The Washington Redskins selected running back Derrius Guice with the 59th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Today is Guice’s 21st birthday. To mark the occasion, I decided to honor Guice the only way I know how to: writing an extensively researched article about his statistics and potential as an NFL player.
I didn’t really have a theme I was thrilled about using and I realized that I had a ton of his statistics to share, so I just decided to shoot for the moon by sharing 100 stats to show just how great Derrius Guice has been and how good he could become.
Now, I know that number may intimidate some, but trust me when I tell you, if you are a fan of Guice and the Redskins then you will want to read every one of them.
Before you dive in, I wanted to explain two quick points. First, not all 100 items will consist of a numerical figure. For example, some of them have more than one stat and some may just list an award Guice won.
Finally, later on in the article, you will notice that I talk about the “top-50” running backs in the NFL. This is a subjective group I created to limit the number of players I collected data on to a sufficient, but manageable sample.
That group consists of all 32 starters as defined by Rotoworld, a list of 12 backups of my choosing (Ingram, Henry, Martin, Anderson, Chubb, Freeman, Jones, Blount, Coleman, Burkhead, Murray and Foreman) and six of the top third-down backs in the league (Thompson, Cohen, Johnson, Riddick, White and Bernard).
1. Derrius Guice rushed for over 800 yards and scored 12 times as a 15-year-old sophomore at Catholic High School.
2. He ran for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns in both his junior (1,101 yards & 11 TDs) and senior (1,341 yards & 21 TDs) years of high school.
3. The supposedly stone-handed Guice racked up 617 receiving yards and 8 receiving scores as a senior.
4. On top of all that, he scored several return touchdowns (2 kickoff returns and 1 punt return) as a member of the Catholic High Bears.
5. Guice played in the prestigious Army All-American Bowl. Just participating in this game is a big deal for a high school football player. Numerous future NFL stars have taken part in this contest (Odell Beckham, Eric Berry, Andrew Luck, Tyron Smith, Jalen Ramsey, Greg Olsen, etc.), many of whom turned out to be stud running backs at the pro level (Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy, etc.). Multiple notable Redskins are alumni of the All-American bowl, including: Vernon Davis, DeSean Jackson, Morgan Moses and Jonathan Allen.
6. Guice didn’t just show up for this game, though; he went out and caught touchdown passes of 92 yards and 61 yards in the game. He was operating as a slot receiver on both plays. But he can’t catch though, right?
7. His 92-yard score and his 153 total receiving yards are both all-time records for the event.
8. He earned the Pete Dawkins MVP Award for his efforts. Here are some of the other notable winners of this award in the past 20 years: DeSean Jackson, Vince Young, Terrelle Pryor, Beanie Wells, Ted Ginn and Joe Mixon.
9. Guice was rated as either a four or five-star recruit by 247 Sports, Scout, Rivals and ESPN.
10. Here are his overall and position rankings according to those sites: 247 Composite (45, 5), 247 (70, 5), Rivals (15, 2) and ESPN (96, 8). He was rated higher than Saquon Barkley by every one of those outlets.
11. After hearing the last point, it should not surprise you to learn that both Alabama and Texas offered scholarships to Guice. There was also reportedly interest from Georgia, Mississippi State and Wisconsin. As you probably know, Guice stayed in state for college and attended LSU.
12. Derrius Guice played in all 12 of LSU’s games as a true freshman.
13. However, he didn’t receive a carry or catch a pass until the team’s second game that year (vs. Auburn). In that contest, Guice toted the rock 6 times for 55 yards (9.2 YPC). He also added a 6-yard reception and an assisted tackle on special teams.
14. Guice received more than 6 carries for the first time in his fifth college game (vs. South Carolina). He took his 16 carries on the afternoon for 161 yards and a touchdown. This marked both the first score and 100-yard game of his career.
15. His 161 yards in the game were the sixth most ever by a true freshman in school history. Guice was named SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance.
16. His primary role as a freshman was on special teams. Guice returned 20 kickoffs for 472 yards (23.6), and ranked eighth in the SEC in kickoff return yards and return average. That season he posted his career highs for both most return yards in a game (132 yards vs. Texas A&M) and long return (75 yards vs. Arkansas). He also chipped in with 6 tackles on special teams (4 solo).
