Derrius Guice is a polarizing figure. The Redskins are a polarizing team (usually for all the wrong reasons). The marriage of these two could be a match made in heaven for fans come fall.
When stories started to break hours before the start of the 2018 NFL Draft, that LSU star running back Derrius Guice was “immature”, “a game-head”, and had an altercation with someone in the Eagles front office at a pre-draft meeting (I personally would have loved this one to be true), the media ran with these stories, causing an unforeseen tumble in the draft.
Whether a smear campaign by his former agent was to blame, or just Guice being Guice, teams backed off the talented, yet “perceived” troubled running back. The Redskins, who had visited multiple times with Derrius during the offseason, benefited from this slide, being able to select him with the 59th overall pick.
So what did the Redskins get when they selected Guice?
Height/Weight/Speed: The 5’11” 224 pound wrecking-ball offers the perfect measurables for an NFL bell-cow back. Guice has a thick lower half, with tremendous power (he can squat over 650 pounds). He combines that great lower body with tremendous speed. He was timed in the combine at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash, and he still wasn’t 100 percent healed from a lower leg injury which he played through during the 2017 season. He reportedly ran in the high 4.3’s last summer at LSU.
Violent Running Style: Guice runs angry! He wants to punish tacklers every time he touches the football. He is the type of back who seems to get better as the game goes on, and actually thrives on contact.
Vision, Burst and Acceleration: It doesn’t take long for Guice to see a hole and get through it. This is what makes him very special. He does have the patience to let blocks in front of him develop, and when they do, he has an incredible burst through the hole, and quickly accelerates to top speed once he hits the second level.
Balance upon Contact: Guice rarely goes down by the first tackler. If someone gets a clean shot at him, they better bring their hips and wrap their arms, as he has exceptional balance to bounce off tackles, and move his body just enough to avoid the big hit. It often takes two or three defenders to bring him to the ground.
Receiving Skills: The LSU offense didn’t feature its running backs a lot in the passing game, but Guice certainly has the ability to be a threat out of the backfield, or split out as a slot receiver, where he is a mismatch for a linebacker of safety in coverage. He has naturally soft hands, and can pluck the ball out of the air away from his body at full speed.
Willing Blocker: Most college running backs are not accomplished blockers. The ones who will become good at the next level are those who show to be willing blockers. Guice shows no hesitation to stick his head in there to pick up a blitzing linebacker, or help chip a defensive end. He’ll need to work on this skill in the NFL, but he’s certainly capable of becoming a good blocking back.
Punishing Running Style: Because Guice runs so violently, his body may eventually pay the price. This is not an immediate concern, but it is something to monitor as his career progresses.
High Maintenance: Some have said Guice is a bit immature, and will require a veteran locker room and a patient coaching staff to help maximize his abilities.
Likes to Play Video Games: Guice has been open about his love for video games. While some have said it preoccupies him, I’d rather have a guy who goes home after a tough game and plays video games, than is out at the club until the wee hours of the morning. Remember, nothing good happens after 2am!
The Guice Effect:
It’s no secret that the Redskins running game has struggled significantly over the past few years. It’s also no secret that the running backs here have been very average-at-best. Frankly, we have not had a true, complete 3-down running back since Clinton Portis.
With Guice now in the fold, we have added a completely different dynamic to this offense. This is a player capable of taking it to the house at any time, but also a guy who will grind out the tough yards between the tackles.
Alex Smith had his best season last year with rookie running back Kareem Hunt lining up behind him. Hunt offered Smith a blend of inside/outside running, and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. When Smith saw defenses playing off, he could check into a running play, and give Hunt the ability to attack a 5 or 6 man box. If defenses stacked the box, Smith would audible into a passing play, allowing his team to take advantage of weaker coverage. Much of the Kansas City offense ran through Hunt.
This is the same balance Guice and Smith should bring to the Redskins offense. Teams will now be forced to respect the Redskins running game. When they commit defenders to stop that, Smith should be able to recognize it quickly, and audible into a better play. Because of the Guice Effect, this Redskins offense should immediately see more balance and productivity.
Rushing - 1250 yards, 12 TD’s, 4.9 YPC
Receiving - 25 receptions, 270 yards, 3 TD’s
What do you think Guice’s season rushing totals will be during his rookie season?
This poll is closed
Under 1000 yards