ATHENS — Would the Atlanta Falcons have been better off selecting D’Andre Swift in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft than signing former Georgia star Todd Gurley?
There’s no way to know for sure, but at’s a fair question based on Mel Kiper Jr.’s most recent NFL Mock Draft.(4.0) on the ESPN-plus pay site.
Kiper, ESPN”s celebrated daft analyst, believes Swift will still be the first running back off the board. But Swift won’t be going as high as first thought.
Kiper, ESPN’s celebrated NFL draft analyst, dropped his projection for Swift from No. 18 overall (Miami) to No 32 (Kansas City).
It would be a value pick, for sure, and it would certainly make the Super Bowl champion Chiefs’ offense even more dynamic.
Kiper’s logic has more to do with team’s needs than the talent and versatility Swift will bring to whatever team selects him.
KIper said he’s on the same page as fellow ESPN analyst Todd McShay, who pointed out there are many teams with first round picks who have a need at running back.
“Miami, maybe? Atlanta would have been a possibility, but then it brought in Todd Gurley,” Kiper sad. “That’s why Swift to Kansas City makes sense here. Andy Reid would get the most of him in the passing game, and Swift could break off chunks of yardage on the ground.”
Last season Gurley carried 223 times for 857 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he had 207 yards receiving. He did not, however, have any 100-yard games after post six 100-yard games in 2017 and 2018.
Gurley has a left knee issue (arthritis) that must be managed, per AJC.com Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter.
Gurley was originally the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft Atlanta chose Vic Beasley No 8 overall in the draft that same year.
Time will tell if this roster transaction turns out better than the last, where Gurley is involved.
Kiper’s most recent mock has Miami taking South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in the No. 18 spot, where he had previously had Swift slotted.
Kiper has kept Andrew Thomas in the overall No. 14 slot, maintaining that he is the fourth offensive tackle taken in the NFL draft.
The fact the Georgia All-American played on both sides of the line of scrimmage is attractive, says Kiper, as the Bucs look to protect recent acquired quarterback Tom Brady.
“Thomas started the past two seasons at left tackle for the Bulldogs,” Kiper notes. “But he was their starting right tackle as a freshman, so he has some experience there.”