A two-year starter at LSU, Guice proved to be just as lethal a running threat for the Tigers when Leonard Fournette battled injuries in 2016, leading the SEC in rushing last season. And although Guice had his own injury-riddled junior season in 2017, he has produced enough tape to separate himself as one of the most talented backs in the 2018 draft class.
Guice stresses defenders with his sudden feet and quick reads to make explosive, lateral cuts, forcing defenders to tackle an always-moving target. His passion and determination as a violent ballcarrier are off the charts, channeling the emotion from his past and letting it loose on the field. While he is tougher than tough, his angry run style might be as much a concern as a weakness because it leads to durability questions, welcoming and dishing out plenty of punishment on his body. However, when healthy, his athleticism and mean-spirited competitive nature create a daunting combination for defenses.
A five-star running back recruit out of high school, Derrius Guice had a challenging up-bringing in a poverty-stricken area of Baton Rouge and had to deal with the murder of his father when Derrius was only seven years old. He used football as an escape from those struggles and rushed for 3,268 yards and 45 touchdowns at Catholic, earning MVP honors in the US Army All-American game.
Guice was widely considered the No. 2 running back recruit in the 2015 cycle, only behind Damien Harris, who signed with Alabama. Guice received a scholarship offer from nearby LSU as a sophomore and narrowed his college choice to LSU, Alabama, Texas and Tulane, ultimately choosing the hometown Tigers. With Leonard Fournette entrenched as the starter, Guice finished second on the team in rushing yards (436) as a true freshman back-up, averaging 8.5 yards per carry to earn SEC All-Freshman honors. He entered the 2016 season as Fournette s back-up, but saw his workload expand due to injuries with six starts, leading the SEC with 1,387 rushing yards on 183 carries (7.6 average) and 15 touchdowns to earn Second Team All-SEC honors. With Fournette to the NFL, Guice was the unquestioned starter in 2017 as a junior, but battled injuries of his own, posting 1,153 rushing yards and 11 scores to earn Second Team All-SEC honors.
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. Able to shift into another gear once he finds the open field (set the LSU record for longest run with a 96-yard play in 2016). Much stronger than he looks due to his core strength, throwing stiff arms and wiggling out of tackle attempts. Invites contact and lowers his pads to fight for every inch. Always keep his legs churning. Uses same snap quickness at the top of routes, creating passing windows on screens and outs. Improved awareness in pass protection to handle chips and lower his pads to cut defenders. Only five career fumbles. Averaged 21.7 yards as a kickoff returner (33/695/0). Intense competitor on the field, but also in the weight room. Moved around the offensive formation and often lined up wide, taking jet sweeps and giving the defense various looks. Consistent production with 3,000+ career rushing yards the last three seasons. -- Dane Brugler 12/20/2017
Not a small player, but doesn't have a prototypical NFL build for the position. Over-eagerness leads to inconsistent run tempo. Not a clean runner through congestion, making too much contact with his blockers. Needs to better set up his second-level moves. Always looking for the home run play, getting himself in trouble. Well-liked and motivated individual, but background needs further investigation his older brother (Derrick) has been arrested multiple times and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm (May 2017) for his role in a drive-by shooting. Medical reports could influence draft grade suffered a knee injury during preseason camp (Aug. 2017), which plagued him throughout his junior season. -- Dane Brugler 12/20/2017
IN OUR VIEW: Guice has the natural competitive nature and athletic profile that no one in the NFL wants to see in their division. His angry run style leads to durability questions, but he is tougher than tough and projects as a NFL starter with Pro Bowl potential if he stays healthy.
COMPARES TO: Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers. While on the surface they don't appear to be similar due to their body types, Campbell and Guice run with similar violence and power that makes them a chore to finish for defenders. They both have the athleticism to create big plays once they break tackles or clear the first wave.
IN OUR VIEW: Overall, Guice has the natural competitive nature and athletic profile that no one in the NFL wants to see in their division. He needs to find a productive balance between his warrior temperament and self-preservation to stay on the field, but his skill-set projects as a NFL starter with Pro Bowl potential.