17. Guice finished his first campaign with the Tigers with 436 rushing yards on 51 attempts, which was good for an 8.55-yard average. His 456 yards from scrimmage came on a total of just 96 offensive snaps (4.75 yards per snap). He was named to SEC All-Freshman team by the league’s coaches.
18. Guice made his first career start in the team’s second game of the year (Jacksonville State). He made the most of the opportunity by taking his 19 carries for 155 yards (8.16 YPC) and a touchdown. He also caught an 18-yard pass (173 scrimmage yards).
19. Three games later Guice threw up another 150-yard performance, when he rumbled his way for 163 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 attempts against Missouri (9.6 YPC). He added 21 yards through the air, which gave him a total of 184 yards from scrimmage. Guice won his first SEC Player of the Week Award for his showing against the Show-Me State.
20. The following week, he racked up nearly an identical rushing total when he posted a 16-162-2 line against Southern Mississippi. He finished the contest with career totals of 113 carries and exactly 1,000 rushing yards (8.85 YPC), which made him the fastest player to reach the 1,000-yard milestone in LSU history.
21. Guice destroyed the Arkansas defense when he forced 7 missed tackles and hung up 252 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the Razorbacks in their own building. At the time, those 252 rushing yards ranked second all-time in a single game by an LSU player, behind only the 284 yards that Leonard Fournette rushed for just three weeks earlier.
22. Guice’s YPC average of 12.0 in the game ranked third and seventh in program history by a player with a minimum of 10 rushes and a minimum of 15 rushes, respectively. He earned his second SEC Player of the Week honors for that outing.
23. What Guice did against Arkansas was quickly overshadowed by his game against Texas A&M. He scored 4 rushing touchdowns in a prime-time matchup against the Aggies in College Station. That total ties him for second and fourth in program history for the most rushing and total touchdowns in a single game.
24. One of those scores came from 96 yards out, which was not only the longest touchdown ever scored by an LSU player, it was the longest play from scrimmage in the entire storied history of the program. Guice’s 96-yarder was also tied for the sixth longest rushing and 12th longest scrimmage touchdown in SEC history. You have to go back eight years prior to find the last time an SEC player had a rush that went for 96 or more yards (Broderick Green’s 99-yarder in 2009).
25. There have only been two longer plays from scrimmage by a power-conference player in the past 4 years (Abdul Adams’ 99-yard rush and Tyrie Cleveland’s 98-yard reception).
26. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part about this game yet. Derrius Guice set a new school record in the game with 285 rushing yards. He also forced a whopping 16 missed tackles and averaged 5.7 yards after contact.
27. Guice averaged 7.7 yards per carry on his 37 carries against A&M. That clip ranks first all-time among LSU players in a 30-carry game.
28. Derrius Guice needs a shelf in his trophy case dedicated to just this game. He took home SEC Player of the Week (for the third time that season) and Walter Camp National Player of the Week hardware for his performance against the Aggies.
29. He joined Moe Williams (Kentucky 1995) as the only SEC players with multiple 250-yard games in the same season. Unlike Guice, both of Williams’ 250-yard days did not come against SEC competition.
30. The Tigers final game of year came against Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in the Citrus Bowl. It was Guice, however, and not Jackson that put on a show in this one. He tore apart the Cardinal to the tune of 138 rushing yards, 11 receiving yards and 81 kickoff return yards (230 all-purpose yards). He also scored a touchdown both on the ground and through the air. Guice was named MVP of the game.
31. He finished his sophomore year with 1,387 rushing yards, the fourth most in a single season in program history. The top five looks like this: Leonard Fournette (1,953), Charles Alexander (1,686), Jeremy Hill (1,401), Guice (1,387) and Kevin Faulk (1,282).
32. That rushing total was good enough to lead the entire SEC in 2016. Leading the best conference in college football in rushing is no small feat; just check out some of the other players that have done so in the last dozen years: Derrick Henry, Cam Newton, Darren McFadden (X2), Knowshon Moreno, Kerryon Johnson and Mark Ingram.
