It is consensus opinion (and rightfully so) that Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles had a stellar draft weekend, so much so that there appears to be some sour grapes over it. The influx of Georgia defensive talent for the second consecutive year made most of the headlines, but the Eagles also acquired a former Bulldog on the offensive side of the ball in Lions running back D’Andre Swift.

Swift was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2020, and after a promising rookie year that included 878 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns, he was looking like one of the next young rising stars at running back, especially as a pass-catcher. When new head coach Dan Campbell arrived the following season, despite having more touches on the season overall, Swift seemed to fall into Campbell’s dog house mysteriously. This was even more so the case this past season, Swift’s third when he had career lows in both rush attempts and receptions despite career highs in efficiency in both categories. Swift was very clearly on his way out after the Lions (bizarrely) used the 12th overall pick on Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs, another explosive pass-catching running back. Two days later, Detroit (reluctantly) traded him to the Eagles along with pick #249 for a 2025 fourth-round selection and pick #219.

Detroit’s apparent disapproval of Swift was always confusing to me. Health has been a bit of a concern, but he still played in at least 13 games every year and was a legitimately useful and effective player. Swift is a shifty runner and one of the better pass-catchers at running back in the NFL. He is still only 24 years old and is only making $1.77 million this upcoming season. The price the Eagles paid is maybe not highway robbery, but it is absolutely a calculated and worthwhile risk for a loaded roster in the midst of their Super Bowl window. Swift’s skillset is the perfect complement to Raashad Penny’s one-cut, more powerful style, in my opinion. At its full potential, I think the duo has a chance to give the Eagles an even more potent rushing attack than what they had with Miles Sanders last season.

The ultimate point being made here is that the Eagles expended very few resources into the running back position this offseason, and they still arguably upgraded it despite losing a good player in Miles Sanders. A huge chunk of the Eagles fanbase wanted the team to use its first selection on Texas running back Bijan Robinson. While Robinson is an incredible prospect and would have undoubtedly made the Eagles’ offense extremely dangerous, the reality is that it was never realistic to expect Roseman to invest a premium on a running back, as that has never been his M.O. Additionally, in hindsight, the Eagles passing on (or not trading up for) Robinson gave them a better team at the end of the weekend than it would have otherwise. The downgrade from Robinson to Swift is not nearly as large as the downgrade from Jalen Carter to whatever defensive tackle they would have added instead, whether that be later in the draft or some other veteran.

The Eagles have a blueprint for building their roster, including playing the “bargain bin” game at running back. It paid off big time this weekend, as the Eagles, on paper, appear poised to make another deep playoff run in the NFC.


Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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