The No. 1 running back job in Detroit will undoubtedly be D'Andre Swift's to lose in 2021.
The second-year back is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he recorded 114 carries for 521 yards and eight touchdowns, good for a yards-per-carry average of 4.6.
He also made contributions as a pass-catcher, hauling in 46 balls for 357 yards and two scores.
With an entire season of reps as the Lions' full-time starter, the Georgia product could very well become Detroit's first 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013.
Yep, he was mysteriously not featured on Pro Football Focus' list of the top 32 NFL running backs for the upcoming season.
Even if PFF thinks Lions offseason acquisition Jamaal Williams is going to cut into Swift's carries, it makes no sense to leave the 2020 second-round pick off the list completely.
Swift's ability as both a ball carrier and receiver should make him at the very least a middle-of-the-road back.
Heck, if he lives up to fantasy projections from ESPN and CBS Sports, he'll be much better than that.
Both have him amassing over 1,300 yards from scrimmage -- ESPN projects 1,385 yards, while CBS Sports predicts 1,310 yards.
If he were to have put up those numbers a season ago, he would've finished in the top 10 among all running backs in yards from scrimmage.
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For comparison's sake, the Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott and the Las Vegas Raiders' Josh Jacobs finished with 1,317 yards from scrimmage and 1,303 scrimmage yards, respectively, in 2020 -- good for No. 8 and No. 9 in the league.
Swift has a solid shot at taking a step forward in his career development, and could end up being Detroit's most dynamic offensive weapon in 2021.
However, I'm not ready to proclaim him as a top-10 NFL back just yet.
My prediction is that he'll finish as a top-16 back in his sophomore campaign as a pro.
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