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Dynasty & Redraft: RB D’Andre Swift, Lions


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I plugged him my model and did 100,000 simulations at a 99.7% confidence interval and this is what we got:

188.2 carries for 790.67 yards, 51.842 receptions for 438 yards and 7.25 TDs

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I think this is a great pick...Swift and Johnson could be a potent 1-2 and they are both making low money for awhile...Johnson could still be good but there is no way you can depend on him...I like Swift but I think he is better off not being run into the ground, I don’t think he is that type of back but I think he has a chance to be dynamic,

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3 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I plugged him my model and did 100,000 simulations at a 99.7% confidence interval and this is what we got:

188.2 carries for 790.67 yards, 51.842 receptions for 438 yards and 7.25 TDs

RB13 in 2019. Above Miles Sanders

 

How is this a bad spot???

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2 minutes ago, I-ROK said:

RB13 in 2019. Above Miles Sanders

 

How is this a bad spot???

You might be putting a lot more faith into my model than I do. I mostly like the spot though. 

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I had Swift over Taylor pre-draft.  Their landing spots make the decision to go with Swift even easier for me.  Kerryon Johnson has a 1044 rushing yards with 6 TD and 7 plays over 20 yards the last two years (18 games). Marlon Mack has 1999 yards with 17 TD and 16 big rushes (26 games) over the same span.  I can't deny Taylor has a better pedigree and athletic profile, but Mack has established himself as a top 20 maybe even top 15 back.  I'm not sure how easy it will be for Taylor to separate himself from Mack, while I feel like Kerryon will quickly take a back seat to Swift.  If I am drafting a RB, I am still taking Swift first (CEH 2nd).

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6 hours ago, Nero said:

I had Swift over Taylor pre-draft.  Their landing spots make the decision to go with Swift even easier for me.  Kerryon Johnson has a 1044 rushing yards with 6 TD and 7 plays over 20 yards the last two years (18 games). Marlon Mack has 1999 yards with 17 TD and 16 big rushes (26 games) over the same span.  I can't deny Taylor has a better pedigree and athletic profile, but Mack has established himself as a top 20 maybe even top 15 back.  I'm not sure how easy it will be for Taylor to separate himself from Mack, while I feel like Kerryon will quickly take a back seat to Swift.  If I am drafting a RB, I am still taking Swift first (CEH 2nd).

I'm keeping an open mind on this but if you're thinking a year out, isn't it safe to assume Mack will be gone while Kerryon will be around in 2021 most likely?

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Greg Cosell analyzes Lions' 2020 draft class

Excerpt:

Quote

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia, Rd 2 (No. 35 overall)

Cosell: "Swift is one of the top running backs in the 2020 draft class with his excellent combination of traits. He has extensive experience as an I-back and predominantly ran zone concepts at Georgia both inside and outside. Swift has an outstanding feel for the tempo and pace of the zone run game with his patience and vision and his understanding of defensive fronts both before the snap and their fluidity after the snap.

"He has high level lateral quickness and short area burst and acceleration with the ability to make sharp decisive cuts at the second and third levels without losing velocity or speed. My sense is Swift can be highly effective as a receiver both out of the backfield and detached from the formation.

"As I projected Swift to the NFL, two players came to mind: Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara. I think Swift has traits and attributes that will allow him to be used in a similar way in outside zone run game as the foundation with the ability to be effective as a receiver in multiple ways."

As for weaknesses, Cosell described Swift as more quick that fast, and though Swift runs hard and tough inside, Cosell said Swift isn't necessarily a strong and powerful runner.

 

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I'm in the belief Swift landed in the worst possible spot for a RB and it has zero to do with Kerryon Johnson and everything to do with being a Detroit Lion. The Lions have been awful at running the ball and having useful FF RB's since Barry Sanders retired. The reason for this falls into 3 categories - poor offensive lines, bad coaches/management, and injuries. 

Here's how Lions RB have performed in FF for the 21 seasons since Barry retired. *All numbers determined via FootballGuys historical rankings*. In PPR, the Lions have had a league worst two RB1 finishes (Reggie Bush as RB7 in 2013 and Kevin Jones as RB12 in 2006). They're fifth worst for total number of RB1 and RB2 finishes in that time with many of those RB2 finishes just barely cracking the top 24. If broken down into number of top 20 FF RB finishes they'd be last in the league. Only 1 Lions RB (Joique Bell) had multiple seasons of finishing as a top 20 FF RB while in a Lions uniform in 21 years. It gets worse in standard scoring for Lions FF RB's. Last in RB1 finishes (only Bush as RB10 in 2013), last in RB1 and RB2 finishes, last in top 20 FF RB finishes, and zero Lions RB having multiple top 20 FF finishes in a Lions uniform. For PPR and standard, the top scoring Lions FF RB has had the worst average FF RB finish among all teams during the past 21 years. The Lions haven't had a PPR or standard FF RB1 or RB2 season in the past 5 years, the entire Quinn era.

It'd be easy to write off everything above saying the Lions have had terrible RB's during the past 2 decades and Swift is the best RB prospect they've had since Barry retired. The Lions have certainly spent a bunch of draft capital and brought in decent free agent RB's during that time frame. They've spent late 1st round picks on K Jones and Best, early-mid 2nd's on Leshoure, Abdullah, Kerryon, Swift, and the first pick of the 3rd round on K Smith. Free agents they've brought in are J Stewart and Bush. Among the draft picks I'd rank Swift second behind Jones, a 3 down RB with receiving ability (he had 61 receptions the year he finished RB12 in PPR). 

