Derrius Guice, running back, LSU
An argument could surely be made that Guice was better than 2017 top-five pick Leonard Fournette with the Tigers last season. With Fournette having to handle injuries and sitting out LSU’s bowl game, Guice proved himself more than capable of shouldering the load as a sophomore.
All said, the former five-star recruit put up nearly 1,500 total yards and 16 touchdowns in his second season in Baton Rouge. He also averaged an absurd 7.6 yards per rush. What makes Guice’s sophomore season so special is the fact that he put up 15-plus rush attempts eight times, including a 37-attempt, 285-yard performance against Texas A&M and Myles Garrett.
At 5-foot-11 and 222 pounds, Guice already has a stronger frame than Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook, both of whom went in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. There’s absolutely no reason to believe this youngster can’t shoulder the load for LSU heading into the season.
“The way (Guice) runs, my guess is half or more (of teams in the league) would take him over Fournette right now,” an anonymous AFC scout told Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes last December.
Now with Fournette in the NFL, Guice will have an opportunity to prove his worth as LSU’s top back against what continues to be dominant SEC defenses. How he responds after a brilliant sophomore campaign will surely dictate the youngster’s draft stock. But we would not be surprised to see him follow the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Fournette and McCaffrey as recent top-10 picks. That’s how good he is.