On Guice, he's my version of Dalvin Cook last year. They are different type of runners. But almost every time I watched Cook, he just seemed so explosive -- so I couldn't let that go last off season in spite of the combine and the other criticisms. So I stuck with him. Same thing with me as to Guice, he just seemed to be a beast when I watched his games. Besides him as a runner -- love the dude's feistiness-attitude. As Cooley likes to say on offense he's desperate to see them add some angry guys with attitudes -- and if they do so it could have a positive ripple effect on the team.
Biggest takeaway: Penn State's Saquon Barkley is going to enter the 2017 CFB season as the top running back in the country, but Guice belongs in his company. He's an explosive runner with excellent balance and a tenacious style. He isn't quite as powerful as his former teammate Fournette, but he has a little more wiggle and elusiveness. I see a little bit of LaDainian Tomlinson in his running style, but he really reminds me of a young Frank Gore. He's a tough guy to get on the ground.
No. 2 - Derrius Guice, LSU
(Games charted - Alabama, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Missouri, Florida)
Average number of defenders in the box - 7.25
Average number of blockers in the box - 7.10
Of the five running backs charted, LSU’s Derrius Guice saw, on average, the most defenders in the box as well as the most blockers in the box. Defenses loaded up to stop Guice, as he was the team’s best weapon and needed to be accounted for on every snap. However, LSU also played a part in creating stacked boxes for Guice, as he rarely ran out of 10 and 11 personnel. Guice played in what we would call a traditional “NFL-offense,” as LSU used a ton of 12 and 21 personnel to run the ball.
While running out of more traditional boxes may have hurt Guice’s college statistics, it prepared him more for what he is going to see in the NFL. Guice saw eight defenders in the box on nearly 24 percent of his carries, averaging more than 6.75 yards per carry. He saw eight or more defenders in the box on a staggering 31.8 percent of his total rushes, by far the most of the top backs in this class.
The most impressive stats for Guice come when you compare the number of defenders in the box versus the number of blockers in the box. When Guice saw an even box (same number of blockers as defenders) in 2017, he averaged an incredible 8.4 yards per rush on 75 carries. Assuming Guice can find himself on a team that runs a ton of inside zone out of 12 or 21 personnel, he should thrive in the NFL against six- and seven-man boxes.
Guice isn’t the receiver that Saquon Barkley is, nor is he the pass protector, but as a pure runner, you can make the case that his skill set is better suited for the NFL game. He is more likely to be a consistent runner at the next level, as he rarely loses yardage despite the extra defenders in the box.