2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Derrius Guice
Ht: 5'11" Wt: 212
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The Bayou Bengals had an embarrassment of riches with Guice and 2017 first-round pick, Leonard Fournette. While the latter got the majority of the national headlines, it is actually Guice who has two of the top three single-game rushing performances in LSU history. It is also Guice who led the SEC in rushing, and to those who have studied the tape, it is Guice who is the more complete back. With those kind of credentials, one would think that a breakout season had already occurred, but in 2017, the rest of the country should find out what SEC fans already know: LSU still has an extremely talented running back on its roster.
As I mentioned, Guice is a much more versatile player than Fournette was, and he may have Fournette to thank for that. For Guice, getting on the field meant excelling in areas that Fournette couldn't, most notably on passing downs. Guice is an above-average route-runner and displays soft hands as a receiver. He is also much more advanced as a pass-protector than most college backs. For those who compare his game to Ezekiel Elliott, I would counter that their running styles are completely different. Still, Elliott was a complete back coming out of Ohio State, capable of being on the field in any scenario, and Guice fits that description.
When considering his running style, I feel the comparison should be to Marshawn Lynch. Guice runs angry, and he already has a handful of plays in his LSU career that resemble that epic run where Lynch seemed like a man among boys against the New Orleans Saints' defense in the 2010 Wild Card game. Guice doesn't go down easy, and he always falls forward. He rips free from tacklers and plays with an outstanding balance that speaks to the kind of core strength he has built. Guice also shows terrific vision as a runner and has a keen understanding of blocking assignments, and where the hole should develop. He is also disciplined in understanding when he truly has a chance to beat the defense to the edge, and when powering ahead for a short gain is the appropriate action.
If I have a complaint about his game, I do wonder if he has big-play speed. He may not run a sub-4.5 forty, but I do believe his speed will be more than satisfactory to play at the next level. I also worry about the Leonard Fournette-effect. We only have a small sample of Guice's talents, and while it has been scintillating, the motivation just to get on the field has been the driving factor. Now that the stage is his, I hope to see the same drive that he showed while spelling Fournette. I also hope that the spotlight doesn't reveal any issues that have gone unnoticed. One area in particular I hope doesn't continue to be an issue is his ball security.
Overall, you have to love the passion that Guice plays with on the field. You can see it on every run, as well as on his face when he is on the sidelines. This truly looks like a player that believes a bad day on the gridiron is better than a good day anywhere else. You also have to love his mentality. Leonard Fournette was an Alpha dog on that roster. Good players seemed to cede the spotlight to him. However, Guice never seemed to be one of those guys. He was an Alpha of his own, and it reminded me of the same scenario that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were in, while playing together in Oklahoma City. There was no doubt that Durant was one of the top players in the NBA but Westbrook was not the kind of player to take a backseat. Guice has that kind of mentality, and the fact that he fought so hard to carve out a role of his own, when many players might be discouraged by the lack of playing time, is extremely impressive. Guice's personal life is an inspiring tale of poverty, a murdered father, and a hard-working mother who is no doubt the inspiration that has driven him to become the man he is today. It is not easy to make it out of a situation like his without giving into the lifestyle that surrounded him, but that is exactly what he has done. I have Saquon Barkley ahead of him as the top back in this class, but after scouting both, it is closer than I previously thought. Guice should be in the first-round conversation, and with an exceptional season in 2017, he could get into the top 10.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders)
- Violent, determined runner
- Plays with incredible balance
- Terrific vision and ability to read blocks
- Three-down back, capable of being a receiver or helping in pass protection
- Loves the game
- Left an impression despite backing up Fournette
- Great character
- Top-end speed isn't great
- Ball security needs to improve
- Limited experience
|Video Courtesy of EliteHighlights|
1)   Check Out LSU Running Back Derrius Guice's 650lb Back Squat draft   - Bar Bend |
2)   Friday Five: The most explosive players in college football heading into 2017   - CBS Sports |
3)   "Run Angry"
- Bleacher Report |
4)   Derrius Guice Twitter|
4)   Derrius Guice Instagram|