2018 NFL Draft Player Preview: Derrius Guice

  • Derrius Guice, 5-11/212

  • Running Back

  • LSU

  • Derrius Guice 2017 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: With Leonard Fournette in and out of the lineup with an ankle injury in 2016, Guice took advantage of a larger-than-expected workload to have a breakout sophomore season. Guice averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 1,387 yards with 15 touchdowns on the year. As a receiver, he took nine receptions for 106 yards. Guice had some massive games with 252 yards versus Arkansas and 285 yards rushing against Texas A&M.

    As a freshman in 2015, Guice averaged 8.5 yards per carry for 436 yards with three touchdowns. He had five receptions for 20 yards. Over two seasons, Guice has averaged 22 yards per kick return.

    2017 Season Outlook: As one can expect, Guice is going to see a tough 2017 schedule playing in the SEC West. In early October, the junior will see a rebuilding Florida defense that may not be as good this year after losing a lot of talent to the NFL. Auburn, in mid-October, has some defensive talent for the next level. His toughest test will come against rival Alabama on November 4th. Once again, the Crimson Tide are loaded with defensive players who will play on Sundays. Guice also has some easy opponents to dominant in the early portion of the season.

    Skill-Set Summary: There is a lot to like about Guice as a runner. He has three down starting ability for the NFL with the ability to be a bell cow back that is an engine for his team's rushing offense. Guice has a starting mix of size, speed, power, and special attributes to be an effective runner.

    Guice is an interesting player with diversity in his skill set. One could debate on the kind of back he will be in the NFL, but in the end, he has the elements of power and quickness to be a well-balanced runner. There are times where you see impressive power to lower a shoulder and blast a defender. While he finishes his runs by dishing out some punishment, he is a tough runner between the tackles as well, and his legs don't go dead on contact when bigger defenders hit him or get a hold of him. Guice will run through tackles, break free from defenders, and is tough to get on the ground.

    Last season, Guice made a number of long runs, and there is no doubt that he has quickness. That could also be seen on his kick returns as well. He has a burst to the hole and a second gear to break free for long gains. Guice has good vision and moves in the open field. He isn't limited to being a North-South runner as he has the cutting ability to weave around a defense and dodge defenders in the open field.

    Guice should have the ability to be a three-down starter in today's passing-driven NFL. The junior's pass blocking will be watched very closely by NFL scouts this season, and performing well there will help to improve his draft stock and his chances of being a first-round pick. It could be hard to gauge Guice's receiving skills as LSU hasn't thrown the ball much to its backs in recent years, but NFL teams will watch for that skill in the workouts leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Guice is a quick runner, but he doesn't have elite Chris Johnson-like speed and isn't overly big as a sub-220-pound back. Those two factors could be held against Guice when it comes to being a Thursday night selection during the 2018 NFL Draft.

    2018 NFL Draft Expectations: Guice projects as an early round pick entering the 2017 season. With a strong year, he could contend to be a first-round pick. If he stays healthy and consistent to his play last year, Guice should be safe as a second-day pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.




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