DETROIT – The Detroit Lions have drafted Georgia RB D’Andre Swift in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft.
Swift was selected with the No. 35 overall pick.
The Georgia product was widely viewed as the top running back prospect in the draft. At 5-foot-9, 215 pounds, he’s much smaller than some of the other running backs who were available, but he’s a big-time playmaker.
In three seasons with the Bulldogs, Swift averaged 6.6 yards per carry, gaining 2,885 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 73 passes for an average of 9.1 yards per catch and five touchdowns.
Swift will slide into the backfield to create a dangerous duo with current starter Kerryon Johnson. While Johnson has been solid for the Lions when he’s on the field, he missed 14 games his first two seasons due to injury.
Having Swift and Johnson should allow the Lions to keep them both healthy and fresh.
On Thursday, the Lions selected Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round. He filled a hole in the secondary left by Darius Slay, who the Lions shipped to Philadelphia for a third-round pick.
The team entered Friday night with needs on both sides of the line of scrimmage, as well as linebacker and running back. Detroit could also use more help alongside Okudah in the secondary.
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Head coach Matt Patricia is feeling pressure to win now after finishing 3-12-1 in his second season with the Lions. General manager Bob Quinn figures to be on a similar hot seat after hiring Patricia and seeing him go just 9-22-1 over the last two years.
An injury to quarterback Matthew Stafford derailed the 2019-20 season, but the Lions’ losing tradition dates back 63 years. Since winning the championship in 1957, the Lions have made the playoffs just 12 times, going 1-12 with one divisional round win in January 1992.
The Lions made the postseason three times in six seasons from 2011 to 2016, but haven’t been back since.