Draft analyst: Leonard Fournette more explosive, but Derrius Guice is better pure runner

Derrius Guice
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

LSU’s Derrius Guice has big shoes to fill as Leonard Fournette’s successor at running back. But NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes Guice compares favorably to Fournette, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft, in one area.

“Guice’s elite contact balance allows him to take hits, steady himself and carry on with his run. Leonard Fournette was more explosive, but Guice is the better pure runner,” Zierlein said.

Another analyst, Chad Reuter, said Guice’s power “allow(s) him to blast through tackles in a Jerome Bettis-like fashion.”

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Guice ranks No. 5 overall in NFL.com’s listing of the top 25 players in college football.

Guice made six starts in place of an injured Fournette during the 2016 season, and finished the season with a SEC-high 1,387 yards. He rushed for more than 100 yards in six of the seven games in which he had double-digit rushing attempts, including a career-best 285 yards and four touchdowns against Texas A&M.

Guice will be LSU’s unquestioned feature back this season and could see time at wide receiver in new coordinator Matt Canada’s scheme.

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“Guice led the SEC in rushing last fall despite sharing time in the backfield,” NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “He has home-run speed, and I think we’ll see him more involved in the passing game this season.”

Guice had nine receptions last season and has just 13 in his career.

Analyst Bucky Brooks said Guice is “a natural fit as a RB1 in a downhill scheme.”

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