Leading up to the NFL Draft many teams will continue their evaluation process on prospects while altering their draft boards in preparation for Draft day. CPGM will provide you a breakdown of two prospects matched against each other with similar draft projections to get you prepped for this year’s draft. Voting option below for your input on who you think the better prospect is in this NFL Draft Matchup.
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Here we have two running backs with polar opposite running styles. We at CPGM believe Derrius Guice and Ronald Jones II in the same backfield would be a perfect match as their styles are perfect opposites of one another creating a lightning and thunder dynamic. The violent Guice runs like every run is his last as he punishes opponents with a Beast Mode mentality while keeping his legs churning until he gets the last drop of extra yardage. While the shifty Jones is as elusive as they come creating game breaking runs by using his explosive cutting ability and burst through the line of scrimmage. This matchup is a matchup of preference. With the NFL’s transition to the specialized running back, the team that drafts Guice will pair him with a dynamic pass catching back and the team that drafts Jones will pair him with a more physical inside the tackle runner.
It may be an unpopular pick but give me Jones in this draft matchup. The first time I watched Jones at USC I was enamored with his ability to make cuts at the second level of a defense without losing any speed. When breaking down the running back position, the first thing I look for is footwork. After looking at how well a back creates hidden yardage with his feet I then evaluate his vision. It is like poetry in motion watching Jones’ tape as he has the footwork, vision and burst to be one of the best backs in the NFL. The question mark for Jones will be his size as he measures at a mere 205 pounds but with the specialization of the running back position, teams will only look to get Jones around 15 touches per game at the next level. That’s 15 dynamic touches with an opportunity to gain huge chunks of yardage ala Alvin Kamara.
Let’s talk my kind of running back in Derrius Guice. He has the mentality of a linebacker with alpha dog tendencies. Guice is the type of player that will light a fire under his team’s ass, particular the offensive linemen and receivers. He runs with purpose and attitude. Let’s keep in mind that Guice ran behind an OL that wasn’t the best and an offense that knew nothing of the forward pass plagued by sketchy quarterback play. Teams knew what was coming and it was a large dose of Guice and then a little more of Guice. With plenty of men in the box Guice was able to find holes and if none were there he created them converting his speed to power in an instant. His balance thru contact is among the best in the class, running through would be tacklers with ease and able to make things happen in the open field either by turning on the jets and running pass folks or lowering his shoulder and running through the tackler. Vision comes easy and can’t wait to see him on a team that can actually throw the ball, his skill set will be on full display. His ability to burst through the hole like a cannon ball is a site to see and I’ve seen enough to say he can catch out the backfield on swing passes and wheel routes. That being said, whether Guice can be truly dynamic in the passing game lining up in the slot or outside the numbers remains to be seen. It was said Fournette couldn’t do it… Guice does play bigger then his size but his violent rushing style does invoke concerns regarding injuries. However, pairing him with another back may alleviate such a concern. The comp of Jamaal Charles for Ronald Jones II is as perfect as it gets. Jones has exceptional burst and explosion through the whole. It was said he was asked to add some power to his game and did that as well although not ideal. The type of player who will do what is needed to win, coach-able and a team player. In the passing game wheel routes, screens, and swing passes out in the flats is where initially I think Jones will eat.
NFL Comparison: Derrius Guice – Marshawn Lynch; Ronald Jones II – Jamaal Charles