How could a team that's invested this much into the RB position be so terrible at producing quality FF RB's? Let's start with the offensive line. *All numbers pulled from Football Outsiders*. The Lions have had the worst run blocking in the league over the past 21 years and it's not even close. During those 21 years they've finished in the top half of the league in run blocking just 3 times and never finishing higher than 13th. On the opposite end, they've ranked in the bottom 3 a whopping 11 times in 21 years. In the Bob Quinn years they've finished no higher than 20th and bottom 3 twice in his 4 years. The offensive line for 2020 doesn't look promising either after watching their best OG leave in free agency because they didn't want to pay him. For 2020 they'll have an average/sightly above average LT, a very good C, a free agent signing at RT who played great in spot duty but hasn't been a full time OT yet, a rookie at one G spot with the other being a below average player. An injury to either the LT or C would leave this line in really rough shape.

Now with the coaching/management. Not much needs to be said about the Millen and Mayhew (Millen Jr) years. Quinn hasn't done much better. Did you know no former Lions head coach has ever been rehired as a NFL head coach once he was fired from the Lions? How about the Lions having a league worst 1 playoff win (every other team has at least 3) in 60+ years? How about no division titles in the past 25+ years (only Cleveland has a longer streak). The bottom line is the Lions have inept coaching and management that is constantly hiring and firing coaches. Management does a poor job of drafting and retaining lineman and the coaches aren't good at coaching them up. As alluded to in the Lions letting their best guard, in his prime, leave in free agency this year - management has let quality lineman leave in free agency, during their prime, over the years ranging from Compton (Super Bowl champ on Brady's first Superbowl team), Hartings to Pitt, Warford to NO and now Glasgow to Denver. The problem for Swift is you're counting on Lions coaches/management to provide him an oline and utilize him well to become a reliable FF RB even if you're not a Kerryon believer (I'm not). Opportunity isn't the issue here, it'll be there whether it's this year or in year 2-3 depending when Kerryon is gone, it's the expectation Swift's talent will be utilized properly by bad coaches. And maybe Patricia/Quinn will be gone after this season. But even this brings problems. The first is counting on the Lions to hire a good coaching staff which is unlikely. The second is Swift now becomes a guy who wasn't drafted by the current regime. And third, the new coaching staff would have to run a system that is favorable to Swift. There is no continuity with the Lions - they cycle through coaches every 3-4 years.

Last is the injuries. We shouldn't predict injuries but I think it's fair to look at past Lions RB's both on the field and in the pre-draft process to see if Swift has a higher than normal injury risk. Out of the 7 high draft capital RB's mentioned above we know in the pre-draft process that Best (concussion), Abdullah (nagging leg injuries), and Kerryon (hasn't played a full season since high school) were injury risks. All 3 of these guys went on to major injuries during their time as Lions with Best being forced to retire from further concussions, Abdullah suffered a lis franc injury but has managed to do ok as a reserve RB in Minnesota, and Kerryon has missed the better part of his 2 seasons thus far. As for the other 3 guys with cleaner health during the pre-draft process - K Jones suffered a lis franc injury on the field and was never the same, Leshoure blew his achilles before the start of his first NFL season and was never the same, and K Smith was relatively injury free, just the least talented of the the bunch. Now let's look at Swift. Two of the knocks against him going into the draft were he's never carried a full load and has nagging ankle/foot injuries. I think it's fair to say he's a higher injury risk candidate than normal. Maybe it's the curse of the Lions RB position. 

Talent triumphs over situation when it comes to FF RB's. There's exceptions to every rule though and there's enough evidence when it comes to the inept Lions and their running game that the Detroit situation >> RB talent. There's a decent chance Swift's terrible situation of landing in Detroit will hold him back from reaching his potential. I'd love to be wrong and see Swift become the next great Lions RB and be an elite FF RB. Maybe he will be the one to break the Lions mold and thrive. It's tough to believe that will happen given their history. I'd feel much better about Swift's FF potential if he was on any team other than the Lions.

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2 minutes ago, Lionsfan011 said:

I'm in the belief Swift landed in the worst possible spot for a RB and it has zero to do with Kerryon Johnson and everything to do with being a Detroit Lion. The Lions have been awful at running the ball and having useful FF RB's since Barry Sanders retired. The reason for this falls into 3 categories - poor offensive lines, bad coaches/management, and injuries. 

The problem for Swift is you're counting on Lions coaches/management to provide him an oline and utilize him well to become a reliable FF RB even if you're not a Kerryon believer (I'm not). Opportunity isn't the issue here, it'll be there whether it's this year or in year 2-3 depending when Kerryon is gone, it's the expectation Swift's talent will be utilized properly by bad coaches. And maybe Patricia/Quinn will be gone after this season. But even this brings problems. The first is counting on the Lions to hire a good coaching staff which is unlikely. The second is Swift now becomes a guy who wasn't drafted by the current regime. And third, the new coaching staff would have to run a system that is favorable to Swift. There is no continuity with the Lions - they cycle through coaches every 3-4 years.