33. Most of Guice’s 1,387 yards in 2016 came on the back of his six 100-yard games, which is tied for the sixth most ever by an LSU player in a season (Fournette, Alexander X2, Hill and Faulk).
34. D.G. also led all Southeastern Conference running backs in touchdowns in 2016 (15). That ties him with Kevin Faulk and Stevan Ridley for the sixth most rushing TDs by an LSU Tiger in school history. His 16 total scores on the year are tied for sixth in the LSU record books (Jeremy Hill and Charles Alexander).
35. What’s perhaps most amazing is it didn’t take Guice that many carries to rack up such huge totals in the ground game. His 1,387 rushing yards came on just 183 carries, which gave him a yards-per-carry average of 7.58.
36. That mark set a single season LSU all-time record for a player with at least 100 rushes and established a new SEC record among players with 175 or more carries. Nick Chubb ranks second in conference history with the 7.06 average that he achieved in 2014. Guice would have set the record for the 200-carry threshold, as well, if he would have gained just 26 more yards on an additional 17 rushes.
37. The 7.58 YPC figure also ranked first among power-conference players in 2016 (minimum 175 attempts). If this doesn’t impress you then consider that only 13 players have bested that mark since 2000 (5 from power conferences) and there are some pretty impressive names on the list: Reggie Bush, Jahvid Best, Bryce Love, Melvin Gordon, Larry Johnson, Rashaad Penny, Aaron Jones, and Kareem Hunt.
38. After hearing all of these stats about his Sophomore season, it should not surprise you to learn that Guice was named First Team All-SEC by both the associated press and the coaches. Only 15 players have accomplished that feat in the last 12 years. The top names on this list read similarly to the ones who led the conference in rushing yards: Derrick Henry, Mike Gillislee, Darren McFadden (X2), Knowshon Moreno, Kerryon Johnson, Nick Chubb and Mark Ingram.
39. Guice made the All-SEC team twice that season, as the coaches also voted him onto the second team as an all-purpose athlete.
40. Firmly entrenched as the Tiger’s starting running back with Leonard Fournette gone, Guice opened the year with two straight 100-yard, 2-touchdown outings (BYU and Chattanooga). That brought his streak of consecutive 100-yard games to four, which is tied for fifth in the school history.
41. His next big game was another one for the record books. Guice dropped 276 yards on the ground, a rushing touchdown and 9 receiving yards (285 YFS) on the road against Ole Miss. The 276 yards ranked third in program history and made Guice the owner of three of the four highest single-game rushing yardage totals in LSU history (1st, 3rd and 4th). His 12.5 rushing average in the game ranked second in school history (minimum 15 carries). He won the SEC Player of the Week Award (4th of his career) and the Maxwell National Player of the Week Award for this performance.
42. Guice’s final college game came against an 11th ranked (final AP poll) Notre Dame team in the Citrus Bowl. He broke 7 tackles over the course of his 21 carries and gained 98 rushing yards, 81 of which came after contact. He also caught 3 balls for 24 yards and hauled in a career-high 2 receiving touchdowns.
43. The 1,251 yards Derrius Guice ran for in his final season were the eighth most ever by an LSU player, giving Guice two of the top-eight single-season rushing marks in school history. This made him just one of five LSU players to have ever rushed for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in consecutive seasons (Fournette, Faulk, Hilliard and Alexander). It also represented the second year in a row in which he ranked second in the SEC in rushing yards per game.
44. He was named Second Team All-SEC by both the Associated Press and the coaches.
45. Guice is the only player in the history of the Southeastern Conference who has gained 250 or more rushing yards in three games, and all three of those contests came on the road against SEC competition. The only other SEC players that have rushed for 250 yards in multiple games are Bo Jackson, Moe Williams and Herschel Walker (2 each).
46. Since 2000, there have only been 15 other power-conference running backs that have gained 250-plus yards in multiple games. Here are 10 of those 15: Melvin Gordon (4), Larry Johnson (3), D’Onta Foreman (3), Dalvin Cook (2), Darren Sproles (2), Jonathan Stewart (2), Bryce Love (2), Reggie Bush (2), Michael Bennett (2) and Le’Veon Bell (2). Matt Forte, DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner, Kareem Hunt and Ladainian Tomlinson also accomplished this feat, albeit at smaller schools.
