(Photo via LSU)
Even though Derrius Guice, considered a first-round talent, dropped to the second round, Washington's new running back is ready to add a new layer to the offense.
Throughout the lead up to the 2018 NFL Draft, LSU running back Derrius Guice was considered the No. 2 prospect at the position behind only Penn State's Saquon Barkley.
Guice was graded so highly that multiple mock drafts had the Washington Redskins selecting him with the No. 13-overall pick.
The Redskins would ultimately draft Guice. But it wasn't until the 59th-overall selection.
Washington originally held the 44th pick in the second round, but traded with the San Francisco 49ers to net a third round pick along with the spot in which Guice would be selected.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said "there was concern" that Guice wouldn't be on the board when Washington went back on the clock, but the 20-year-old was still available for their taking.
"We're lucky to get him, man," Gruden said. "This is a hard-nosed runner, plays hard, he can catch a football, he can pass protect, he's got good vision and [he's] a guy we really liked in the early rounds. And to add the third-round pick and get Geron [Christian] was a great benefit for us. We had second-round grades, high first-round for Derrius on both of those cats and we're lucky to get them both."
The Redskins met with Guice multiple times throughout the winter and had nothing but positive experiences with him.
"I think when we're talking about pre-draft visits, what we're trying to accomplish here is how they can learn the game and how he would fit with our football team," Gruden said. "Get to know him as a kid, number one. See how he can learn, number two. We feel confident that he can learn our stuff. We'll keep a close eye on him like we do with all our players, without a doubt. He's a young kid, but he's a physical runner and I think he's a very good football player, and at the end of the day, it's our job to surround him with good people. We have great leaders in place here. I think he'll fit right in."
Gruden added that the Redskins hope to conserve his energy and put it on display during games.
"Just bottle that up and let that unleash on Sundays, not so much on Thursdays and Fridays," Gruden said. "But he's a fun guy to be around and I enjoyed the small time that we had with him, but we'll wait and see. I can't wait to get him here and spend more time with him, teach him the playbook and let him get out there and see what he can do."
Guice, who attended the first night of the draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, admitted that he was surprised he fell into late into the second round but was emotional when he received the call from the Redskins.
Check out photos of LSU running back Derrius Guice, who was selected with the No. 59 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
"It did surprise me because a lot of things came out of nowhere and weren't true, and I just didn't understand 'Why me?' out of all people because I'm great to everybody, I have a great personality and I just cannot understand why everything gets so hard with me out of everybody," Guice said. "I'm just thankful that this whole process is over with, that an organization believed in me and trusted in me. I'm just ready to get to work."
He also admitted that he's motivated by the fact so many teams passed on him. Guice was the seventh running back selected.
"It makes it 10 times worse," Guice said, referring to his aggressive running style being ratcheted up. "It's just a feeling that I have inside of me that I've already ran with since being little and I just feel like it's gotten 10 times worse now. I can't wait to be unleashed on the field."
In his three seasons at LSU, Guice was a force. In total, the 5-foot-11, 224 pounder registered 3,074 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns on 471 carries.
Guice's 6.53 yards-per-carry average ranks second all-time in SEC history behind Auburn's Bo Jackson (6.62).
Additionally, he's the only player in SEC history to record three 250-yard rushing performances.
"I'm a very physical, powerful runner that doesn't shy away from contact," Guice said. "I like to compare my game to Marshawn Lynch a lot. That's the big bro. I talk to him a lot and have gotten a lot of advice from him throughout this process as well. That's who I put my running style towards."
If Guice can produce in a similar fashion to Lynch in his prime, the Redskins will have another playmaker at the running back position for years to come.
"At the end of the day, it's all about the skill set that he has and he has got one, without a doubt," Gruden said. "What he's done at LSU when he backed up Leonard Fournette that year was unbelievable. He had played though some injuries this year so his production went down a little bit. We feel like he is in great shape. He passed all the physical tests we put him through with the doctors. He is going to be a weapon for us."