Nice post. I think rather than the historical data of a cursed franchise, a look at the front office and the current coaching regime is the more salient among your points. The bolded font worries me the most for his dynasty purposes. If the current front office head and coach aren't there any longer, second-round capital decreases in the heads of those coming in. They're less likely to hinge anything on Swift, who they may or may not like as a back. They can always blame the other guys for him when starting over with another third or so rounder. It's almost better to look at it in terms of coaching capital: It's better to have the continuity of a CEH in Reid's coaching tenure or Taylor in Reich's coaching capital tenure.

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6 hours ago, Lionsfan011 said:

I'm in the belief Swift landed in the worst possible spot for a RB and it has zero to do with Kerryon Johnson and everything to do with being a Detroit Lion. The Lions have been awful at running the ball and having useful FF RB's since Barry Sanders retired. The reason for this falls into 3 categories - poor offensive lines, bad coaches/management, and injuries. 

Here's how Lions RB have performed in FF for the 21 seasons since Barry retired. *All numbers determined via FootballGuys historical rankings*. In PPR, the Lions have had a league worst two RB1 finishes (Reggie Bush as RB7 in 2013 and Kevin Jones as RB12 in 2006). They're fifth worst for total number of RB1 and RB2 finishes in that time with many of those RB2 finishes just barely cracking the top 24. If broken down into number of top 20 FF RB finishes they'd be last in the league. Only 1 Lions RB (Joique Bell) had multiple seasons of finishing as a top 20 FF RB while in a Lions uniform in 21 years. It gets worse in standard scoring for Lions FF RB's. Last in RB1 finishes (only Bush as RB10 in 2013), last in RB1 and RB2 finishes, last in top 20 FF RB finishes, and zero Lions RB having multiple top 20 FF finishes in a Lions uniform. For PPR and standard, the top scoring Lions FF RB has had the worst average FF RB finish among all teams during the past 21 years. The Lions haven't had a PPR or standard FF RB1 or RB2 season in the past 5 years, the entire Quinn era.

It'd be easy to write off everything above saying the Lions have had terrible RB's during the past 2 decades and Swift is the best RB prospect they've had since Barry retired. The Lions have certainly spent a bunch of draft capital and brought in decent free agent RB's during that time frame. They've spent late 1st round picks on K Jones and Best, early-mid 2nd's on Leshoure, Abdullah, Kerryon, Swift, and the first pick of the 3rd round on K Smith. Free agents they've brought in are J Stewart and Bush. Among the draft picks I'd rank Swift second behind Jones, a 3 down RB with receiving ability (he had 61 receptions the year he finished RB12 in PPR). 

How could a team that's invested this much into the RB position be so terrible at producing quality FF RB's? Let's start with the offensive line. *All numbers pulled from Football Outsiders*. The Lions have had the worst run blocking in the league over the past 21 years and it's not even close. During those 21 years they've finished in the top half of the league in run blocking just 3 times and never finishing higher than 13th. On the opposite end, they've ranked in the bottom 3 a whopping 11 times in 21 years. In the Bob Quinn years they've finished no higher than 20th and bottom 3 twice in his 4 years. The offensive line for 2020 doesn't look promising either after watching their best OG leave in free agency because they didn't want to pay him. For 2020 they'll have an average/sightly above average LT, a very good C, a free agent signing at RT who played great in spot duty but hasn't been a full time OT yet, a rookie at one G spot with the other being a below average player. An injury to either the LT or C would leave this line in really rough shape.

Now with the coaching/management. Not much needs to be said about the Millen and Mayhew (Millen Jr) years. Quinn hasn't done much better. Did you know no former Lions head coach has ever been rehired as a NFL head coach once he was fired from the Lions? How about the Lions having a league worst 1 playoff win (every other team has at least 3) in 60+ years? How about no division titles in the past 25+ years (only Cleveland has a longer streak). The bottom line is the Lions have inept coaching and management that is constantly hiring and firing coaches. Management does a poor job of drafting and retaining lineman and the coaches aren't good at coaching them up. As alluded to in the Lions letting their best guard, in his prime, leave in free agency this year - management has let quality lineman leave in free agency, during their prime, over the years ranging from Compton (Super Bowl champ on Brady's first Superbowl team), Hartings to Pitt, Warford to NO and now Glasgow to Denver. The problem for Swift is you're counting on Lions coaches/management to provide him an oline and utilize him well to become a reliable FF RB even if you're not a Kerryon believer (I'm not). Opportunity isn't the issue here, it'll be there whether it's this year or in year 2-3 depending when Kerryon is gone, it's the expectation Swift's talent will be utilized properly by bad coaches. And maybe Patricia/Quinn will be gone after this season. But even this brings problems. The first is counting on the Lions to hire a good coaching staff which is unlikely. The second is Swift now becomes a guy who wasn't drafted by the current regime. And third, the new coaching staff would have to run a system that is favorable to Swift. There is no continuity with the Lions - they cycle through coaches every 3-4 years.

