The 2018 crop of running backs is full of talent. Saquon Barkley is unanimously ranked the best back in this draft, but there is talent all across the board and Derrius Guice is one of those guys. He made a name for himself at LSU despite sitting behind Leonard Fournette on the depth chart.
Guice played in every game as a true freshman in 2015. He earned 51 carries and produced 436 yards. Then Guice had a breakout 2016 campaign when given the opportunity with Fournette sidelined with injuries. He ended up leading the SEC in rushing with 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns on just 183 carries. He topped 100 yards in each game he started, including two games of 250+ yards and a school record 285 versus Texas A&M. His 2017 campaign was hampered by injuries. Guice fought through the pain to only miss one game and still managed 1,251 yards. Yes, this included another monster performance of 276 yards against Ole Miss.
Derrius definitely has what it takes to be a running back in the NFL. He has good overall size and a superior combination of speed, power and balance. His powerful legs help his downhill running style as he looks for contact. Guice has the power to shove off tackles, but also displays the footwork and balance to juke defenders. Overall, he is more of a power back then an elusive one. He welcomes contact and creates space after absorbing the hits.
His big play capability gives him a high ceiling, but his recurring injury is a bit concerning. He appeared to get healthier as the 2017 season went on. The major concern is his violent running style which allows him to take a lot of punishment. This could lead to a shorter career, but he could still have an immediate impact. Guice didn’t look like the same runner while fighting through injuries, so he may be projected as a late 1st to mid 2nd round pick, but those worries can be alleviated if he can return to health and regain form.
Weight: 224 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
Bench press: 15 reps
Vertical jump: 31.5″
Projection: Derrius Guice could get drafted as early as the first round to the Detroit Lions. I could see the Patriots or Eagles drafting him at the end of the first round. My guess is Guice doesn’t slip past the middle of the second round.
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