As the spring carries on and the sports world adjusts to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NFL offseason has been humming along as planned. With free agency in full bloom, the draft lingers just inside of a month away and is being planned as a video conferencing event and to proceed (mostly) as normal.
At the running back position, D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor lead the pack. While it might come down to what happens before either of them is taken, let’s take a look at a prop bet posted by our friends over at PointsBet and identify the best way to approach it to find some value. Here are all of our 2020 NFL Draft Prop Bets.
D’Andre Swift -132
One area Swift has a massive advantage over Taylor is in the limited amount of wear and tear he received during his college years. Much like current Titans running back Derrick Henry, Swift was a part of a stable of backs in college alongside Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, and he fought to find time on the field.
As Bulldogs fans know well, Swift’s talent became too evident to keep him off the field for long. Taking a more active role in the offense in his sophomore year, Swift rushed for 1,049 yards and 10 touchdowns — while still splitting reps with the other studs in the backfield. He also hauled in 32 receptions for an average of over nine yards per catch, proving that he’s a viable receiving option.
Swift’s junior season, this past one, is what really solidified him as a top running back in this year’s draft. Raking in 1,218 yards on the ground with an average of 6.2 yards per carry, Swift carried Georgia’s offense as their quarterback struggled to find consistency through large stretches of the season.
The only area of concern I see for Swift as he enters the NFL is his size at just 5’8″ and 212 pounds. In his three years in playing in arguably the most physical conference in college football, Swift managed to avoid any serious injuries and missed no games at all. That’s impressive, but it may not be sustainable in the NFL.
The other early-draft option at the running back position is Wisconsin product Jonathan Taylor. There’s a strong case for him to get drafted before Swift in 2020, as he has a slight size advantage and put up a faster 40 time at the NFL Combine.
At the end of the day, I think teams will see the most value in a player like Swift. He may not have run a better 40 at the Combine, but he has the cutting ability and versatility that translate into the NFL extremely well. Like they did with Henry, NFL scouts understand that Swift’s situation at Georgia didn’t allow him to put up the same numbers as Taylor, and I don’t expect him to get dinged for the lack of eye-popping statistics.