When he broke into the league as a rookie, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball 322 times, for 1,631 yards (a 5.1 yards per carry average) and 15 touchdowns. He also chipped in 32 catches for 363 yards and a touchdown. I gave Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice an Ezekiel Elliott comparison pre-draft, as the two rate out very similar in my mind when both were entering the league.
6’0” 225 lbs
40 time: 4.47
Strengths: Power, vision and speed/burst
Weakness: Pass protection
5’11” 224 lbs
40 time: 4.49
Strengths: Speed, power, balance on contact and patience
Weakness: Route running
Can Guice have a similar impact as a rookie that Elliott had?
The Redskins haven’t had an effective running game under Jay Gruden. Part of that problem is that Gruden has not had a competent, complete 3-down running back in his tenure as head coach of the Redskins.
Enter Derrius Guice...
Guice has all the ability to be the complete, 3-down back the Redskins have been missing for years. Derrius runs over, around and through would-be tacklers at all levels. His patience and vision to the hole is outstanding, and his burst through it makes him stand out from most. He has amazing balance on contact that helps him pick up additional yards between the tackles. Guice has the speed to turn the corner and take it the distance. Most importantly, he protects the football in traffic.
The LSU offense used a lot of play-action, so Guice was often used as a decoy, but when asked to catch the ball out of the backfield, he showed naturally soft hands, and catches the ball away from his body. He has the ability to split out wide and beat a linebacker or safety in the passing game, but he will need to sharpen his routes to fully maximize his potential here. Guice is a very willing blocker, who is not afraid to stick his head in there and mix it up with a blitzing linebacker, or chip a defensive linemen.
I think Guice will entrench himself as the unquestioned starter in this offense, and help new quarterback Alex Smith to make this group click.
Guice’s projected 2018 stats:
Rush Yards: 1250
Yards per carry average: 4.9
Receiving yards: 185
Receiving touchdowns: 2