The Washington Redskins drafted running back Derrius Guice out of LSU in the second round (59th pick) of the 2018 NFL Draft. However, they never really got to see him play.
In the first preseason game of the year for the Redskins, Derrius Guice tore his ACL. That caused him to miss the entire 2018 season, making everyone wait to see the team’s new franchise running back.
As we head into 2019, Guice is healthy and ready to go. He’ll be only 22 years old for the entirety of the new season. It’s hard not to be as excited about Guice compared to last year.
That being said, some things have changed.
The Washington offense has a completely different look compared to last year. A new receiver, Terry McLaurin, will be a good target for the new franchise quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. Then there’s Adrian Peterson, a veteran running back who still has a lot left in the tank (as proven by last season). He’ll alleviate pressure from Guice, but also take some snaps away from him. The question is which of those two will outweigh the other.
In this case, the former clearly outweighs the latter. Keeping Guice fresh in his first season (especially after missing 2018 due to injury) will only be a positive for everyone involved.
It will likely mean a few less yards and touchdowns from the running back, but should make him more efficient (a higher yards-per-carry average).
With Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield, Guice will likely be used in situations best suited for him. The Redskins will be able to pick their spots with Guice, giving him plays that are tailor-made to help him succeed.
With a loaded backfield, it’s safe to say that Derrius Guice won’t have the highest usage level of the Redskins’ running backs. He will have the chance to be one of the most efficient, though.
As the season goes on, Guice could receive more touches. If he plays at an extremely high level, the Redskins could decide to phase him into the offense even more, taking touches away from Peterson and Thompson. This could lead to even bigger numbers.
Even if that does happen, though, you should still expect a decent amount of carries: 200-plus carries and 1,000-plus yards are definitely in his sights.
At some point in his career, Guice will likely be a workhorse. He has all the tools to be one of the best in the NFL. In 2019, however, the Redskins will take things slowly. Recovering from a torn ACL, it would be smart not to rush anything. This goes doubly when it’s a young running back a team expects so much from. It also helps that the Redskins have a lot of talent at the position, so there’s absolutely no need to overwork him.
Due to that, the numbers might not be as high as you would expect… but Guice can still make a significant impact.
Most importantly, what you should expect from Derrius Guice is a message, a message to the NFL that he’s ready to be part of the next generation of elite running backs.
Truly a specimen at the position, Guice has a scary combination of speed, power, athleticism and vision. That mixture of skills will be shown off in 2019 and prove that the Washington Redskins have their franchise running back to go with their franchise quarterback.