Weight: 186 lbs at Pro Day
Grade: 5.95 (Grading Scale)
Note-I’m doing this report out of the normal format because I have notes from games and a strong general opinion of Swanson from seeing him in person several times, but I only have two games of video to break down and in one of those games they threw the ball at him exactly twice.
Swanson has the speed and acceleration to make the jump from the top of FCS to the NFL. His 4.43 time at his pro day is legit. His burst out of breaks is very good, giving him the ability to click and close on the ball. Swanson has a strong feeling for route anticipation and how the receiver is going to attack him. Ball skills are excellent, with keen sense of timing, great aggression to the ball, and soft hands. He can make the athletic catch in traffic and goes for the ball relentlessly. Primarily playing press/bail and off-man, Swanson covers a lot of ground quickly and shows real stickiness in tracking receivers. He is a generally reliable tackler who drops his weight well after contact. He was skilled enough early to play as a true freshman at Toledo before transferring back close to home in Texas. Swanson showed up big in playoff games, and comes from an excellent FCS program that is well-coached. He played well in games vs. BCS competition.
The biggest knock for me is his lack of bulk. Swanson is pretty averaged sized at 5’10” and 186, but his body frame is slender and he has maxed it out. His jam is not very physical and he doesn’t force receivers off track well. He has little experience against top-level receivers or quarterbacks after transferring to SHSU from Toledo, though he did play well against Texas A&M. There isn’t a lot of force behind his pads when he hits; his tackling is more about angles and timing. Because he is aggressive in going after the ball, Swanson will get burned by well-executed double moves and pump fakes (see Montana 2011). Some of that was a function of how the Bearkats are coached, so it will be interesting to see how adeptly he can adjust his style.
Swanson has been the ringleader of a very talented secondary at one of the best FCS programs in the country after transferring despite earning playing time as a true freshman at Toledo. His aggression in coverage is appealing, but his average size and athleticism probably limit Swanson to a reserve role at the next level. He’d make a nice 4th corner for a man coverage team, and that’s worthy of a late 6th or a 7th round pick. —Jeff Risdon