The Falcons have reportedly interviewed ‘at least 13 running backs,’ but not D’Andre Swift
Former Georgia running back D’Andre Swift was not one of a host of running backs the Atlanta Falcons met with at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this week according to a post at the team’s official site.
“Swift, considered among the very best players at his position in the draft, said he had not met with the Falcons and did not have a meeting planned with them this week,” wrote the Falcons’ Will McFadden.
This news will frustrate many UGA fans who also root for the Falcons due to Atlanta’s need for a running back and the franchise’s history of high-profile misses when not drafting available Bulldogs.
There’s no evidence that Atlanta intentionally avoids drafting former UGA players, and the lack of combine interview doesn’t necessarily prevent Atlanta from selecting Swift in this year’s draft.
That said, many Georgians who cheer for both teams would like to have seen some evidence the Falcons were considering Swift.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn was asked at the combine about his feelings on UGA players and spoke glowingly.
“I’m so pumped for Kirby [Smart] and seeing where the team has come to,” Quinn told the AJC. “We communicate a lot. We spoke just a week or two ago about players, about coaches, about a number of things. We communicate a lot.
“Getting that many guys invited to the combine is such a big deal… It means they’re developing the players, so when we’re getting a guy from there [we know] this guy’s been in big moments; he’s played well in the big games, on the biggest stages. So as a coach, you look for that. I want to see the matchup in the SEC championship. I want to see the matchup in the Florida-Georgia game.
“Having chances to look at those guys… we try to get any edge we can because we know where they are and how close they are to us.”
Only LSU and Ohio State had more than the 10 former UGA players who appeared in Indianapolis, and perhaps UGA fans will take comfort in knowing some of those former Bulldogs are possibly on Quinn’s radar.
If Swift isn’t destined for the Falcons, he’s likely to have no shortage of suitors from other NFL teams. He’s been projected by numerous mock drafts to be the first running back picked. If or when that happens, Swift credits his time working with UGA coach Kirby Smart and running backs coach Dell McGee for how he got to this point on his football journey.
“Allowing me to mature and take control of that [running back] room was big last year,” Swift said this week.” Just putting me in different situations [with] the offense. The way coaches treated me… It’s to a ‘T’ when you get here. You really respect and thank Coach Smart and his staff for how they prepared us.”
One thing’s for sure, with an attitude like that, most UGA fans will be cheering for Swift in the NFL no matter which team drafts him.