One of the hottest names for the Detroit Lions’ 20th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft is LSU’s running back Derrius Guice. In fact, according to our own Kent Lee Platte, Guice is currently the most popular pick for the Lions in mock drafts around the web.
Marcus Davenport had a brief surge immediately following the Combine for being mocked to the Lions, but Derrius Guice has reclaimed his throne for another month. Da'Ron Payne has picked up steam there as well.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 4, 2018
There’s a good chance that Guice will continue to see his named mocked to the Lions, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Detroit held a “private film session” with the LSU running back prior to his Pro Day on Wednesday. Guice was one of a few LSU players that took place in the film session.
Many believe Guice is the second best running back in this class, behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. At LSU, Guice put up back-to-back 1,200+ yard season and had 26 rushing touchdowns in those final two years.
Guice’s punishing running style could be very tempting as a long-term workhorse back for the Lions, especially if they plan to adopt a power-run scheme under new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. The Lions did add LeGarrette Blount to fill that kind of role in 2018, but at 31 years old and on a one-year deal, he won’t keep that job for long.
The counterpoints to Guice is that his production actually dropped once he was made the full-time starter last season (though many point to a nagging leg injury). Additionally, some believe that the depth in this running back class is too good to pick one early. The Lions, they argue, have more pressing needs that should be addressed by thinner position classes, like the defensive line.
Whatever the Lions’ plans are, they’re clearly doing due diligence with Guice, which is something any responsible team in their position will do.