The Detroit Lions' backfield battle will be one to watch once training camp starts later this month.
Detroit drafted multifaceted Georgia product D'Andre Swift in the second round to bolster a running back crew that has lacked pizzazz when incumbent starter Kerryon Johnson has gone down with knee injuries.
In two seasons, Johnson, who averaged 4.5 yards per carry, has missed 14 games due to injury. While the 23-year-old remains explosive when on the field, the Lions decided not to sit pat with a cavalcade of backup-types, hoping Johnson could finally stay healthy.
The rookie said in a conference call Thursday that he's gearing up to compete for snaps.
"I've been competing all my life," Swift said, via Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. "Kerryon is a great back, great player. I remember when he was at Auburn, and he was killing us. He's still doing great in the league.
"I can't even give you my role. Whatever role they have for me, I just gotta make sure I'm in the best shape and know all of the plays so I'm ready to take it on full force. But I'm not going in there looking to do anything, just doing what I've been doing."
Swift is a dual-threat dynamo. In three years with the Bulldogs, the RB earned 2,885 yards on 440 carries (6.6 average) with 20 TDs and added 73 catches for 666 yards and five additional scores.
The combination of Swift and Johnson should provide Detroit with a backfield that can threaten defenses in both the run and pass regardless of who is on the field. How the backfield is divvied up will largely depend on how quickly Swift picks up the offense once training camp begins, and how healthy Johnson stays in Year 3.