Each day, Brock Huard is profiling a different draft prospect that he considers an early-round possibility for the Seahawks. His draft previews begin with LSU’s Derrius Guice. The audio is embedded above.
• Position: RB
• Height/weight: 5-10, 212
• Class: Jr.
• Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Scouting report: Guice was ranked the fifth-best running back in the nation coming out of high school, but the Louisiana native ultimately made the decision to play college ball in his home state when he committed to LSU in 2015. Guice racked up 3,074 yards and 29 touchdowns over his college career with the Tigers. He spent time playing behind current Jags running back Leonard Fournette while the latter was still at LSU, but nonetheless posted some impressive stats. Take this one: Guice is the only running back in SEC history – a list that includes Herschel Walker, Emmitt Smith, and Bo Jackson – to rush for more than 250-plus yards in a game three or more times.
Due to his physical running style, balance, and ability to break tackles, Guice has drawn comparisons to former Seahawk great Marshawn Lynch. In 2016, Guice led all SEC running backs in rushing yards (1,387) and averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Guice was hampered by a knee injury last season, but still managed to rush for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Brock’s Take: “He is the guy that when you have asked, ‘OK, give me Marshawn Lynch, give me the guy you don’t want to tackle, give me the guy that is just a monster,’ he is the name that comes to mind in this draft class with a very deep group of guys,” Huard said. “Saquon Barkley is going to be a top five pick; he’s off the board (by the Seahawks’ No. 18 pick). The next guy on most people’s list is Derrius Guice. For those texters who said the biggest need is still running back, well, Derrius Guice is the guy who has unbelievable potential. He’s also to me the riskiest back in this draft.”
Huard praised Guice’s running style, but also listed a few concerns, including his injury history and struggling in the passing game. Considering that 2018 is projected to be an especially deep running back class, Huard questioned whether it was worth using a No. 18 pick on a player with some red flags (as opposed to trading down to round up additional, much-needed lower-round picks).
How he’d fit: The Seahawks appear to be focused on revamping the run game with the signings of tight end Ed Dickson and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, and a high-round investment in a running back would support that goal and provide relief for Russell Wilson, who was the team’s leading rusher last season. Guice has a competitive attitude Pete Carroll & Co. would appreciate – he issued a bold warning to teams at the NFL Combine, saying, “If you don’t draft me, I’m going to give your defense hell” – and lists Lynch as a player he’d like to emulate. The Seahawks drafted Chris Carson in the seventh round last year, and he played well through four games. However, the starting job is far from sealed, and there’s plenty of room for a player like Guice to battle his way to the top of the rotation.
Will the Seahawks pick him? The Seahawks have drafted in the first round just once in the last five years, and have plenty of other needs to address. In addition, Seattle has neither a second- nor a third-round pick. Taking Guice – or any player – at No. 18 would certainly be a pricey bet for the Seahawks.