 2015 NFL Draft.

In the 2009 NFL Draft, Knowshon Moreno was the first running back selected, going No. 12 overall to the Denver Broncos.

Kiper explained he’s projecting the first running back to be selected later in the first round than sooner based off last year’s NFL draft. The Oakland Raiders made Alabama’s Josh Jacobs the first RB selected with the No. 24 overall pick.

“I think right around where we saw Josh Jacobs go last year, so I have (Swift) at 26 to Miami,” Kiper said. “Swift would be an immediate starter at running back.”

Kiper also has outgoing Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas projected to be selected by the Dolphins at No. 18 overall.

RELATED: Kiper says Andrew Thomas not a finished product

Miami ranked last in the NFL in rushing with just 72.2 yards per game on the ground, well off the pace set by league-leader Baltimore (206.0) and second-place San Francisco (144.1).

Mark Walton was Miami’s leading running back last season with 53 carries for 201 yards and no touchdowns.

Swift was recently compared to two of the best NFL running backs this past season: To Dalvin Cook, by ESPN’s Matt Bowen; and to Alvin Kamara, by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.

Georgia tailbacks in NFL draft since 2000

2018 Sony Michel, No. 31 (first round,  third RB selected), New England

2018 Nick Chubb, No. 35 (second round, fourth RB selected), Cleveland

2016 Keith Marshall, No. 242 (seventh round), Washington

2015 Todd Gurley, No. 10 overall (first round, first RB selected), St. Louis

2009 Knowshon Moreno, No. 12 overall, (first round, first RB selected), Denver

2008 Thomas Brown, No. 172 overall, (sixth round), Atlanta

2003 Musa Smith, No. 77 overall (third round), Baltimore

2002 Verron Haynes, No. 166 overall (fifth round), Pittsburgh

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