Did Brad Holmes fleece Howie Roseman in D’Andre Swift trade?

As soon as the Detroit Lions used the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to select RB Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama, the writing was on the wall that D'Andre Swift‘s days in the Motor City were limited. That came to fruition on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft when the Lions agreed to trade Swift and a seventh-round pick (No. 249 overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2025 fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick in this year's draft (No. 219 overall). According to Seth Walder of ESPN, Lions GM Brad Holmes got the best of Eagles GM Howie Roseman in this one.

Brad Holmes Detroit Lions Mel Kiper NFL GM Power Rankings Villain Howie Roseman D'Andre Swift

Key Points

  • The Detroit Lions traded D'Andre Swift and a seventh-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2025 fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft (No. 219 overall).
  • The trade was a result of the Lions selecting Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 overall pick in the draft, making Swift the team's third running back. While the decision to select Gibbs received criticism, the Lions got a good return for Swift, who has one year left on his contract.
  • The Eagles filled a need by acquiring Swift, but his value has primarily been in the receiving game, and they are dealing a future fourth-round pick for just one season of him. Swift will have a fresh start in Philly and has a lot to prove heading into a contract year.

Did Brad Holmes fleece Howie Roseman in D'Andre Swift trade?

Walder gave the Lions a B+ for the trade while giving the Eagles a C+. Here is what Walder has to say about the trade. You will also notice that he was not a big fan of the Lions selecting Gibbs at No. 12.

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Detroit Lions get: 2025 fourth-round pick, 2023 seventh-round pick (No. 219)
Philadelphia Eagles get: D'Andre Swift, 2023 seventh-round pick (No. 249)

Eagles grade: C+
Lions grade: B+*

Let's start with the Lions here because the B+ grade above comes with just about the largest asterisk you can imagine. The reason Detroit is trading Swift is because he became the team's third running back after it selected Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 overall pick (and signed David Montgomery in free agency). If I were grading the entire chain of decisions — trading down from No. 6 to No. 12, selecting Gibbs there and then trading Swift, I'd give the entire ordeal an F. The selection of Gibbs was an awful misjudgment of positional value, comes with massive opportunity cost (the chance to draft a player worthy of the No. 12 overall pick) and was a reach for a player that would have likely been available later. All that being said: Once the Lions made the draft choice, to get a future fourth for Swift when he has just one year left on his contract is a good piece of business.

For the Eagles, Swift fills a need, yes. But what kind of player are they getting? Swift has been mediocre on the ground accruing a mere six rushing yards over expectation over his entire career. His value comes in the receiving game: He's caught 156 passes over his career and last season had a 63 overall score in our Receiver Tracking Metrics, which ranked eighth among running backs. Receiving skill is where a lot of running back value is, and Swift is a fine player for the Eagles to roster, but they are dealing a future fourth for just one season of him. If the Eagles spent that kind of draft capital on a running back (or two later picks on two) in this year's class, there's a pretty good chance they would find someone roughly on par with Swift at a lower salary and with four years of control.

Bottom Line: Fresh Start for Swift

Swift has a ton to prove in 2023 as he is heading into a contract year with the Eagles. Had the Lions kept him around, he would not have gotten the same workload that he will likely get in Philly. We certainly hope this all works out for Swift, and we definitely hope it works out for the Lions!

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