Last is the injuries. We shouldn't predict injuries but I think it's fair to look at past Lions RB's both on the field and in the pre-draft process to see if Swift has a higher than normal injury risk. Out of the 7 high draft capital RB's mentioned above we know in the pre-draft process that Best (concussion), Abdullah (nagging leg injuries), and Kerryon (hasn't played a full season since high school) were injury risks. All 3 of these guys went on to major injuries during their time as Lions with Best being forced to retire from further concussions, Abdullah suffered a lis franc injury but has managed to do ok as a reserve RB in Minnesota, and Kerryon has missed the better part of his 2 seasons thus far. As for the other 3 guys with cleaner health during the pre-draft process - K Jones suffered a lis franc injury on the field and was never the same, Leshoure blew his achilles before the start of his first NFL season and was never the same, and K Smith was relatively injury free, just the least talented of the the bunch. Now let's look at Swift. Two of the knocks against him going into the draft were he's never carried a full load and has nagging ankle/foot injuries. I think it's fair to say he's a higher injury risk candidate than normal. Maybe it's the curse of the Lions RB position. 

Talent triumphs over situation when it comes to FF RB's. There's exceptions to every rule though and there's enough evidence when it comes to the inept Lions and their running game that the Detroit situation >> RB talent. There's a decent chance Swift's terrible situation of landing in Detroit will hold him back from reaching his potential. I'd love to be wrong and see Swift become the next great Lions RB and be an elite FF RB. Maybe he will be the one to break the Lions mold and thrive. It's tough to believe that will happen given their history. I'd feel much better about Swift's FF potential if he was on any team other than the Lions.

Holy crap dude you nailed it.  In detail.

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15 hours ago, rockaction said:

Nice post. I think rather than the historical data of a cursed franchise, a look at the front office and the current coaching regime is the more salient among your points. The bolded font worries me the most for his dynasty purposes. If the current front office head and coach aren't there any longer, second-round capital decreases in the heads of those coming in. They're less likely to hinge anything on Swift, who they may or may not like as a back. They can always blame the other guys for him when starting over with another third or so rounder. It's almost better to look at it in terms of coaching capital: It's better to have the continuity of a CEH in Reid's coaching tenure or Taylor in Reich's coaching capital tenure.

 

15 hours ago, Lionsfan011 said:

I'm in the belief Swift landed in the worst possible spot for a RB and it has zero to do with Kerryon Johnson and everything to do with being a Detroit Lion. The Lions have been awful at running the ball and having useful FF RB's since Barry Sanders retired. The reason for this falls into 3 categories - poor offensive lines, bad coaches/management, and injuries. 

Here's how Lions RB have performed in FF for the 21 seasons since Barry retired. *All numbers determined via FootballGuys historical rankings*. In PPR, the Lions have had a league worst two RB1 finishes (Reggie Bush as RB7 in 2013 and Kevin Jones as RB12 in 2006). They're fifth worst for total number of RB1 and RB2 finishes in that time with many of those RB2 finishes just barely cracking the top 24. If broken down into number of top 20 FF RB finishes they'd be last in the league. Only 1 Lions RB (Joique Bell) had multiple seasons of finishing as a top 20 FF RB while in a Lions uniform in 21 years. It gets worse in standard scoring for Lions FF RB's. Last in RB1 finishes (only Bush as RB10 in 2013), last in RB1 and RB2 finishes, last in top 20 FF RB finishes, and zero Lions RB having multiple top 20 FF finishes in a Lions uniform. For PPR and standard, the top scoring Lions FF RB has had the worst average FF RB finish among all teams during the past 21 years. The Lions haven't had a PPR or standard FF RB1 or RB2 season in the past 5 years, the entire Quinn era.

It'd be easy to write off everything above saying the Lions have had terrible RB's during the past 2 decades and Swift is the best RB prospect they've had since Barry retired. The Lions have certainly spent a bunch of draft capital and brought in decent free agent RB's during that time frame. They've spent late 1st round picks on K Jones and Best, early-mid 2nd's on Leshoure, Abdullah, Kerryon, Swift, and the first pick of the 3rd round on K Smith. Free agents they've brought in are J Stewart and Bush. Among the draft picks I'd rank Swift second behind Jones, a 3 down RB with receiving ability (he had 61 receptions the year he finished RB12 in PPR). 

How could a team that's invested this much into the RB position be so terrible at producing quality FF RB's? Let's start with the offensive line. *All numbers pulled from Football Outsiders*. The Lions have had the worst run blocking in the league over the past 21 years and it's not even close. During those 21 years they've finished in the top half of the league in run blocking just 3 times and never finishing higher than 13th. On the opposite end, they've ranked in the bottom 3 a whopping 11 times in 21 years. In the Bob Quinn years they've finished no higher than 20th and bottom 3 twice in his 4 years. The offensive line for 2020 doesn't look promising either after watching their best OG leave in free agency because they didn't want to pay him. For 2020 they'll have an average/sightly above average LT, a very good C, a free agent signing at RT who played great in spot duty but hasn't been a full time OT yet, a rookie at one G spot with the other being a below average player. An injury to either the LT or C would leave this line in really rough shape.