47. LSU was 12-0 when Derrius Guice rushed for at least 100 yards in his college career. The Tigers won those 12 matchups by a combined total of 300 points (25 PPG). Between 2016 and 2017, the team went 7-7 with a -20 point differential when D.G. was held to under 100 yards.
48. LSU had a record of 9-1 when Derrius Guice received 20 or more handoffs. Their lone loss came by 4 points at the hands of Notre Dame in Guice’s final college game. To further drive this point home, let me share with you that the team went 16-4 (.800) when he received at least 12 touches. In those four losses, Guice averaged 103 yards from scrimmage, 2.5 receptions and 0.8 touchdowns.
49. His 29 rushing and 32 total touchdowns rank sixth and seventh all-time on the LSU career list, respectively. Leonard Fournette, LaBrandon Toefield and Charles Scott are the only players that bested him in both categories. Both Kevin Faulk and Jeremy Hill are tied with him in one category and beat him by a single touchdown in the other.
50. Derrius Guice ran for 3,074 yards during his time at LSU, the fifth highest total ever in the program. Kevin Faulk, Dalton Hilliard, Charles Alexander and Leonard Fournette are the only players that have ever gained more rushing yards at LSU than Guice did.
51. He gained those 3,074 yards on 471 carries, which gives him a career rushing average of 6.53 yards per carry. That is the second-best mark in SEC history, behind only the great Bo Jackson (6.62). Todd Gurley ranks third with a 6.44 YPC average.
52. Only eight other power-conference running backs since 2000 have posted a better average on 400 or more carries: Melvin Gordon, Bryce Love, Reggie Bush, Tevin Coleman, Ezekiel Elliott, Duke Johnson, LaMichael James and Marshawn Lynch. The only other players who I found that met this criteria in college football history were Warrick Dunn, Ahman Green, Mike Rozier, Billy Simms and Barry Sanders.
53. We’ll wrap up this section with one more Sports Reference screener. The list of players since 2000 with over 400 rushing attempts, 30 touchdowns, 30 receptions and a YPC average of 6.0 in their college careers goes 33 deep, with over 20 of those players having legit NFL talent. I’ll let you check this one out.
LACK OF OFFENSIVE SUPPORT
54. During Guice’s time with LSU, the team did not possess what you would call a “high-powered offense.” The Tiger’s average rankings between 2015 and 2017 in total yards, points and touchdowns were 59, 66.7 and 63, respectively. Just imagine what kind of numbers Guice could have put up on a top-20 unit.
55. In particular, the passing offense was an issue. Check out the team’s average rankings in several key passing statistics from 2015 to 2017: passing yards (98.7), completion percentage (75.3), passer rating (49) and success rate (68.7).
56. You can see the issue at the individual level, as well. No quarterback had 2,500 or more passing yards or threw more than 16 touchdowns during Guice’s time with the program. No player topped either 45 receptions, 875 yards or 6 receiving touchdowns.
57. Perhaps this is a result of the Tigers simply not possessing a ton of elite-level NFL talent on offense in recent years. Only two LSU players that were not running backs have been selected in the first 120 picks of the last three drafts. Those players (Ethan Pocic and D.J. Chark) were not selected until late in the second round. Outside of fellow running back Leonard Fournette, Pocic is the only Consensus All-American the team has had on offense in that span. No LSU offensive players are projected to be taken in the first several rounds of the 2019 draft.
58. However, all the blame for the team’s lower offensive output should not lie solely with the players and coaches. LSU has faced incredibly daunting schedules in the last three seasons. Here are the team’s average strength of schedule rankings per Sports Reference, Team Rankings and Football Outsiders’ FEI metric: 16.3, 12 and 12.
THE RECEIVING GAME KNOCK
59. Many have questioned Guice’s ability as receiver at the next level, because of his lack of production at LSU (43 targets, 32 receptions, 250 yards and 3 touchdowns). However, I would submit that this has much more to do the with LSU’s offensive system than it does with Guice, who we know was a more than capable pass catcher at the high school level.
