No one would really blame Kerryon Johnson if he was taken aback by the Lions selection of D'Andre Swift in the second round of the 2020 draft. After all, when you take someone that high, that can oftentimes be looked at as a direct threat to the likes of Johnson and his spot as Detroit's lead back. Even with that possibility out there, however, Johnson isn't sweating it.
"Look, I knew we were going to draft a running back eventually," Johnson told reporters on Wednesday, via The Detroit News. "I think we got, in my opinion, definitely one of the top two (in the draft). I love having a running back. I love winning games and I think he can help us do that, so I wasn't tripping at all."
Swift will certainly help bolster a Detroit running game that finished just 21st in the league in yards per game (103.1). During his final season at Georiga, Swift was able to total over 1,200 yards rushing on a 6.2 yards per carry average to go along with seven rushing scores. He also was a factor in the passing game, catching 24 balls for 216 yards. Johnson knows Swift's skillset quite well and has seen it firsthand while the 2018 second-round pick went head-to-head with his Georgia Bulldogs during his days at Auburn in the SEC.
"He's a phenomenal player," Johnson said. "I remember playing against him in college. I hated seeing him, every time. We played against Nick Chubb and Sony (Michel) and I'm telling you, when that kid stepped on the field, he's lightning in a bottle. He's threatening to go 80 yards, 70, 60, every time he touches it.
"He's a lot more elusive than I am, I would say so, and I think everybody would agree to that," Johnson said. "But just having multiple running backs that are capable of running the ball at an efficient level, whether the style is different or the style is the same, just take the stress off one another."
One reason why he may be embracing the Swift selection is to keep the entire unit fresh in hopes of having a fully healthy season for the first time in his career. Johnson has been a productive back in the NFL when he's on the field, but health has been an issue for him over the course of his two-year pro career. Knee injuries have put him on the shelf for a total of 14 games over the past couple of years. In those 18 games where he has been able to suit up, Johnson's totaled 1,044 yards rushing on a 4.5 yards per carry clip.
Along with the addition of Swift, the Lions have also reshuffled their line, specifically on the right side with the signing of Halapoulivaati Vaitai in free agency and selection of Jonah Jackson in the third round. If all goes right, the Lions will try to have a top-10 rushing attack for the first time since 1998.