Now with the coaching/management. Not much needs to be said about the Millen and Mayhew (Millen Jr) years. Quinn hasn't done much better. Did you know no former Lions head coach has ever been rehired as a NFL head coach once he was fired from the Lions? How about the Lions having a league worst 1 playoff win (every other team has at least 3) in 60+ years? How about no division titles in the past 25+ years (only Cleveland has a longer streak). The bottom line is the Lions have inept coaching and management that is constantly hiring and firing coaches. Management does a poor job of drafting and retaining lineman and the coaches aren't good at coaching them up. As alluded to in the Lions letting their best guard, in his prime, leave in free agency this year - management has let quality lineman leave in free agency, during their prime, over the years ranging from Compton (Super Bowl champ on Brady's first Superbowl team), Hartings to Pitt, Warford to NO and now Glasgow to Denver. The problem for Swift is you're counting on Lions coaches/management to provide him an oline and utilize him well to become a reliable FF RB even if you're not a Kerryon believer (I'm not). Opportunity isn't the issue here, it'll be there whether it's this year or in year 2-3 depending when Kerryon is gone, it's the expectation Swift's talent will be utilized properly by bad coaches. And maybe Patricia/Quinn will be gone after this season. But even this brings problems. The first is counting on the Lions to hire a good coaching staff which is unlikely. The second is Swift now becomes a guy who wasn't drafted by the current regime. And third, the new coaching staff would have to run a system that is favorable to Swift. There is no continuity with the Lions - they cycle through coaches every 3-4 years.

Last is the injuries. We shouldn't predict injuries but I think it's fair to look at past Lions RB's both on the field and in the pre-draft process to see if Swift has a higher than normal injury risk. Out of the 7 high draft capital RB's mentioned above we know in the pre-draft process that Best (concussion), Abdullah (nagging leg injuries), and Kerryon (hasn't played a full season since high school) were injury risks. All 3 of these guys went on to major injuries during their time as Lions with Best being forced to retire from further concussions, Abdullah suffered a lis franc injury but has managed to do ok as a reserve RB in Minnesota, and Kerryon has missed the better part of his 2 seasons thus far. As for the other 3 guys with cleaner health during the pre-draft process - K Jones suffered a lis franc injury on the field and was never the same, Leshoure blew his achilles before the start of his first NFL season and was never the same, and K Smith was relatively injury free, just the least talented of the the bunch. Now let's look at Swift. Two of the knocks against him going into the draft were he's never carried a full load and has nagging ankle/foot injuries. I think it's fair to say he's a higher injury risk candidate than normal. Maybe it's the curse of the Lions RB position. 

Talent triumphs over situation when it comes to FF RB's. There's exceptions to every rule though and there's enough evidence when it comes to the inept Lions and their running game that the Detroit situation >> RB talent. There's a decent chance Swift's terrible situation of landing in Detroit will hold him back from reaching his potential. I'd love to be wrong and see Swift become the next great Lions RB and be an elite FF RB. Maybe he will be the one to break the Lions mold and thrive. It's tough to believe that will happen given their history. I'd feel much better about Swift's FF potential if he was on any team other than the Lions.

Lionsfan011I appreciate the time and effort you put into this. Only a real fan would do this and also go through the pain of reliving the past failures.

This is not an endorsement of Quinn/Patricia. But I would also say nothing changes till it does. I was not hopeful but thought that the Lions draft ended up being a good one.

I though they addressed many needs through the draft and their pre-draft FAs (once I got over the dislike/suspicion of so many being ex-Patriots.) 

I'm still not sure about the use of 2nd rounder on Swift but I think they thought that they cant depend on Kerryon and Scarborough was a good backup but was limited in how to best use him. I like the two drafted OGs.

I'm also hoping they can sign another veteran FA or two who could start or be a reliable backup on defense or offense.

Anyway I'm the most hopeful since Patricia/Quinn took over. The Lions offense looks like a top 10 one to me and if the defense could be average we should be a playoff contender.

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22 hours ago, Lionsfan011 said:

I'm in the belief Swift landed in the worst possible spot for a RB and it has zero to do with Kerryon Johnson and everything to do with being a Detroit Lion. The Lions have been awful at running the ball and having useful FF RB's since Barry Sanders retired. The reason for this falls into 3 categories - poor offensive lines, bad coaches/management, and injuries. 

Here's how Lions RB have performed in FF for the 21 seasons since Barry retired...

You hit on all the problems. The only one you left out is the scouting dept and it's not clear to me how that has changed over the various coaching regimes. But the Lions have been awful in just about every draft in the last 20 years. No team could possibly screw up a pick like Megatron but the vast majority of picks that were not in the top 2 have been a complete disaster or are no longer on the team. For example, it makes almost zero sense to draft a TE in the top 10 yet the Lions have done that twice in the last few years with Hock and Ebron and also made a massive reach for Pettigrew. For the current GM, Golladay is clearly the winner along with Glasgow. But there's not much else to celebrate after that. 

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On 4/30/2020 at 11:29 AM, Lionsfan011 said:

I'm in the belief Swift landed in the worst possible spot for a RB and it has zero to do with Kerryon Johnson and everything to do with being a Detroit Lion. The Lions have been awful at running the ball and having useful FF RB's since Barry Sanders retired. The reason for this falls into 3 categories - poor offensive lines, bad coaches/management, and injuries. 

