Bleacher Report: Georgia's D'Andre Swift 'perfect' fit for Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons own the No. 16 overall pick in the NFL Draft this year and are looking to add a "game-wrecker" – someone who will provide an immediate impact – to their roster.

While Atlanta's biggest positional need is defensive end, there are several directions the Falcons could go in with their first-round pick due to the talent at certain positions in this year's draft class.


One of the deeper positions of the 2020 draft class is running back. And Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller isn't ruling out the idea of the Falcons taking a running back at No. 16.

The running back Miller believes could put Atlanta's offense over the top is University of Georgia's D'Andre Swift.

"At No. 16 [the Falcons] could take the first one off the board whether it's D'Andre Swift, who Georgia fans would go crazy for," Miller said from the Senior Bowl. "It would be so perfect. I think you have to think about it. Right now, everyone wants to score. You need explosive players. With Matt [Ryan] getting older, a quarterback's best friend is a run game. If you could throw D'Andre Swift in there, that's a good offense."

Whether it's in the first round or later in the draft, it's likely the Falcons will continue to add to their running back group.

The Falcons finished the 2019 season with the 30th-ranked rushing offense, averaging 85.1 yards per game. Improving the run game is one of Atlanta's top priorities this offseason.

"We did not hit the mark we were hoping to accomplish in that spot, but at the end of it, that's one of the things, when we say tweak it and work it to go, that identity, it has to come through," Quinn said during his season-ending press conference.

The Falcons have five running backs on their roster right now: Devonta Freeman, Ito Smith, Brian Hill, Qadree Ollison and Kenjon Barner.

Whether or not this remains the group in 2020 will be decided over the next few months as Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said some tough decisions will be made regarding personnel moving forward.

Freeman, 27, led the Falcons in rushing yards with 656 on 184 carries and two touchdowns. He was also a significant part of Atlanta's passing game as he caught 59 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns.

Swift fits the mold in what the Falcons want in their running backs. A dynamic playmaker with an ability to catch passes out the backfield.

During his three seasons at Georgia, Swift rushed for 2,885 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 73 passes for 666 yards and five touchdowns.

Miller points to Dimitroff's aggressive approach in the draft as something to keep in mind over the next few months.

If the Falcons were to take an offensive player with the No. 16 overall pick, it doesn't necessarily mean Dimitroff wouldn't find a way to address the defensive end position in the first round as well, according to Miller.

"It's a hard sell because everyone is going to be like, 'No, our defense needs to get better,'" Miller said. "But, we saw last year, they traded back into the first round to get [Kaleb] McGary so that's one thing about Thomas, he's going to be aggressive. So, if you take Swift at No. 16, that doesn't mean he's not going to take someone like Yetur Gross-Matos from Penn State in the late first round."

Who the Falcons will take with their first-round pick remains to be determined but one thing is certain, he will need to be a difference-maker.

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