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Eagles All-22 Film Review: D’Andre Swift is a perfect fit in Philly

A closer look at Philadelphia’s new RB.

Detroit Lions v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

This is an interesting one. Everyone knows how talented D’Andre Swift is, so I wanted to try and find out why his career has not gone the way I expected when he came out of Georgia three years ago. He’s still a fun, fun player. Some of these clips are awesome, so buckle up!


+ I assumed (wrongly) he wasn’t great last year which is why he didn’t play as much as expected. But his efficiency on a per-snap basis was really strong... (stats via player profiler)

#5 yards per route run

#2 yards per touch

#3 fantasy points per opportunity

+ He is one of the most explosive backs you will see. He looks like he is shot out of a cannon at times. He beats people frequently with his acceleration. He doesn’t slow down when he has to slightly change direction or when catching the football.

+ He’s well built for his size and may not be a power runner, but he can run through poor arm tackles without slowing down and stiff arm defenders away from him.

+ He’s outstanding in space, especially on short passes and screens. His burst and acceleration are fantastic when he has room to run into.

+ Outstanding agility, especially in tight spaces. His footwork is outstanding and he can burst in different directions with ease.

+ His use of tempo is fantastic. You see defenders take bad angles so frequently and it’s because he can stop and start on a dime. His tempo combined with his elite acceleration to burst past defenders.

+ He’s a great route runner and will be a nightmare for any linebacker. He’s really good on angle routes but he has the speed to run wheel routes too.

+ More than willing as a pass protector. You don’t want him pass protecting that often, but he can absolutely do it.

+ He’s not just an outside runner who needs space and he shows vision and nuance on inside carries to follow his blocks and find gaps.

+ Came from an offense that runs a variety of gap/zone and from shotgun/under center. He is versatile.


-Has had a fumble issue going back to college.

-Isn’t the type of back to fall forward and push a pile. He’s not built to be a ‘foundational’ back. He’s a ‘feature’ back at best.

-He can be guilty of doing too much at times. Sometimes there’s an obvious lane with blockers in front and he will try to do the impossible. I’m just speculating, but I wonder if that annoyed a coach like Dan Campbell.

-He doesn’t have elite ‘wiggle’. He’s more straight-line fast and won’t always make defenders miss one-on-one unless he has speed already built up. He’s not like a Shady McCoy who would break ankles with his jukes in the backfield.

-Whatever you think about his talent, you can’t ignore the fact that the Lions moved on him from (and drafted a back at 12!) and they didn’t use him that much last year. I was SO impressed by the Lions’ offense when I watched Swift too, so you can’t just say the coaches are idiots too. It’s a really well-run offense.

-Injury history the past 3 years has obviously impacted his career. Some interesting data here via Draft Sharks, who define him as having a ‘very high risk’ of injury next year.


I am always honest on here, and I wasn’t sure about this move at first! I liked D’Andre Swift coming out of college, but I’ve always been a little bit underwhelmed with him in the NFL. It sounds stupid, but as a big dynasty player, I don’t own Swift anywhere and he always goes well above where I would take him. This has almost made me think I am ‘lower’ than everyone else than Swift. So I was looking forward to watching him in order to remind myself why I liked him coming out so much.

It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with his film once again. My goodness. Swift is one of the most explosive running backs you will see and he is the perfect fit for the Eagles. He is basically a better, more explosive version of Kenny Gainwell. I like Gainwell, but watch the two side by side and it’s not close. Swift is just more explosive.

However, I also loved going back and watching the Detroit Lions’ offense. That coaching staff is awesome. We can’t ignore the fact that the coaching staff drafted a running back and 12 and traded away Swift, who should be the perfect complement to David Montgomery. So as excited as I am, I do wonder if there is something behind the scenes or injury related that causes Swift not to play more. Because the film doesn’t lie, and it’s fantastic!

I’m a big believer in powerful running backs on early downs who can break tackles (it’s just my philosophy) so I wouldn’t want Swift to be my ‘foundational’ or starting running back. Pairing him with Rashaad Penny is just perfect. I expect Penny to take most of the early down work and Swift to be on the field on every 3rd down. It is such an awesome backfield (if they are both healthy of course). I could see Penny taking about 55% of the carries and Swift having around 35% with 5-7 targets per game. The Eagles haven’t targeted their running backs much in recent years but... the Eagles haven’t had D’Andre Swift in recent years. He’s so much better than Sanders out of the backfield. I wonder if the Eagles will use more 2-back sets with both Penny and Swift on the field too, and then motion Swift to wide receiver.

I still won’t be drafting Swift as high as some in fantasy (I just traded for Rashaad Penny in one league...) but I think he is a fantastic fit for this offense. He may not have 20-25 touches a game, but he will make this team and this offense better. I do not have any doubts about that.

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