There’s plenty of 2022 breakout buzz and potential for D’Andre Swift, but he was No. 1 among NFL running backs in one deeper stat last year.
In 13 games last season, though only 10 with significant action if we get right down to it, Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage (1,069). Of course he was injured very early Thanksgiving Day against the Chicago Bears, missed the next four games with that shoulder issue and saw limited action in the final two games of the season (17 total touches).
If the Lions’ offensive plan after head coach Dan Campbell took over play calling last season holds, regardless of who’s calling plays in 2022, Swift will get all the work he can handle. He’s already among the best pass-catching running backs in the league, it’s just a matter of health and reaching his ceiling as a pure runner to add to that.
D’Andre Swift as No. 1 among NFL running backs in a deeper stat last year
According to Fantasy Data, Swift led all NFL running backs with at least 100 carries in yards created per attempt last season. As you can see below, he was the only qualifying back who topped 4.0 yards created per attempt.
To address the question of what “yards created” exactly means, here’s Fantasy Data’s definition:
Yards Created: All yards above and beyond what was blocked. Yards created are generated by the runner after the first evaded tackle.
So anything beyond the first evaded tackle is considered yardage a running back generated. The slippery slope of the stat would be this–what if a downfield block added yards to a run, which can be very subjective, but it came after a running back’s first evaded tackle?
Yards Created reflects how elusiveness a running back is though, and Swift has shown how electric a runner he is. So it’s not too surprising he ranked highly (No. 1) in the metric last year, and it’s another piece of data that points to his potential.