Here's how Lions RB have performed in FF for the 21 seasons since Barry retired. *All numbers determined via FootballGuys historical rankings*. In PPR, the Lions have had a league worst two RB1 finishes (Reggie Bush as RB7 in 2013 and Kevin Jones as RB12 in 2006). They're fifth worst for total number of RB1 and RB2 finishes in that time with many of those RB2 finishes just barely cracking the top 24. If broken down into number of top 20 FF RB finishes they'd be last in the league. Only 1 Lions RB (Joique Bell) had multiple seasons of finishing as a top 20 FF RB while in a Lions uniform in 21 years. It gets worse in standard scoring for Lions FF RB's. Last in RB1 finishes (only Bush as RB10 in 2013), last in RB1 and RB2 finishes, last in top 20 FF RB finishes, and zero Lions RB having multiple top 20 FF finishes in a Lions uniform. For PPR and standard, the top scoring Lions FF RB has had the worst average FF RB finish among all teams during the past 21 years. The Lions haven't had a PPR or standard FF RB1 or RB2 season in the past 5 years, the entire Quinn era.

It'd be easy to write off everything above saying the Lions have had terrible RB's during the past 2 decades and Swift is the best RB prospect they've had since Barry retired. The Lions have certainly spent a bunch of draft capital and brought in decent free agent RB's during that time frame. They've spent late 1st round picks on K Jones and Best, early-mid 2nd's on Leshoure, Abdullah, Kerryon, Swift, and the first pick of the 3rd round on K Smith. Free agents they've brought in are J Stewart and Bush. Among the draft picks I'd rank Swift second behind Jones, a 3 down RB with receiving ability (he had 61 receptions the year he finished RB12 in PPR). 

How could a team that's invested this much into the RB position be so terrible at producing quality FF RB's? Let's start with the offensive line. *All numbers pulled from Football Outsiders*. The Lions have had the worst run blocking in the league over the past 21 years and it's not even close. During those 21 years they've finished in the top half of the league in run blocking just 3 times and never finishing higher than 13th. On the opposite end, they've ranked in the bottom 3 a whopping 11 times in 21 years. In the Bob Quinn years they've finished no higher than 20th and bottom 3 twice in his 4 years. The offensive line for 2020 doesn't look promising either after watching their best OG leave in free agency because they didn't want to pay him. For 2020 they'll have an average/sightly above average LT, a very good C, a free agent signing at RT who played great in spot duty but hasn't been a full time OT yet, a rookie at one G spot with the other being a below average player. An injury to either the LT or C would leave this line in really rough shape.

Now with the coaching/management. Not much needs to be said about the Millen and Mayhew (Millen Jr) years. Quinn hasn't done much better. Did you know no former Lions head coach has ever been rehired as a NFL head coach once he was fired from the Lions? How about the Lions having a league worst 1 playoff win (every other team has at least 3) in 60+ years? How about no division titles in the past 25+ years (only Cleveland has a longer streak). The bottom line is the Lions have inept coaching and management that is constantly hiring and firing coaches. Management does a poor job of drafting and retaining lineman and the coaches aren't good at coaching them up. As alluded to in the Lions letting their best guard, in his prime, leave in free agency this year - management has let quality lineman leave in free agency, during their prime, over the years ranging from Compton (Super Bowl champ on Brady's first Superbowl team), Hartings to Pitt, Warford to NO and now Glasgow to Denver. The problem for Swift is you're counting on Lions coaches/management to provide him an oline and utilize him well to become a reliable FF RB even if you're not a Kerryon believer (I'm not). Opportunity isn't the issue here, it'll be there whether it's this year or in year 2-3 depending when Kerryon is gone, it's the expectation Swift's talent will be utilized properly by bad coaches. And maybe Patricia/Quinn will be gone after this season. But even this brings problems. The first is counting on the Lions to hire a good coaching staff which is unlikely. The second is Swift now becomes a guy who wasn't drafted by the current regime. And third, the new coaching staff would have to run a system that is favorable to Swift. There is no continuity with the Lions - they cycle through coaches every 3-4 years.

Last is the injuries. We shouldn't predict injuries but I think it's fair to look at past Lions RB's both on the field and in the pre-draft process to see if Swift has a higher than normal injury risk. Out of the 7 high draft capital RB's mentioned above we know in the pre-draft process that Best (concussion), Abdullah (nagging leg injuries), and Kerryon (hasn't played a full season since high school) were injury risks. All 3 of these guys went on to major injuries during their time as Lions with Best being forced to retire from further concussions, Abdullah suffered a lis franc injury but has managed to do ok as a reserve RB in Minnesota, and Kerryon has missed the better part of his 2 seasons thus far. As for the other 3 guys with cleaner health during the pre-draft process - K Jones suffered a lis franc injury on the field and was never the same, Leshoure blew his achilles before the start of his first NFL season and was never the same, and K Smith was relatively injury free, just the least talented of the the bunch. Now let's look at Swift. Two of the knocks against him going into the draft were he's never carried a full load and has nagging ankle/foot injuries. I think it's fair to say he's a higher injury risk candidate than normal. Maybe it's the curse of the Lions RB position. 

Talent triumphs over situation when it comes to FF RB's. There's exceptions to every rule though and there's enough evidence when it comes to the inept Lions and their running game that the Detroit situation >> RB talent. There's a decent chance Swift's terrible situation of landing in Detroit will hold him back from reaching his potential. I'd love to be wrong and see Swift become the next great Lions RB and be an elite FF RB. Maybe he will be the one to break the Lions mold and thrive. It's tough to believe that will happen given their history. I'd feel much better about Swift's FF potential if he was on any team other than the Lions.

