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Redskins draft countdown: RB Derrius Guice would bring an angry style to Washington

Redskins draft countdown: RB Derrius Guice would bring an angry style to Washington

Redskins draft countdown

Derrius Guice

Running back
LSU

He plays angry. There are few higher compliments for a running back and it fits LSU’s Derrius Guice to a T.

A fierce running style is not all that Guice has going for him. At 5-10, 212 he has ideal size for an every-down back. He ran the 40 in 4.49, the fifth fastest time among running backs. 

The bottom line, I don’t think that many Redskins fans will be angry if Guice ends up wearing burgundy and gold.

Height: 5-10
Weight: 212
40-yard dash: 4.49

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

Extremely hungry runner with a bull in a china shop style, making him tough to square up. Electric feet to blur defenders with his plant, cut and go movements. Quick to scan, keeping his reads and feet connected. Runs with low pads and conviction.

 —NFLDraftScout.com

How he fits the Redskins: I don’t have to tell you, I’ll let Doug Williams say it. “We need to upgrade at running back, ain’t no doubt about it,” the Redskins’ senior VP of player personnel told reporters at the NFL combine.

There is no doubt that Guice would give the Redskins a true, every-down running back. It’s really not necessary for Guice, or any running back on the Redskins, to play on third down. They have Chris Thompson to handle those duties. But being able to stay with a back when it’s second and long or to be able to open up the playbook on first down, a versatile back like Guice can be a good weapon.

On an intangible level, Guice could raise the level of competitiveness among the members of the running back corps. His aggressive style should be contagious and the unit could use a dose of nasty attitude.

The Redskins do appear to have some interest in Guice. According to one report, Bruce Allen and others are scheduled to have dinner with him the night before LSU's pro day. 

Film review: vs. Tennessee, vs. Ole Miss

—Guice consistently adds yardage to the ends of runs. In one stretch against Tennessee, he turned a loss into a three-yard gain, two yards into five, and then five yards into eight, all three times using his power to run through tackles. A little later, he turned five yards into 11 but this time he slipped an open-field tackle attempt with a nifty move.

—LSU ran a lot of pro-style sets. Guice was lined up behind the quarterback who was under center most of the time, and when the Tigers went shotgun, he was lined up a few yards off to the side. There will be no need for him to learn how to operate out of unfamiliar formations.

—As far as pass catching, he made a few receptions on simple swing passes in the games I saw; no complex routes for the running back appear to be in LSU’s offense.

—Guice was called upon to pass block a few times in the games I watched. He did OK, and, like most backs coming into the NFL, he will need to refine his technique.

—Early in the Mississippi game, he made a long run to inside the five and then scored a touchdown on the next play. The shorter run was the more impressive play as he was very patient, used his excellent vision and made a nifty spin move to get the last yard into the end zone.

—Guice has a whole toolbox full moves. He executed a nifty stop-and-go to add five yards onto a 20-yard run.

—It should be noted that the Ole Miss defense wasn’t up to the task of stopping Guice. He gained 276 yards on 22 carries. Simple runs up the middle gained 12 yards or more. The game did give Guice the opportunity to showcase a lot of his abilities.

Potential issues: Although Guice played in 12 of the Tigers’ 13 games, he was dealing with a few injuries that shortened some games and reduced his effectiveness in others. Durability is a huge part of the picture in the NFL, and the medical information on Guice will be important.

In a related issue, it has been suggested that Guice might run a little too angry. Sometimes in the NFL, it’s better to know when to stop rather than battling for every inch and risking getting battered too much and possibly putting the ball on the ground.

Bottom line: The Redskins are almost certainly going to draft a running back, but that doesn’t mean they will take one in the first round. Guice is considered the second-best running back in the draft behind Saquon Barkley. It seems likely that he will be drafted at some point in the first round. However, he may not be a good value with the 13th pick.

But someone is going to take him in the first round. It looks like the Redskins would need to trade back somewhere into the late teens or early twenties in the draft to get Guice. 

Redskins draft countdown

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

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Associated Press

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:

—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators. 

— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.

—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies. 

— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player. 

—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Scherff, and Ty Nsekhe. 

—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.

—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.

—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it. 

—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions. 

—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder. 

—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.

—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground. 

—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch. 

—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one. 

—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.