Derrius Guice on fall in draft: ‘Things came out of nowhere and weren’t true’
Going into the 2018 NFL Draft, former LSU star Derrius Guice was labeled as one of the top running back prospects in the draft. Guice did not hear his name called until Friday when the Washington Redskins selected him with the 59th pick.
Myriad rumors and speculation concerning the character of Guice were gaining traction, including being labeled as “high maintenance” and “immature” despite being tabbed a “first-round talent” — which could have resulted in the slide.
Despite the rumors flying around, Washington did not have any second thoughts about drafting Guice.
“We got to know Derrius quite well. He’s quite the character,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said, per ESPN.com. “He’s got a great personality, loves football and is going to be a great competitor for this football team. We know that. We felt like he fit in just fine. Love his talent. At the end of the day it’s all about the skill set he has.”
Guice also weighed in, insisting that the rumors were fabricated and overblown.
“It did surprise me because a lot of the things came out of nowhere and weren’t true,” Guice said on a conference call. “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 didn’t understand why everything just hit so hard with me out of everybody.”
Guice also denied allegations he was involved in an altercation during his visit with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Guice rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016, while Leonard Fournette was in the backfield. Guice then rushed for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2017 in his final season as a Tiger.
There is a lot to love about Guice as a talent, and the character concerns were seemingly mere rumors. However, it was enough to see Guice plummet down the draft board. Given Washington has a crowded stable of running backs with Rob Kelley and Semaje Perine, Guice will have to figure out how to separate himself.