Eagles’ Howie Roseman, Nick Sirianni break down trade for D’Andre Swift
The moment Roseman thought Eagles could land Swift originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Between the Eagles’ picks at No. 9 and 30 on Thursday night, there was another selection in the first round that caught Howie Roseman’s attention.
It was the moment that led to the trade for D’Andre Swift a couple days later.
“When [the Lions] took (Jahmyr) Gibbs 12th, we thought maybe it was an opportunity,” Roseman said at his post-draft press conference. “They signed (David) Montgomery in free agency and they took Gibbs, and we knew [Swift] was in the last year of his deal.”
Basically, the Lions announced to the NFL with their actions that Swift wasn’t in their future plans. So Roseman pounced and didn’t have to give up all that much to make it happen.
On Saturday, the Eagles pulled off the trade, sending a 2025 fourth-round pick to Detroit to bring Swift home to Philly on the final year of his rookie contract. The former second-round pick is a Philly native and was a star at St. Joe’s Prep.
Both Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni said they weren’t unhappy with their running back room entering the 2023 draft but adding a player like Swift made sense once he became available.
“It wasn't in our mind a position that we were actively looking to upgrade, but at the same time, we're always looking for opportunities to improve the team,” Roseman said. “When this came about, we just felt really good about the player, we felt really good about the person, and it adds another tremendous player and person to our locker room. We feel like we really know who he is as a person, have a lot of connections with him.
“I know I've mentioned his name a lot, but again, (Eagles Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Chief Security Officer) Dom (DiSandro) has known him and his family for a long time. We knew him really throughout high school. He had been in the facility as a high schooler, so I had met him when he was in high school. It's kind of a cool story of a local kid comes home and obviously a talented local kid.”
The Lions took Swift out of Georgia with the No. 35 pick back in 2020 and even if he hasn’t quite lived up to that draft status, he has been a productive player. In three seasons, Swift has rushed for 1,680 yards with 18 touchdowns and has caught 156 passes for 1,198 yards and 7 more touchdowns.
And Swift is still just 24 years old as he joins the Eagles for the 2023 season. Adding him to a high-powered offense with a dual-threat MVP-caliber quarterback might bring the best out of him.
So what does Sirianni like about Swift?
“You can definitely see his ability to make people miss in space, and you saw that against our defense last year,” Sirianni said. “He had some unbelievable runs against us last year, where you look at each other like man, that guy is hard to tackle. So, he has the ability to make you miss and also accelerate through the hole, which will serve us well in some of the draws that we run and some of the RPOs that we run.
“I don't know exactly how we'll use him perfectly with each individual run, you have to get your hands on him to see that, but also in the passing game, I think he's a dynamic playmaker that's done some things that we've done with guys in the past, with some of the different routes that he runs.
“But he has a great ability to read defenses out of the backfield, to make guys — to separate from tight coverage out of the backfield, and has really good hands. Obviously, again, can't say enough about the running back room that we have. We're really excited about the pieces that we had going into the draft, and we're even more excited about it with the addition of D'Andre.”
Swift’s big game against the Eagles came in the season opener in Detroit last year. He was dynamic in that one, rushing for a career-high 144 yards on 15 attempts with a touchdown and also catching three passes for 31 yards.
On the second play from scrimmage, Swift broke off a 50-yard run. Since entering the NFL, Swift has four runs of 50+ yards. Just Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor have more.
“It really started Week 1 when we played them,” Roseman said. “You saw the explosiveness when we played them. He had a heck of a game. Every time he touched the ball you knew there was a chance he could take it the distance.”
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