Redskins draft countdown
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.
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.
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