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Jon Farmer, a CFM scouting associate had an interesting stream of thought(s)/scouting after reading my Derrius Guice preview report. I asked him to organize it into a report for the readers. Here’s Jon’s unique take:
Watched the Florida Gators and Louisville games. Wasn’t very impressed. I actually thought how is this guy even on a team??
He looks to have very poor initial burst, looks slow and sluggish. Like Bowser or Donkey Kong if this was Mario Kart, taking an age to get up to speed.
Once he got up to speed he was extremely dangerous and he looked very quick through the hole and when breaking away. I have a hunch he’ll test well on the 40, and probably also the 3 cone. Not elite speed but probably very good for his size. I’ll get back to the speed perception later on because I think he has the potential to surprise us. I think he has a split personality disorder on the field that tricks you into thinking he’s slower than he is.
He has poor vision when the holes close up, runs into the back of the offensive line A LOT. Gets caught unaware from the side and behind A LOT. Unless it opens up for him I didn’t see him create much at all on his own.
Pass protection. He only seems to dive at the feet of the player he wants to block. He doesn’t seem willing to front up a defender on his feet at all. Worrying for the NFL.
Pass catching. He’s a little unnatural, he’s pretty stacked physically and his arms don’t seem very well coordinated. He just looks a little panicky in that half a second before the ball arrives. He’s not built to be graceful so I wouldn’t be expecting him to catch a lot of passes at the next level. I do think if you can get the ball in his hands in space he’ll be very dangerous. Even if the catches don’t look pretty, I would try to force it to him in the air more than other backs of the same catching ability.
His balance seems suspect at times and fantastic at others. Some plays he looks strong when he gets his forward lean on but a lot of the time he’s very easy to bring down and is off balance more often than not. Several times I saw him taken off his feet and twizzled in the air like a rag doll. Very unusual for that to happen to a guy of his size. It’s because he’s sacrificing his balance to do everything he can to keep the run going. He twists and contorts his body to try and stay on his feet, but at times it compromises his balance so much you can just breathe on him and he’ll go down.
His agility looks poor when he’s not up to speed, he looks clumsy and cumbersome, like he’s stuck in the mud. He looks like he could tear an ACL at any time just from trying to clumsily throw himself around to fight for every inch. He just looks the opposite of smooth.
He takes A LOT of contact.
Goal line. Seemed almost incapable of punching it over in these two games. This is because there were no holes made for him. You need a good goal line back to find a way regardless of the line. Again, this is worrying for the NFL.
When he does get a FULL head of steam he looks an extremely dangerous runner at the 2nd level, I just couldn’t see much else to get excited about.
He does have excellent strength when he gets his body angle right, and will move the pile and be tough to bring down. But half the time he’s off balance because he’s fighting so hard.
Then I watched the Texas A&M game and I’m seeing a different animal.
He was an ANGRY runner in that game, it was a fight to the death from his perspective when he had anyone in his sights in front of him. You don’t want to be tackling him head to head one on one because he’s going to break you.
If you want my animal analogy he’s like a baby rhinoceros fighting for his life running away from / into a pack of lions. He looked unstoppable at times.
In the Texas A&M game he was a man possessed. He had great speed and burst and he was angry. I don’t know what happened in that game but a light came on. Actually I do know what happened in that game, the offensive line dominated and he made the most of the big holes. He also worked the tight creases extremely well in this game.
He didn’t create on his own but took full advantage of what the line gave him and fought for every yard when he got hit early.
At this point I’m conflicted, so I decided to watch another game.
Vs Ole Miss. I’m getting the sluggish Guice again mainly. He had the odd run when the offensive line opened it up for him but mostly had no holes and just dithered and stuttered behind the line and got swamped quickly.
So here’s the theory with Guice. Part 1 is Dr Jekyll. Part 2 is Mr Hyde.
Bad offensive line and no holes = Dr Jekyll. Good offensive line and any holes at all = Hyde / Rhino mode activated, so his landing spot will be absolutely crucial. When he’s Dr Jekyll he’s self preserving, holds back and struggles to manouvre. If he doesn’t see a hole he doesn’t know what to do and just dithers, stutters and then shuts down completely. But when he sees the tiniest hole open up early, he mutates into Mr Hyde and all of a sudden he’s the love child of Steve Smith Sr and a wrecking ball. He just becomes a monster that absolutely will not stop until there are blood and guts everywhere. The contrast is bizarre. Two players in one and the cheat code is good offensive line.
Going back to the speed perception from earlier. When I’m watching the games where he doesn’t get the holes open up and he dithers, I think he’s slow and lacks agility. When I see him getting holes he looks like he’s had a nitrous oxide injection. The situation dictates how much he ramps it up. So I’m willing to believe he could actually test fantastically, as long as Mr Hyde is going to be the Guice that turns up to the combine. When the baby rhino isn’t running at you full speed, you take away it’s main strength.
When he is at full speed, his vision is excellent. Some players have great vision in close quarters at low speed (see Le’Veon Bell), others have fantastic vision only when they’re at full speed. Guice strikes me as the latter, and it’s not a common skill, it’s an extremely valuable one.
Once he’s up to speed he’s hard to bring down at his size, and he’ll fight for every inch once this Hyde / rhino mode is activated. Going back to Mario Kart it’s like when you get a star and you’re invincible, that’s Guice when he gets a sniff of a hole. This is the Guice we got in the A&M game when the holes were there early and his confidence went through the roof. But close the holes and make him think for himself like the other 3 games and he’s a rabbit in the headlights, his mind and body seem to shut down. It’s his kryptonite. It’s like the skid start in Mario Kart when you press the accelerator too early at the beginning of a race.
This worries me for the NFL in a big way. If he gets a bad offensive line he’s going to be hounded out of the league. If he gets a really good one he could actually be a unique and special running talent for as long as the line performs well.
— Jon Farmer