Jay Gruden isn’t shy with his praise for Derrius Guice. He expects the rookie running back to become a “great player” for the Redskins.
The Redskins clearly have a lot of faith in Derrius Guice’s ability to have a positive impact on their team. While other teams passed on Guice due to character concerns, Washington was more than happy to snap him up with the No. 59 selection.
Jay Gruden clearly feels he should have gone much higher. Specifically, the Redskins’ head coach seems to be enamored with the confidence that Guice possesses. Gruden simply points out there is “no reason not for him to be confident.” He likes everything about his rookie back.
In fact, Gruden has already gone on record with the fact that he “anticipates” Guice will become one of the great players chosen in the second round of the draft. That’s heavy praise for a player who has not taken a snap in the NFL as of yet.
The good news for Guice is that he has every chance to succeed as a rookie in this offense. The offensive line is an above average group led by Moses Morgan and Brandon Scherff on the right side. Add that to a veteran, accurate quarterback in the form of Alex Smith and there’s a clear recipe for success in place.
On the other hand, counting on the Redskins front office to be smarter than the majority of teams in the league is a risky proposition. Guice’s pre draft process was bizarre to say the least. He claimed several teams asked him inappropriate questions. The NFL declined to confirm his accusations. Most have concluded that, at the very least, Guice made the most of any strange questions he might have been asked.
That doesn’t mean he can’t be a really effective running back. He played three years of excellent football at LSU. The Tigers didn’t have the most explosive offense in the SEC, but Guice always managed to be really productive out of the backfield. His production at the collegiate level bodes well for his ability to make a successful transition to the NFL.
Guice should enjoy a productive rookie campaign for the Redskins, but predicting greatness seems like a stretch at this point in time. Instead of building Guice up the world, Gruden should be doing everything he can to help keep expectations for his rookie running back as low as possible. It’s fair to wonder whether or not Gruden is setting Guice up to fail.