As a Skins fan I can really relate to a lot of the points in this post and you've really made me consider Swift in a way that had eluded me.  Thanks for taking the time.  Pushing Swift down my board as this all makes a ton of sense.  Classic case of "like the player, awful situation".

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I tend to ignore the past as is it relates to intricate situation dynamics. If you're waiting on the NFL, you're walking backwards.

What I do know is the Lions have a pretty good OL (ranked 11th by PFF at the end of last season). While they lost a quality RG, they upgraded RT (especially as a run-blocker) & traded up to take highly-regarded Ohio State G Jonah Jackson. They also took 2 more OL by the mid-4th.

My eyeballs tell me Swift is the best all-around talent in this year's RB class & Detroit is actually a pretty nice situation. Above-par OL & their passing game prevents Ds from over-playing the run. Another thing I like is Swift will be productive even when the Lions are behind.

I expect REALLY good things from Swift (long-term).

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1 hour ago, Football Jones said:

I tend to ignore the past as is it relates to intricate situation dynamics. If you're waiting on the NFL, you're walking backwards.

What I do know is the Lions have a pretty good OL (ranked 11th by PFF at the end of last season). While they lost a quality RG, they upgraded RT (especially as a run-blocker) & traded up to take highly-regarded Ohio State G Jonah Jackson. They also took 2 more OL by the mid-4th.

My eyeballs tell me Swift is the best all-around talent in this year's RB class & Detroit is actually a pretty nice situation. Above-par OL & their passing game prevents Ds from over-playing the run. Another thing I like is Swift will be productive even when the Lions are behind.

I expect REALLY good things from Swift (long-term).

As a lions fan, I hope that you are correct and that they are finally heading in the right direction with their running game.

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1 hour ago, Football Jones said:

I tend to ignore the past as is it relates to intricate situation dynamics. If you're waiting on the NFL, you're walking backwards.

What I do know is the Lions have a pretty good OL (ranked 11th by PFF at the end of last season). While they lost a quality RG, they upgraded RT (especially as a run-blocker) & traded up to take highly-regarded Ohio State G Jonah Jackson. They also took 2 more OL by the mid-4th.

My eyeballs tell me Swift is the best all-around talent in this year's RB class & Detroit is actually a pretty nice situation. Above-par OL & their passing game prevents Ds from over-playing the run. Another thing I like is Swift will be productive even when the Lions are behind.

I expect REALLY good things from Swift (long-term).

I completely agree with ignoring the past...however there is still the issue of coaching/GM lineage.

IMO it's hard to see an RB1 type role for Swift barring a KJ injury, due to the Patriots philosophy of RBBC being ingrained on those guys' brains.

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9 minutes ago, PhantomJB said:

IMO it's hard to see an RB1 type role for Swift barring a KJ injury, due to the Patriots philosophy of RBBC being ingrained on those guys' brains.

So you definitely see a RB1 type role for Swift.

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36 minutes ago, PhantomJB said:

I completely agree with ignoring the past...however there is still the issue of coaching/GM lineage.

IMO it's hard to see an RB1 type role for Swift barring a KJ injury, due to the Patriots philosophy of RBBC being ingrained on those guys' brains.

My view of Swift is from a dynasty perspective (it's debatable how long the Quinn/Patricia combo will be there), but generally, teams use RBBC because it's the most optimal way to use the talent at hand. It can also be the result of waiting on RB in the draft as a philosophy.

That changes with Swift, IMO. If the Lions were dead-red RBBC, I believe they would've waited on RB in a pretty deep class.

Bottom line, I like Swift's long-term prospects with or without Quinn/Patricia.

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23 minutes ago, Football Jones said:

My view of Swift is from a dynasty perspective (it's debatable how long the Quinn/Patricia combo will be there), but generally, teams use RBBC because it's the most optimal way to use the talent at hand. It can also be the result of waiting on RB in the draft as a philosophy.

That changes with Swift, IMO. If the Lions were dead-red RBBC, I believe they would've waited on RB in a pretty deep class. I like Swift's long-term prospects with or without Quinn/Patricia.

I remember a somewhat similar situation with the Patriots and Sony Michel. 

No one knows for sure obviously but it just gives me pause while Quinn/Patricia hold the reins. Which could be longer than we expect given the Ford history.

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Just now, PhantomJB said:

I remember a somewhat similar situation with the Patriots and Sony Michel. 

No one knows for sure obviously but it just gives me pause while Quinn/Patricia hold the reins. Which could be longer than we expect given the Ford history.

I'd be willing to bet good money BB was hoping Michel would take over the feature back role.

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1 minute ago, Football Jones said:

I'd be willing to bet good money BB was hoping Michel would take over the feature back role.

Michel sorta did take it over from late rookie season to last year; he just isn't in on passing downs because White is so good at it and Brady and the team had little use for Michel and his ups and downs within the passing game. 

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Just now, rockaction said:

Michel sorta did take it over from late rookie season to last year; he just isn't in on passing downs because White is so good at it and Brady and the team had little use for Michel and his ups and downs within the passing game. 

Good point. I just looked & Michel has been the feature back for the vast majority of their games. He just hasn't been as good as hoped.

