Projecting Where Derrius Guice Will Land After Day 1 of 2018 NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

LSU running back Derrius Guice runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

One side effect of five quarterbacks being taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft is the fact it pushed a number of other offensive playmakers further down the board.

That means teams have the opportunity to select players with first-round talent in the second round, and LSU running back Derrius Guice fits the bill as someone who was projected by some to be taken Thursday.

Guice tallied 1,251 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns in 2017 after posting 1,387 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns in 2016.

On April 2, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller listed Guice as the second-best running back in this draft class behind only Penn State's Saquon Barkley and pointed to a number of strengths the SEC product brings.

Guice has the speed to create separation from defenders but is also powerful enough to run through contact and pick up difficult yardage between the tackles. Miller called him "a patient, smart runner with the physical tools and vision to excel in the NFL" while projecting him as a second-round pick.

However, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah predicted Guice to be the No. 13 overall pick, while mock drafts from Albert Breer of TheMMQB and Will Brinson of CBS Sports also predicted him as a first-round selection.

Whichever team picks Guice will receive excellent value at this stage of the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers are favorites to take him. 

If Philadelphia picks Guice, it will be with an eye on the future after losing LeGarrette Blount to free agency this offseason. Running back Jay Ajayi is also a free agent after the 2018 campaign, meaning a once-crowded running back room for the defending champions could be significantly thinner in 2019.

While it was the Lions who signed Blount, the contract is for just one year. They finished dead last in the league in rushing yards in 2017 and haven't featured a 100-yard back in a single game since Reggie Bush did so in 2013.

As for Tampa Bay, it lost Doug Martin this offseason and would add much-needed running back depth with a Guice selection.

              

Projected landing spots: Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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