Rookie Rundown: RB Derrius Guice, LSU

Rookie Rundown: RB Derrius Guice, LSU

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: RB Derrius Guice, LSU

(Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

Guice goes as high as the No. 2 running back on many draft boards and at worse, he will be in the first five backs drafted. Guice played behind Leonard Fournette at LSU and blew up in 2016 when Fournette missed almost half of the season due to injury. Guice would lead the SEC that year with 1,387  rushing yards. Guice averaged a ridiculous 7.6 yards per carry on his 183 runs. He ran for more than 150 yards in five games and topped 250 yards twice.

Guice took over as the starter in 2017 but injured his knee in preseason and hurt his left leg early on. He played with the nagging injuries most of the year. He still ran for over 100 yards in five games and totaled 276 yards at Mississippi. His yards-per-carry average fell to 5.3 though and his tremendous 2016 season was clouded by his only year as a full-time starter every week. That injury-marred junior season may be the last that he played, but his healthy 2016 suggests he may be undervalued by those only remembering last year.

Height: 5-10
Weight: 212 pounds
40 time: 4.49 seconds

Guice may end up as a first-round pick but could also fall into the second. His placement depends mostly on which teams have a critical need at running back that trumps their other options.

Year Games Runs Yards Avg. TD Catches Yards Avg. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2015 11 51 436 8.5 3 5 20 4.0 0 456 3
2016 12 183 1387 7.6 15 9 106 11.8 1 1493 16
2017 12 237 1251 5.3 11 18 124 6.9 2 1375 13

Pros

  • Determined rusher who hits top speed quickly. Homerun ability on every carry.
  • Very elusive rusher yet with great balance and power. Requires more than one tackler bring him down on most plays. A violent runner. Considered similar to one-time teammate Leonard Fournette.
  • Considered a “bull in the china shop” but tough to square up on since he has explosive lateral cuts.
  • Rarely fumbles and also returned kicks on special teams.
  • Moved all around formations and can line up wide. Not just a pure North-South runner. Combination of speed and power lets him play anywhere in the offense.
  • Weight room star that has a powerful core. Deadly stiff arm and has the strength to break tackles.

Cons

  • Limited experience as a receiver. LSU offense didn’t provide many opportunities.
  • Needs work in pass protection to become a three-down back.
  • Not shy of contact – could present injury issues down the road.

Fantasy outlook

Despite a less productive junior season due to injury, still considered one of the top backs in the draft and second only to Saquon Barkley by many. His junior season was awe-inspiring despite not being full-time to start the year.

Much like Leonard Fournette last year, his lack of experience as a receiver is a concern in today’s NFL offenses. But Fournette stepped up to 32 receptions for 302 yards and a score for the Jaguars as a rookie. He never had more than 19 catches in a season at LSU.

Guice is a very powerful runner with speed. He could become an elite runner sooner than later depending on where he ends up. A team selecting him is not looking for a third-down back. They are getting a very powerful rusher who can have his role as a receiver expanded. Guice is there for the first two downs and likely the third as well.

Guise could end up with any of the many teams needing a new primary back. The Ravens, Broncos, Colts, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, Seahawks and Redskins have the biggest need. Since there is a chance that Guice lasts into the second round, he could be available to any team. Wherever he ends up, he will be an immediate fantasy value.

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