One of the biggest differences between college football players and NFL football players is the overall speed. Each college team probably had a handful of speedsters on their roster but when it comes to the NFL, it seems like just about everyone can fly like the wind.
During the NFL Scouting Combine, Detroit Lions rookie RB D’Andre Swift ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, which was the seventh-fastest time for all running backs at the combine. In comparison, Jacksonville Jaguars safety Jarrod Davis ran the 40 in 4.55 seconds during the 2016 combine.
Why do I bring up this comparison? Well, during Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, Swift broke free for a 54-yard run, which was the longest of his career. But had Swift not slowed down, he may have taken the run to the house for a touchdown.
On Friday, Swift spoke to reporters and he admitted that he slowed down when he saw Davis out of the corner of his eye. Instead of continuing to fly down the sideline, Swift opted to slow down and spin, which resulted in him being tackled.
“That’s where my thinking came into it,” Swift said. “I think that was my first carry, first play I was in. Breaking it like that, a lot of things were going through my head while the run was going on. Like I said, just got to improve on that so next time I get in that position, I’m not thinking at all.”
Lions running backs coach Kyle Caskey said he told Swift that he has to realize that NFL players may be fast, but he is one of the fast guys.
“It’s one of those things we’re talking about, coming out with some confidence,” running backs coach Kyle Caskey said. “He hasn’t broken a run in the NFL, so it’s one of those things that the guys are fast, but he has to realize too, listen, you’re one of the fast guys too. I think now he understands that. Sometimes it takes a learning experience with something like that so the next time it will hopefully be different.”
Don’t worry, D’Andre, we will give you a free pass and we know the next one will go for six.