60. In the past 25 years, there have only been five seasons in which an LSU running back caught at least 20 passes and/or recorded 250 receiving yards. The five players from the school who met or exceeded one of those thresholds in that span are Jacob Hester (35 receptions and 269 yards), Joseph Addai (26 receptions and 294 yards), Darrell Williams (23 receptions and 331 yards), Kevin Faulk (22 receptions and 287 yards) and Leonard Fournette (253 yards). There were 19 FBS running backs (10 from power conferences) that exceeded both thresholds in 2017 alone.
61. No LSU running back has topped either 66 receptions or 650 receiving yards in their college careers during that same span (1993-2017). Between 2014 and 2017, there were 26 FBS players, 14 of whom played in power conferences, who recorded at least 300 carries, 70 receptions and 650 receiving yards.
62. Even if you take the LSU system out of the equation, Derrius Guice’s career reception total does not portend doom at the NFL level. Many of the top running backs currently in the league finished their college career with either fewer receptions than Guice had or within two receptions of his total. That list includes: Lamar Miller, Jordan Howard, C.J. Anderson, Derrick Henry, Jerick McKinnon, LeGarrette Blount, Alex Collins, Carlos Hyde, Ronald Jones, Isaiah Crowell, Nick Chubb and Melvin Gordon. Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore also fall into that category.
63. The same thing is true of Redskins greats Stephen Davis, Larry Brown, Terry Allen, Earnest Byner, Alfred Morris, John Riggins and Clinton Portis.
64. Oh, and Alex Smith likes to throw short passes and to running backs. Smith has ranked in the bottom ten in adjusted depth of target (aDOT) six times in the last nine years, and roughly 25% of his passes as a Kansas City Chief were thrown to running backs. Per Rotoviz, the Chiefs ranked top ten in the league in pass attempts to running backs on first and second down during Smith’s tenure in KC.
65. Another gripe draftniks have with Guice is that he is injury prone. I would beg to differ. Yes, his running style is very physical, but he ultimately only missed one game in college.
66. According to Sports Injury Predictor, Guice is a “low risk” player, and his only reported injury was a grade 1 knee strain. I did some digging and found that he suffered thigh and shin bruises while in high school. Scary stuff, right?
67. By my count, there were 14 games in Derrius Guice’s college career in which he was not injured and out-carried Leonard Fournette. In those contests, Guice averaged 162.6 yards from scrimmage, 6.78 yards per carry and 1.86 touchdowns per game.
68. Before the draft, Pro Football Weekly’s Marcus Mosher charted at least six 2017 games for Derrius Guice, Saquon Barkley, Ronald Jones, Sony Michel and Kerryon Johnson. Here are some of the highlights of what Mosher found when charting Guice:
Of the five running backs charted, LSU’s Derrius Guice saw, on average, the most defenders in the box (7.55) as well as the most blockers in the box (7.10).
Guice saw eight defenders in the box on nearly 24 percent of his carries, averaging more than 6.75 yards per carry. He saw eight or more defenders in the box on a staggering 31.8 percent of his total rushes, by far the most of the top backs in this class.
69. And here is how Guice fared when the odds weren’t stacked against him:
The most impressive stats for Guice come when you compare the number of defenders in the box versus the number of blockers in the box. When Guice saw an even box (same number of blockers as defenders) in 2017, he averaged an incredible 8.4 yards per rush on 75 carries.
70. Per Pro Football Focus, Guice broke 106 tackles on his 471 career carries at LSU and 1,718 of his 3,074 rushing yards came after contact (56%). He averaged 4.1 yards after contact in both 2015 and 2016.
71. So you’re telling me it’s hard to tackle Derrius Guice?
Throughout his college career, Derrius Guice was brought down on first contact only 60.0 percent of the time. This ranks behind only Rashaad Penny among Combine-invite running backs and top-five since 2014 (min. 300 career carries).— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) April 28, 2018
72. Guice earned an overall PFF grade of 85.0 or better in both his sophomore (86.7) and junior (85.9) seasons.
73. He ranked second in the 2018 draft class (behind only Saquon Barkley) and 14th in the last three years in Graham Barfield’s Yards Created metric. Here is a brief explanation of what Yards Created is measuring:
Yards Created is my charting process that measures the difference between the amount of yardage the offensive line blocks for and what the running back “creates” on his own. Instead of using yards per carry (YPC), which is prone to both positive and negative outliers, Yards Created accounts for the amount of yardage running backs should be attributed.
