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D'Andre Swift

Will receiving work be huge again?

Lots of stories these days about players being in the best shape of their lives, and either slimming down (for more speed) or bulking up (for more durability). D'Andre Swift is one of the latter examples; the Lions back was looking to add more muscle. He looks pretty ripped in the picture, from OTAs. Personally I'm wondering about his receiving usage.

Swift had a much larger role in the passing game the first half of last season than the second. In his first eight games, Swift caught 47 passes (nearly 6 per game) and 2 TDs. In his last five games (he missed four due to injury) Swift caught only 15 balls (3 per game).

Detroit shifted to a more run-oriented offense the second half of last season; that's part of it. His rushing numbers per game went way up, with a couple of 100-yard performances. And Swift himself was hurt for part of it. Regardless, he went from being one of the most productive receiving backs to one of the least productive. Table shows rushing and receiving numbers per game of all running backs who caught at least 25 passes last year, with Swift's first- and second-half splits, sorted by receiving yards per game.

RUNNING BACK RUSHING/RECEIVING PER GAME
PlayerAtt/GRun/GNo/GRec/G
D.Swift, 1st Half11.336.15.951.9
Christian McCaffrey, Car.14.163.15.349.0
Austin Ekeler, LAC12.956.94.440.4
J.D. McKissic, Was.4.419.33.936.1
D'Andre Swift, Det.11.647.54.834.8
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atl.9.638.63.334.3
Alvin Kamara, N.O.18.569.13.633.8
Leonard Fournette, T.B.12.958.04.932.4
Najee Harris, Pitt.18.170.64.427.5
Darrel Williams, K.C.8.532.82.826.6
Aaron Jones, G.B.11.453.33.526.1
Chase Edmonds, Ariz.9.749.33.625.9
James Conner, Ariz.13.550.12.525.0
Kenyan Drake, L.V.5.321.22.524.3
Brandon Bolden, N.E.2.613.32.423.8
Ty Johnson, NYJ3.814.92.123.3
Michael Carter, NYJ10.545.62.623.2
Josh Jacobs, L.V.14.558.13.623.2
David Montgomery, Chi.17.365.33.223.2
Tony Pollard, Dall.8.747.92.622.5
Jonathan Taylor, Ind.19.5106.52.421.2
Saquon Barkley, NYG12.545.63.220.2
Joe Mixon, Cin.18.375.32.619.6
Javonte Williams, Den.11.953.12.518.6
AJ Dillon, G.B.11.047.22.018.4
Antonio Gibson, Was.16.164.82.618.4
Nyheim Hines, Ind.3.316.22.418.2
Kyle Juszczyk, S.F.0.51.31.817.4
David Johnson, Hou.5.217.52.517.3
Dalvin Cook, Min.19.289.22.617.2
Jeremy McNichols, Ten.2.911.12.017.1
Ameer Abdullah, 2TM3.09.82.217.0
Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.13.958.92.816.9
Devontae Booker, NYG9.137.12.516.8
James Robinson, Jac.11.754.82.215.9
Kenneth Gainwell, Phil.4.318.22.115.8
Mike Davis, Atl.8.129.62.615.2
Darrell Henderson, LAR12.457.32.414.7
Alexander Mattison, Min.8.430.72.014.3
Myles Gaskin, Mia.10.236.02.913.8
Devin Singletary, Buff.11.151.22.413.4
Melvin Gordon, Den.12.757.41.813.3
Miles Sanders, Phil.11.462.82.213.2
Samaje Perine, Cin.3.415.41.712.3
Jamaal Williams, Det.11.846.22.012.1
Devonta Freeman, Balt.8.336.02.111.9
Rex Burkhead, Hou.7.626.71.611.6
Mark Ingram, 2TM11.439.61.911.6
Chuba Hubbard, Car.10.136.01.510.2
D.Swift, 2nd Half12.265.63.07.4

I think somewhere in the middle of those averages is probably fair. The Lions might not be throwing Swift 8 balls per game, but 4-6 seems reasonable. If he can deliver something close to his second half rushing numbers and somewhere around the median of his first- and second-half receiving numbers, he should be pretty good.

--Andy Richardson

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