Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the second annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 280 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2020 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). New features for this year include unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, and—for the first time ever—the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.
Continuing our position-by-position preview of this year’s draft class, we shift our focus to running backs. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).
Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect. The final running back scale is as follows:
|9.0-7.0||High-end 3 down starter. Pro Bowl level.|
|6.9-6.7||Strong starter who plays on all 3 downs.|
|6.6-6.5||Lower-end starter. Starting player on early downs.|
|6.3||Role playing starter. 3rd down difference maker.|
|6.2||Backup who can play on all 3 downs|
|6.1-6.0||Developmental. Top traits but needs time.|
|5.6-5.5||Backup. Either base or 3rd down role.|
D’Andre Swift: RB Rank 1 of 24 | Final Grade: 6.8
Report by Nathan Cooper and Zachary Stempler
Swift has the natural instincts and vision along with the power, contact balance, and playmaking ability to be a solid 3-down starter at the next level.
Swift was the starting running back in Georgia’s pro-style, primarily zone-based offense where he operated mostly out of single-back sets and split time in a committee of highly ranked recruits. He played in 43 games and started 17 of them. He had surgery after the 2017 season, suffered an ankle injury in 2018, and a shoulder injury in 2019. He’s a very good, twitchy athlete who competes and runs with toughness every time he touches the ball.
In the run game, Swift is a one-cut, downhill runner. He shows great patience behind the LOS and ability to press the hole to set up his blocks. Although he’s patient behind the line, he still shows decisiveness on his runs and knows where the hole is going to open. He exemplifies very good contact balance and rarely gets taken down by the first defender. He runs hard and powerfully and keeps his legs churning through contact. Even when running hard, he secures the football and makes sure not to leave it out for defenders to knock out. When he isn’t delivering a blow to defenders, he uses his elusiveness and agility to make defenders miss one-on-one in the open field. He plays fast and shows the quickness and burst to reach a second gear. Those translate to very good playmaking ability as he’s able to break off home-run hitting plays as well as create for himself and make something out of nothing.
In the pass game, he’s not a back who can line up out wide and run a receiver’s route tree. He isn’t utilized much in the passing game aside from screens and check-downs out of the backfield. However, when he does get thrown to, he shows natural catching ability. After the catch, he uses his elusiveness to make guys miss and gain extra yardage. He also isn’t asked to pass protect very often, but he shows the ability to square up to defenders and initiate contact when doing so. On occasion, he will throw a shoulder instead of delivering a blow and latching on. He has a good understanding of the protection and who to pick up when he needs to stay in.
Swift projects as a starting three-down back at the next level who can play in either a zone or gap-based offensive scheme, although he’s shown the ability to excel in a zone scheme in college. He should be able to contribute on 3rd downs both as a rusher and receiver and his pass pro is good enough to keep him on the field in those situations. He isn’t used on special teams, but his play speed and tough running style suggest he could be a solid contributor on most units if asked.
|Patience to set up blocks||Inconsistent pass pro ability|
|Contact balance||Limited as a route runner|
|Can make something out of nothing|
|Passing Game Impact||6|
|Year||Att||Rush Yds||Y/A||YAC/A||Rush TD||Targets||Rec||Rec Yds||Y/Trgt||Rec TD|
|Positive %||Per 100 Touches||EPA|
|Year||Split Out %||Heavy Box %||Routes Run||Yards Per Route Run||Blown Block %||Rush||Rec||Total|