74. Bill Connelly, of Football Study Hall, created a similar statistic several years back called Highlight Yards. Highlight Yards are similar to yards created in that both metrics are aiming to focus on the running back’s actual ability to gain yards on their own instead of the just the yards that are blocked for them. Highlight yards, however, places more of an emphasis on explosiveness.
A few months ago, FO introduced the idea of “Second Level Yards” and “Open Field Yards” for NFL running backs. These were the remaining yards that were left after each break in the baselines for Adjusted Line Yards. I’ve done the same thing here for college backs, with two differences. First, we’re adding together both “Second Level” Yards (5-10 past the line) and “Open Field” Yards (11-plus past the line). Second, we’re counting only half the Second Level Yards, just as the line gets half credit for these yards. We’ll call this stat “Highlight Yards,” because these longer runs are the ones that show up on the highlight shows. A three-yard run gets zero Highlight Yards. A 70-yard run gets 63 Highlight Yards. The more Highlight Yards, the more explosive the runner was, and the less his overall yardage and POE totals were due to the offensive line blocking for him.
Derrius Guice led all 150-carry running backs in Highlight Yards in 2016 (10.22).
75. He ranked third in the class in percentage of career runs that gained at least 5 (42.8%), 15 (10.2%) and 20 (7.4%) yards.
I wanted to highlight just how boom-or-bust Saquon Barkley was as a runner in college.— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) April 27, 2018
All qualifying Combine-Invite RBs by Frequency of (Career) Runs to Gain X-or-more Yards
Sorted by: % of Runs to Gain Positive Yardage pic.twitter.com/o7gKihj4s0
76. Guice’s top speed was clocked at 22.3 miles per in a game against Arkansas. Here are the NFL ball carriers that have recorded faster top speeds since 2016 per NFL Next Gen Stats: Tyreek Hill (23.24), DeSean Jackson (22.6), Stefon Diggs (22.5), Brandin Cooks (22.4) Xavier Rhodes (22.4) and Mike Wallace (22.34).
Derrius Guice's top speed on his 96-yard run vs Arkansas was measured at 22.3 MPH. pic.twitter.com/XW6739XGiK— Fusue Vue (@lifesyourcup) June 15, 2017
Hat tip to Fusue Vue on this one. He sent me this stat and several others that were used in this article. He is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Derrius Guice fans out there and he tweets about Guice frequently. Give him a follow if you haven’t already done so.
77. While in high school, Guice ran better times in the 60, 100 and 200-meter dash than over 80% of the players in the Tracking Football database.
78. Guice reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at a 2014 LSU camp.
79. He posted a 4.49 40 at the NFL Combine. At 224 pounds that gives him speed score of 110.2. Per Player Profiler, that score places him in the 91st percentile at the running back position.
80. The average speed score among the top-50 NFL running backs is 104.3. The only backs with a better number than Guice are Saquon Barkley, Latavius Murray, D’Onta Foreman, Lamar Miller, Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry, Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, Rashaad Penny and Jerick McKinnon.
81. Several fantasy and analytics pro football sites created player comps for Guice and other rookies based on both their athleticism and their college production. Guice’s comp lists are quite impressive.
Player Profiler: Ezekiel Elliott, Robert Turbin, Ryan Mathews, Brian Hill, Jonathan Stewart
Rotoviz: Lamar Miller, Knowshon Moreno, C.J. Prosise, Josh Scobey, Joe Mixon
Pro Football Focus: Mark Ingram, Marshawn Lynch, Kareem Hunt
ANALYTICS CAREER PROJECTIONS
82. Guice ranked second among 2018 draft-class running backs in Bill Connelly’s marginal efficiency metric. Only Royce Freeman had a better efficiency mark. For this reason, Connelly declared that “Derrius Guice and Royce Freeman are probably the safest bets” of the bunch. Guice also ranked highly in marginal explosiveness.
83. Rotoviz’s Anothony Amico created a predictive model that gave Guice the second-best career projection among 2018 draft-eligible backs (trailing only Barkley). Guice’s predict score ranked fifth highest in the last three years. Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott and former teammate Leonard Fournette joined Barkley atop those rankings. Derrick Henry, Joe Mixon and Dalvin Cook’s scores were right behind Guice’s.
