NFL Draft Profile: Derrius Guice
- HEIGHT: 5′ 10″
- WEIGHT: 212 lbs
- ARMS: 30 3/4”
- HANDS: 9 3/4”
NFL Scouting Combine Results:
- 4o Yard-Dash: 4.49 Seconds
- Bench Press: 15 Reps
- Vertical Jump: 31.5 Inches
2017 vs 2016: Tape of Two Seasons
“Don’t waste your time on 2017 film because he wasn’t even back up to his top speed until the bowl game. He will be the same player he was in 2016. If you had a grade on him after last year, you should use that.”- LSU assistant coach
When you first Google search the term “Run Angry” this is the video that will first be shown: A Derrius Guice 2016-2017 season highlight video.
Looking at his highlight film, “run angry” may not do him justice. Guice is a bowling-bowl running back capable of bouncing off defenders and delivering a finishing blow. He possesses great vision as a ball-carrier. He sees the hole and hits it quick. Capable of weaving through traffic in runs up the middle. Not to mention he has the ability to reach breakaway speed. So what changed in 20the 17-2018 season that the LSU assistant coach was referring to?
During the 2017-2018 season, Guice battled through numerous injuries. When I began to analyze Guice’s 2017-2018 film, I fully expected to see the drop-off from his sophomore year. Unexpectedly though I found that not to be the case. At least not entirely. After watching his film, I felt he still was the same aggressive, banging type of running back from the 2016-2017 season. The only real difference I saw was his overall speed. He was definitely not creating as much separation on longer runs. He would frequently get caught by a defensive back after breaking a long run. So will this problem come back in the NFL? Injuries are also a concern for all running backs especially with ones that run as aggressive as Guice. In regards to his speed though, now that Guice is healthy, with his health returns his breakaway speed.
Most NFL player comparisons have been to Marshawn Lynch due to Guice’s comparable aggressive running style and similar size. Lynch was 5′ 10” and weighed 220 when he came out of California. To stray away from the popular opinion though, I look to compare him to two less obvious running backs.
Elijah McGuire – New York Jets
Now, this is strictly from a measurable standpoint because they run in two totally different ways. McGuire is a one cut and go, runner, while Guice just goes over the defender. McGuire’s height (5’10”) and weight (214) practically match Guice’s measurables by NFL.com. McGuire’s 40 yard-dash at 4.53 is slightly slower than Guice, which bodes well for Guice entering the NFL. Like I previously referenced the disconnect from production from 2016 to 2017 was he was not breaking away from runs. However, his health now combined with the fact that a slower McGuire sustained many breakaways during his rookie campaign, deduce the idea that Guice possesses the speed to break-away from defenders on big running plays.
Now it is important to note that weight is something that fluctuates quite often. According to Milehighreport.com Guice actually weighed in at the 2018 NFL Combine at 224 pounds, 12 pounds heavier than reported by NFL.com. Based on this heavier weight here is another running back that can be compared to Guice.
Robert Turbin – Indianapolis Colts
Inevitably trying to avoid comparing Guice to Lynch resulted inexplicitly comparing him to Lynch’s backup Robert Turbin. He not only matches Guice’s heavier 224 pounds, 5’10” frame 31” arms and 9 3/4” hands but surpassed him athletically across the board. Turbin outdid Guice in the 40-yard dash (4.42) vertical jump (36) and bench press (28). Unlike McGuire, Turbin also has a very similar running style to Guice; big and physical. The big knock on Turbin however, was his pass protection. Guice is not immune to this weakness either as most rookie running backs struggle with pass protection. Guice is not particularly bad at pass protection. He is aggressive in his pass-blocking and does not wait for his assignment to come to him. My only concern with that is he may at times overpursue in pass-protection and that can cause issues especially if he is not ready for specific blitz packages from NFL defenses. But my initial main concern is an injury.
The tendency remains for contact-embracing running backs to be more injury prone. However, in the case of Turbin, he stayed relatively healthy playing 16 games for three straight seasons as the back-up to Marshawn Lynch on Seattle. He only averaged 77.5 carries over those three seasons, but it provides hope that a running back like Guice will be able to stay healthy, albeit his volume needs to be monitored correctly.
April 4, 2018, LSU Pro Day Results:
Guice did not participate in any measurable skill drills that he ran at the combine but rather ran routes to show off his pass-catching ability. He looked smooth as a route runner and showed soft hands in the drills he participated in. Guice did not catch many passes in college, but that may be more accurately attributed to the LSU offense versus the skills of Guice. Guice seems to have the tools to be a three-down back, but depending on which team he lands will ultimately determine if he will get that three-down role.
The most realistic role for Guice seems to be that of a first, second, and goal-line running back. Guice has yet to show the dynamic pass-catching abilities that some of these other strictly third-down backs have. Considering his back-up Darrel Williams had more receptions than him in 2017, it is difficult to initially envision Guice in that third-down passing role. He is more than capable if thrust into that role because of the 18 receptions, though not a lot from LSU shows that he possesses the elite pass-catching ability. It may be difficult for him to beat out a third-down back specialist. This part of his upside as a pass-catcher will be determined by the team he goes to. Best fits for Guice to be a three-down back would include the Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, Tampa Bay or Denver Broncos. These are all teams that could use an upgrade at the running back position that doesn’t currently have an established pass-catching back on the roster. However, Guice has also drawn a lot of interest from more crowded running back teams, such as the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Washington Redskins.
Regardless, Guice will most likely go in the first or second round with some teams very desperate for a changeup at the position. He provides a type of angry running style, that any coach that wants to establish the run would love to see. He just needs to avoid the injury bug from his aggressive style of play like his former LSU teammate Leonard Fournette who has already struggled with injuries early in his career.
Want to read more about the NFL Draft and Derrius Guice? Check out the latest Gridiron Experts Mock Draft and where the staff has Derrius Guice slated to be drafted!
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