Where does D’Andre Swift rank among NFL running backs?

SideLion Report

D’Andre Swift made NFL Spin Zone’s ranking of the top 32 running backs in the NFL, but does the Lions lead runner land in the right spot?

Despite being down to their No. 3 guy on the depth chart as the lead running back for a brief stretch last season, the Detroit Lions had their most productive ground game in a couple decades. In essentially 10 games, taking out the game he suffered a shoulder injury and two where his workload was limited after returning, D’Andre Swift topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage.

There’s plenty of good buzz around Swift looking toward the 2022 season. But make no mistake, it is a critical season for him as the Lions consider whether or not to give him a contract extension. A second-round pick in 2020, he’s already heading into the third year of his four-year rookie contract.

Sayre Bedinger of NFL Spin Zone recently took a run at ranking the top 32 running backs in the league.

Swift made the list, as expected, but where did he come in?

Ranking of D’Andre Swift shows what he has to prove in 2022

I expected to move through a handful of slides on Bedinger’s list before I saw Swift. But there he was, rather quickly, in the No. 31 spot.

31. D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
2021 stats:

  • 1,069 yards from scrimmage
  • 7 total touchdowns
  • 62 receptions

Swift was more involved in the passing game, and wound up leading the Lions in total touches offensively with 213, catching a pretty robust 62 passes.

If Swift can give the Lions a fully healthy season, I don’t think 1,800 yards from scrimmage is out of reach for him in 2022

The last line points to Swift’s upside, if healthy–which he hasn’t totally been in either of his first two seasons. He is legitimately one of the best pure pass-catching backs in the NFL, and he has acknowledged areas where he has to improve as a runner.

Swift being ranked No. 31 out of the top 32 NFL running backs feels low. But it reflects what he has to prove in his third season. Starting with taking an all-around workhorse role, then not having it interrupted by injury.

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