84. Football Outsiders’ BackCast system projects the likelihood of success for running back prospects in the NFL draft. Guice’s BackCast score of +86.8% ranks eighth in the last three years. The players in the 2016-2018 draft classes with a better score are: Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry and Royce Freeman. Notice a trend developing here?
REDSKINS DRAFT HISTORY
85. As I mentioned earlier, Derrius Guice was selected by the Redskins in the second round of the draft with the 59th overall pick. He is only the fourth running back in the last 50 years that the team has picked in either the first two rounds or within the top 60 picks. The other three players are Ladell Betts (2002), Reggie Brooks (1993) and Richard Williams (1983).
86. Guice gained more total rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in college than any SEC skill-position player drafted by the Redskins since at least 1950. Stephen Davis is the only one in this group that scored more touchdowns than Guice did (34 to 32).
87. Now let’s look at things from a single-season perspective and expand our search to all skill-position players drafted by the team since 1991, the last season in which the team won the Super Bowl. The only such Redskins’ drafted players who have gained more rushing or scrimmage yards in a single college season than Guice did in 2016 are Alfred Morris, Samaje Perine, Skip Hicks and Ricky Ervins. The only Washin draft picks in that span who scored more touchdowns in a season were Stephen Davis, Desmond Howard and Perine.
88. What would a Skins Stats article be without a single table? Here’s one that shows how 15 of the top draft experts ranked Guice heading into the draft and how different their rankings were from Guice’s ultimate landing spot at 59th overall.
|Top Draft Analyst Derrius Guice Rankings|
|Dan Kadar||SB Nation||21||-38|
|Jonah Tuls||NDT Scouting||26||-33|
The average difference between Guice’s pre-draft ranking and actual pick was -34.1, which was easily one of, if not the, biggest negative discrepancies (or positive discrepancy in the Redskins’ case) for any player drafted in the first or second round.
89. Arif Hasan’s composite big board had Guice with a consensus ranking of 14th among all 2018 draft-eligible players. The difference between that ranking and where Guice was selected was easily the largest difference by any player selected with a top-90 pick. Hasan also developed a points system to rank the value gained by teams with each pick in the draft. This metric ranked the Redskins’ selection of Guice at 59th overall as the third best pick in the entire draft.
90. After reading the last two points, it should not shock you to learn that draftniks loved the Guice pick. Take a look at the grades for the pick that were handed out by some of the top draft experts.
|Derrius Guice Draft Pick Grade|
|Bucky Brooks - NFL||A+||4.0|
|Luke Easterling - D Wire||A+||4.0|
|Vinnie Iyer - SN||A+||4.0|
|Matt Miller - B/R||A+||4.0|
|Chris Simms - B/R||A||4.0|
|PFW - Eric Edholm||A-||4.0|
|Mike Tanier - B/R||A-||4.0|
|Prisco - CBS||B+||3.0|
|Andy Beniot - SI||B||3.0|
Seven of the these ten analysts gave the pick an A-minus or better and only one of them had the selection with a grade below a B-plus.
91. Several studies have shown that the age in which a running back breaks out in college has quite an effect on their chances of finding success at the pro level. The findings are basically that the younger you break out in college, the better your chances of succeeding in the NFL are.
Derrius Guice broke out at the age of 19.2, which is a mark that ranks 17th among the league’s top-50 runners. Here are some of the players with a younger breakout age than Guice: Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt, Dion Lewis, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook and LeSean McCoy.
92. Remember way back when I told you about Guice’s first 100-yard game in college (vs. South Carolina)? Well, what I didn’t tell you is that he was 18.3-years-old at the time. On average, the top-50 NFL RBs didn’t break out until they were 19.4.
Only five of the RBs in that group delivered their first 100-yard game at a younger age (Jamaal Williams, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt and Ronald Jones). Marshawn Lynch, Le’Veon Bell and Saquon Barkley are right behind Guice in those rankings.
93. Playing your first season at the age of 21 is also a big deal for a running back. For example, Guice is set to become just the tenth 200-plus pound running back since the merger to be selected in the second round and to play their rookie season as a 21-year-old.
