LOS ANGELES – Running back D’Andre Swift spent his rookie season in Detroit sharing the backfield with Adrian Peterson, whose likely Hall of Fame career is defined by being one of the toughest runners the league has ever seen.
Peterson said one of the things he likes the most about Swift's game is his sneaky power for a back his size.
"I think the sky's the limit for him," Peterson told detroitlions.com on Radio Row Thursday. "He's one of those backs that's agile, and he runs the ball really hard. He's physical. You can do so much with him. He's a dynamic player. The fact that he runs the ball so hard, too, I feel like that kind of puts him on a different level when you're talking about these dynamic backs."
Swift is listed at 5-foot-9, 211 pounds. He is one of the best pass-catching backs and is an elusive open-field runner, but he can also lay a hit on a defender if they aren't ready for it, which Peterson loves about his game.
In the fourth quarter of Detroit's Week 5 game in Minnesota, Swift caught an open-field pass and scampered downfield 15 yards before Vikings cornerback Bashaud Breeland tried to squared up and tackle him. Swift lowered his shoulder and bowled over the Vikings defender, knocking him back five yards. The play won Swift Good Morning Football's Angry Runs scepter for the week.
"He's one of those guys, he likes to be physical," Peterson said of his former teammate. "That mindset like, 'Hey, you're not going to just hit me, I'm going to ram you, I'm going to initiate the contact.' He's looking for it, too.
"If the opportunity presents itself he's looking for that contact. You don't see that with a lot of smaller guys. He has a big heart, man. He's tough. It's going to help him, too, because guys are going to know when they watch film like, 'he ain't messing around. This isn't a guy that's going to let us just tee off on him.'"
Swift is only the sixth player in NFL history to produce at least 1,000 rushing yards, 105 receptions and 17 total touchdowns through his first 26 career games. He had over 1,000 scrimmage yards this past season, sharing the backfield with Jamaal Williams.
Peterson thinks the sky is the limit for Swift as one of the more complete backs in the NFL.