Position: Running Back
Weight: 212 pounds
School: LSU Tigers
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds (fifth among running backs)
Bench Press: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches
Derrius Guice 2018 NFL Draft Profile
The phrase “a bull in a china shop” gets used a lot when describing Derrius Guice‘s running style, but that idiom undersells the running back’s unique capabilities. Bulls are considered wild and clumsy, yet Guice is neither of the two. A more adequate idiom to describe Guice’s style of play would be “a gorilla in a china shop.”
Part of what contributes to Guice’s angry running style is his rough childhood. At the age of six, his father Derrik Guice was murdered. His brother, Derrick Guice was constantly in and out of prison, most recently charged with second-degree murder in the fall of 2016. Guice built an aggression he used to fuel his play on the football field starting at the high school level. He finished with 21 touchdowns and 1,341 rushing yards his senior year, which was good enough to earn an invitation to play in the US Army All-American Bowl and was named MVP of the game. He was the number two ranked running back in the nation by Rivals.com and committed to LSU after the MVP performance.
In his freshman year at LSU, Guice saw minimal playing time behind Leonard Fournette and Brandon Harris. He finished the year with 436 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In his sophomore season, Fournette was still on the roster but due to a couple injuries, Guice received a lot more playing time and finished the year as LSU’s leading rusher with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Guice gained a lot of national attention that year because he had two 250+ rushing yard performances against Arkansas and Texas A&M that season.
With Fournette out of the picture in the NFL during Guice’s final season, many thought Guice had a shot to win the Heisman Trophy. Due to a couple of injuries and an underperforming LSU offense, Guice never lived up to the preseason hype and finished the year with 1,251 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. He added another 250+ yard rushing game against Ole Miss in 2017 giving him three career games of 250 or more rushing yards, an SEC record.
- Extremely powerful runner, rare elite level of power;
- Great vision, lets holes develop;
- Reads his blocks well;
- Has great top-end speed to finish big plays;
- Explosive out of cuts;
- Breaks through arm tackles with ease;
- Good spin move;
- Above average stiff arm move;
- Runs extremely well in traffic;
- Does not shy away from contact;
- Maintains balance extremely well after contact
- Very good red zone threat – pushes piles;
- Capable kickoff returner.
- dealt with injuries much of 2017 season;
- not an effective pass blocker;
- very average pass-catcher out of the backfield;
- route running needs work;
- needs to work on lowering pad level rather than ducking helmet (now an NFL penalty).
NFL Comparison: Marshawn Lynch
Teams with Need at position: Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projection: Mid to late first round
Much like his former teammate in Fournette, Guice is a one of a kind runner that almost every NFL team would love to have on their roster. Saquon Barkley might be the best overall running back in this draft class thanks to his versatility in the passing game, but Guice might be the better runner. He follows a long list of LSU running backs that do not go down very easily and like Fournette, Guice has very good top-end speed to beat corners and safeties to the end zone. His skills in pass protection and pass catching are raw which means he is best suited as a first and second down back. Because he initiates so much contact, he might have a shorter career than other running backs in this draft class but he still has the potential to be a top-five NFL running back.