2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Derrius Guice

  • Derrius Guice, 5-10/224

  • Running Back

  • LSU

  • Derrius Guice Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Impactful feature back
  • Instinctive, natural runner
  • Downhill runner
  • Tough to tackle
  • Picks up yards after contact
  • Excellent body lean to run low
  • Runs behind pads
  • Bends at the knee
  • Keeps feet going after contact
  • Has a second gear in the open field
  • Fast to the hole
  • Play-maker
  • Good vision
  • Wears down defenses
  • Impressive lateral quickness
  • Has elusiveness in the open field
  • Decisive runner
  • Capable of creating for himself
  • Can handle a big workload
  • Capable of controlling games
  • Runs well in the second half
  • Quality short-yardage back
  • Can change the complexion of an offense as a play-making runner
  • Athletic upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Had knee-injury issues during 2017 season
  • Not overly fast
  • Not overly powerful

  • Summary: Over the past three seasons, Guice has shown that he has serious running talent. Guice averaged 8.5 yards per carry as a freshman in 2015 for 436 yards with three touchdowns. 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. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 1,387 yards with 15 touchdowns. As a receiver, Guice had nine receptions for 106 yards.

    Guice was expected to be one of the top rushers in the nation in 2017, but he was held back for a lot of the season with a knee injury. The junior missed only one game, but he wasn’t the same in other contests. Still, Guice turned in some big performances, including 276 yards on 22 carries against Ole Miss. Guice averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2017, totaling 1,251 yards with 11 touchdowns. He had 18 catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns as well. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Guice showed impressive speed, running a 4.49-second in the 40-yard dash. That is a fast time for a running back and especially one for a back that carries as much weight as Guice does.

    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 the end result is that he has elements of power and quickness to be a well-balanced runner. There are times at which you see impressive power to lower a shoulder and blast a defender. While Guice finishes his runs 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.

    In 2016, 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. 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, possessing the cutting ability to weave around a defense and dodge defenders in the open field. His lateral quickness makes him tough at the second level, as he is able to dodge defenders while accelerating for more yardage. For a lot of 2017, injuries sapped Guice of his top speed for longer runs and explosiveness to the hole. However, he flashed some of his old form in the second half of the year. Guice looks like a future feature back for pro offense who should the engine of a potent rushing attack.

    Guice has the ability to be a three-down starter in the NFL’s passing-driven game. Like almost all college backs, his receiving and blocking could use some development. He has the skill set, however, to be a contributor in the passing game and be a good three-down starter who has Pro Bowl potential in the NFL.

    Guice looks like a high second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he has a shot at sneaking into the end of the first round.

    Player Comparison: Ray Rice. Guice’s game is similar to what Rice’s was, plus they are virtually the same size. Like Rice, Guice features quickness to the hole, shifty running with good pad level, and the toughness to pick up yards after contact. Rice was a second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, and Guice looks likely to be selected in the same round this year. I think Guice is similar to Rice, and I think Guice could be as good as, or better than, Rice was during his strong seasons from 2009-2012.

    NFL Matches: Cleveland, New York Giants, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Detroit and San Francisco

    There are a lot of teams that could consider taking Guice in the early rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns moved on from Isaiah Crowell and signed Carlos Hyde. If they don’t land Saquon Barkley in the first round, Guice would make sense for one of their second-round picks.

    In the Big Apple, the Giants could use a feature back for their offense, and Guice would give them a physical rushing attack that they haven’t had in years. If they don’t take Barkley at pick No. 2, they could be interested in Guice in the second round.

    Similarly, the Colts could use a running back of the future to pair with Andrew Luck and bring a more steady rushing attack to Indianapolis’ offense. Indianapolis could target Guice with one of their trio of second-round picks.

    Tampa Bay needs a feature back after moving on from Doug Martin. I think the Bucs really like Guice and wouldn’t be surprised if they are aggressive to land him in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    In the Bay Area, San Francisco could use a lead back for its offense. Guice might be a fit for Kyle Shanahan if the 49ers head coach liked what he saw out of Guice as a receiver in pre-draft workouts. Oakland badly needs more consistency from its rushing offense. Predictably, Marshawn Lynch was a disappointment coming out of retirement, and Doug Martin isn’t a long-term answer. The Raiders need a true feature back to go with Derek Carr.

    For years now, the Lions have had one-dimensional offense with one of the worst rushing attacks in the league. Detroit needs a true No. 1 back to bring some balance to the offense. Guice would be a great fit for the Lions, but he won’t get to their second-round pick, so they will have to trade up for him.


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