Lions RB D’Andre Swift has shown flashes of the explosiveness he was known for at UGA, but in two seasons with Detroit he hasn’t been consistent. It’s fair to say last season was an interesting one for the Lions, which particularly impacted Swift.
First year head coach Dan Campbell used Swift and free agent signee Jamaal Williams equally throughout 2021. The two produced almost identical numbers, but something about the scheme just didn’t seem to work. Detroit averaged 110.9 rushing yards-per-game, which ranked 19th in the NFL. Some early season o-line struggles limited the Lions’ production, but the unit pulled together in the second half of the season and ended on a high note.
The Lions made some solid moves in the offseason, too. They drafted Aidan Hutchinson and Jameson Williams in the first round, before adding James Houston, James Mitchell, Malcolm Rodriguez, and Josh Paschal in the later rounds. Detroit also added DJ Chark, Deshon Elliot, Jarrad Davis, and Mike Hughes in free agency. But how does that impact Swift?
The idea is that Detroit is slowly figuring out their identity. They’re tired of being bottom feeders in the league, and utilizing Swift more frequently if going to be a part of that. In 2021, he ranked #8 in snap share (67.2%), #22 in opportunity share (57%), and #12 in weighted opportunities (213.1). Those numbers are almost guaranteed to go up in 2022.
Swift’s 617 rushing yards were lackluster (#30 in the league), but his 452 receiving yards were elite, and ranked #5 in the league among RBs. He has the potential to be an elite dual threat running back (like Austin Ekeler) if the Lions can figure out their offensive scheme.
Health Analysis – Despite a disappointing stretch during the 2021 season due to an AC sprain, Swift looked great when he was healthy. He should once again be a solid option, especially in PPR. The biggest concern is the offense he plays in as there might not be much support. His Injury Risk is Low (10%) and his Health Performance Factor is Peak (96%). He’s a Top 10 RB heading into 2022; his production could make him an absolute steal.