He joins some quite exclusive company on that list, which includes Clinton Portis, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Joe Mixon, Natrone Means, Maurice Jones-Drew and Le’Veon Bell. If you expand that criteria to the first round as well, the hit rate takes a slight dip, but you get quite a few more running backs who went on to have tremendous NFL careers.
94. Larry Brown, who led the league in rushing in 1970 and won the 1972 MVP award, is the youngest Redskins player to have rushed for 100 yards in a game since 1950. Brown topped 100 yards for the first time when he was 22 years and 30 days old. Derrius Guice will be 21 and 192 days old when the Redskins play their 2018 season finale against the Eagles, so if Guice rushes for 100 yards at any point in the season, he will become the youngest player to do so in recorded franchise history.
95. Reggie Brooks, who is one of the four running backs to be drafted by Washington in the first two rounds of the draft in the last 50 years, is the youngest player in team history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Brooks topped 1,000 yards on the ground when he was 22 years and 346 days old. If Guice hits the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie he will break this record by approximately a year and a half.
96. That’s not all though, Guice is set to become the youngest Redskins player to gain a yard from scrimmage since Ted Wright in 1934. No other player in franchise history has recorded a scrimmage yard at a younger age.
97. Assuming he plays in Week 1, Guice will become the seventh youngest Redskin to ever play in an NFL game. He would be sandwiched between Su’a Cravens (13 days younger) and Champ Bailey (2 days older) on that list.
98. This isn’t just about just how precocious Guice is relative to other players in Redskins history, we are talking about a league-wide level here. Guice has the chance to become anywhere between the 10th and 21st youngest player to rush for 100 yards in an NFL game since at least 1950.
Here are some of the names in the 20-player cohort who rushed for 100 yards between the ages of exactly 21 and 21 and 192 days old (Guice’s age on the final day of the 2018 season): Darren McFadden, Clinton Portis, Jamal Lewis, Edgerrin James, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Joe Mixon, Emmitt Smith, Maurice Jones-Drew and Marshall Faulk.
99. He also has the opportunity to add his name to the ultra-exclusive list of players that have gained 1,000 rushing (10 players) or receiving (4 players) yards in their age-21 season. If Guice can reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage by or before Week 16 then he will either tie or beat out Amari Cooper as the ninth youngest player to do so in NFL history. He would rank behind only the following players: Clinton Portis, Jamaal Lewis, Edgerrin James, Ezekiel Elliott, Mike Evans, Rashaan Salaam, Todd Gurley and Barry Sanders.
100. JuJu Smith-Schuster was the youngest player to play in a game last season. He was also the youngest player in last year’s draft and he will turn 22 in November. That means the very youngest players in the NFL this season will come from the 2018 draft and UDFA class.
I was only able to find seven players in the draft class who are younger than Guice. Kerryon Johnson (9 days), Tim Settle (20 days), Ronald Jones (43 days), Chukwuma Okorafor, James Daniels, Tremaine Edmunds and Jordan Mailata. Basically, this means even if you throw in a few rookie UDFAs who are younger, Guice should be one of the five youngest running backs and one of the ten youngest players in the entire NFL this upcoming season.
Happy Birthday, Derrius!
*All statistics are courtesy of 247 Sports, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, ESPN, Fantasy Guru, Fantasy Labs, Football Outsiders, Football Study Hall, Fox Sports, LSU Sports, Mockdraftable, NFL.com, Player Profiler, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Weekly, Redskins.com, Relative Athletic Scores, Rotoviz, Rotoworld, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Sports Injury Predictor, Sports Reference, The Washington Post, Tracking Football, Walter Football and Zone Coverage*
How many yards will Derrius Guice rush for in his rookie season?
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1,300 or more
How many reception will Derrius Guice average per year in his NFL career?
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50 or more
Which of these phrases best describes how Derrius Guice’s NFL career will play out?
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Colossal bust, quickly out of the league
Bust, sub-par production for 3 or 4 years
Good but not great, one or two 1,000-yard seasons
Multi-time Pro Bowler
Multi-time All Pro and Redskins Ring of Fame
Hall of Famer