That highlights my point about Swift. There's no way the past is going to hold him back from being a feature back if he's as good as many people think (including myself).

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Just now, Football Jones said:

Good point. I just looked & Michel has been the feature back for the vast majority of their games. He just hasn't been as good as hoped.

That highlights my point about Swift. There's no way the past is going to hold him back from being a feature back if he's as good as many people think (including myself).

Yeah, I love Swift, just not enough to draft with 1.01. I also think Johnson was a darn good back when healthy and that he presents an impediment to playing time for Swift when he's right.

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Just now, Football Jones said:

Swift is quite a bit better than Michel, IMO.

Yep. Even the most casual observer's narrative knock on Swift (his breakaway speed) was proven a bit false by his 4.48 forty, which was faster than Michel's by a decent amount. 

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Just now, rockaction said:

Yeah, I love Swift, just not enough to draft with 1.01. I also think Johnson was a darn good back when healthy and that he presents an impediment to playing time for Swift when he's right.

For the record, I'm not saying he's the #1 overall.

That's another discussion.

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1 hour ago, Football Jones said:

My view of Swift is from a dynasty perspective (it's debatable how long the Quinn/Patricia combo will be there), but generally, teams use RBBC because it's the most optimal way to use the talent at hand. It can also be the result of waiting on RB in the draft as a philosophy.

That changes with Swift, IMO. If the Lions were dead-red RBBC, I believe they would've waited on RB in a pretty deep class.

Bottom line, I like Swift's long-term prospects with or without Quinn/Patricia.

Nah I can’t see it I’m afraid, unless injury occurs. Can see 10-15 touches per week for both Swift and Kerryon. Kerryon is also a damn fine player when fit, with carries and receptions. It’s a logical mindset to think that if you have two very good all round RBs, you can divvy up the work and keep them both fresher and in less risk of injury. Then if one does go down, you can change that possibly. Scarborough could feature in short yardage situations as well. Problem in past for us was that if Riddick came in you KNEW reception to him was coming. If it was Blount then you KNEW he was going up the middle. With Swift and Kerryon rotating in you can keep the defence guessing much more 

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36 minutes ago, TartanLion said:

Nah I can’t see it I’m afraid, unless injury occurs. Can see 10-15 touches per week for both Swift and Kerryon. Kerryon is also a damn fine player when fit, with carries and receptions. It’s a logical mindset to think that if you have two very good all round RBs, you can divvy up the work and keep them both fresher and in less risk of injury. Then if one does go down, you can change that possibly. Scarborough could feature in short yardage situations as well. Problem in past for us was that if Riddick came in you KNEW reception to him was coming. If it was Blount then you KNEW he was going up the middle. With Swift and Kerryon rotating in you can keep the defence guessing much more 

Remember, I'm talking long-term. 

With that said, KJ or anyone else on their roster (or any combo) isn't going to keep Swift from being their eventual feature back (barring injury).

The guys that have his type of skill-set (very similar to Kamara) are going to produce given a decent situation (& Detroit is certainly that).

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8 hours ago, TwinTurbo said:

You hit on all the problems. The only one you left out is the scouting dept and it's not clear to me how that has changed over the various coaching regimes. But the Lions have been awful in just about every draft in the last 20 years. No team could possibly screw up a pick like Megatron but the vast majority of picks that were not in the top 2 have been a complete disaster or are no longer on the team. For example, it makes almost zero sense to draft a TE in the top 10 yet the Lions have done that twice in the last few years with Hock and Ebron and also made a massive reach for Pettigrew. For the current GM, Golladay is clearly the winner along with Glasgow. But there's not much else to celebrate after that. 

As a long-suffering Lions' fan, I agree with you 100%.  They are the worst at identifying AND developing talent.  The have repeatedly made head-scratching moves, which almost never work out.  That's why when they sign free agents like Big V, expecting him to take on a much larger role, I believe it is a big mistake.  I believe they would've been better off re-signing Glasgow, and drafting one of the OTs in the draft (which was loaded).  Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of confidence they would've picked the right guy, or been able to develop his talent.

When other teams draft someone in the top 10, they are expecting to draft someone who will end up being an All Pro.  When the Lions draft in the top 10, they're lucky to get a long-term starter.  Which is why they draft in the top 10 so often.

If I owned the Lions (or another franchise), instead of trying to hire someone from the Patriots and bringing the Patriot way, I would prioritize hiring from teams that always seem to own the draft, such as the Baltimore Ravens.  Develop a successful scouting/development system, and you'll build sustainable success.  Keep doing what the Lions have done, and they'll still be talking about the Lions' failures 50 years from now.

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8 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

No, he still is. He’s never played a full season in his career. 

Dalvin Cook is ranked around #5 in most Dynasty rankings.

So clearly Cook's injury risk is not viewed nearly as great as some in here are attributing to Kerryon Johnson. The way some in here are talking they apparently believe Johnson will be on the field for maybe one more play in his career.

Can you help me understand why the difference? TIA

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On 5/1/2020 at 5:38 PM, PhantomJB said:

Dalvin Cook was perceived injury prone. Until he wasn't. Fournette, Matt Stafford.

gee, I guess  I missed him being in my FF lineups at the end of last year, oh wait he wasn't, because he was HURT.....and matt Stafford broke his back each of the last two seasons, so you need better examples man

 

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