PFN running back ranking another sign of how D’Andre Swift is viewed

SideLion Report

Based on talent alone D’Andre Swift would be regarded more highly, but Pro Football Network’s running back ranking is another sign he’s headed into a prove it season.

D’Andre Swift could have been a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and there’s a lot of “what might have been” had the Kansas City Chiefs chose him instead of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. But the Lions got him early in the second round, and added a dynamic talent to their backfield.

The 2021 campaign was “what might have been” for Swift himself. In 13 games, and 10 without workload limits, he had 1,069 yards from scrimmage. He had 62 receptions, and is easily among the best pass-catching backs in the league with upside yet to be reached as a pure runner.

A ranking of NFL running backs last month over at FanSided’s NFL Spin Zone had Swift at No. 31. Pro Football Network is now out with its ranking of the top-32 running backs in the league.

PFN running back ranking shows how far D’Andre Swift has to go to gain respect league-wide

Swift lands at No. 32 in Pro Football Network’s running back ranking.

With a h/t to Heavy.com, Lions fans had a reaction to Swift’s ranking.

Health has been a factor for Swift over his first two seasons, to the point Lions’ running backs coach Duce Staley has challenged him to play through things better this year. Looking what has sidelined Swift, and how he was limited in practice at times last season before his shoulder injury but still played, it feels like a flimsy challenge from Staley.

But Staley’s broader sentiment, if it can be read into, does stand up. Swift has to stay on the field if he wants to be regarded as one of the best running backs in the NFL. His third season is going to be critical if his potential is ever going to be met with requisite production, and it starts with not missing games.

The Lions’ offense is lined up to be better this year. Swift, as a key piece, will be lined up to have a big year if he can take and keep the reigns as the lead back. If he fulfills his potential in 2022, or at least gets closer to it, then Swift will take a far loftier place in running back rankings a year from now.

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