Did a small group of middle aged men judging a 20 year old for his personality cost him millions?
My bold prediction. (without getting to political)
Much has been made of running back Shaquon Barkley from Penn State who was selected number two overall by the New York Giant’s and rightfully so. The guy has it all, well almost. He has the type of top notch speed team’s covet in first round running back’s. The allusiveness required to make guy’s miss and whiffing on tackles is a trait that is no doubt possessed by Barkley. Barkley also happens to be a great receiving weapon out of the back field and a beast in the open field. The Giants are hoping to re-create some of that single offseason reshaping that the Cowboy’s had when selecting Ezekiel Elliot a couple years prior. The Cowboy’s went from an over rated after thought to an offense that seemed to eat up all the clock and one that defenses couldn’t seem to get off the field. The one trait that Barkley does not have is the ability to lower his shoulder and run through defenders on a regular basis. Elliot is a generational back who can do it all at will. Not to mention he probably has the best offensive line in football. Enter Derrius Guice.
Guice may not be as agile as Barkley or as well rounded as Elliot but one thing he can do better than any other back in this year’s draft class is to completely run people over at will. That’s saying a lot considering how deep this year’s draft class is. I had Guice ranked number two in my running back ranking’s so I was more than surprised when there was six other players at the same position selected ahead of him. Not that those other back’s don’t have potential to be great I just think some of them will end up being change of pace or third down back’s. I mean Derrius Guice averaged 7.1 yards per carry in his career at LSU. Any time someone averages that type of yardage against the SEC conference we need to seriously consider him being the first back off the board, not the 7th. Taking the draft fall into consideration it only adds to the chip on his shoulder and the physicality he will bring.To put it simply, this guy runs angry. Alex Smith is now the QB for the Washington Redskins, which is where Guice ultimately landed, and since Smith is a game manager and not one to throw the ball 40 times a game you can believe there will be plenty of carries for Guice to manage a game 5 yard’s at a time. Not to mention that Washington only about one good wide out and an often injured tight end. This fall in my mind just renews and feeds the drive this kid will have. Call it a hunch if you want, but the tape doesn’t lie. Many reports indicate that the fall during the draft had to do with many scouts feeling his personality was “too weird”. Last time I checked they are trying to run a football program not a personality contest. This is a guy who had to deal with the murder of his father at a very young age. Then on top of that his family who was already struggling economically was victimized by hurricane Katrina. These are huge factors and hardships that should have been taken more into consideration when judging his personality. Those hardships are a lot for anyone to deal with let alone for a young man. Those type of hardships also factor into what some may perceive as “weird”. This un logical label the NFL draft pundits threw on him cost this lid a lot of money. Although he will still be well off I’m guessing thefiguers are half if not less of what he should have received for a rookie contract. With all the sociological stereotype’s that exist today, this one just seems petty.
Call me crazy if you’d like, but at 7.1 yards a carry I can deal with all kinds of weird. I mean as long as he isn’t going around beating up woman or shooting people what do I care how weird he is?!?! Besides how do these upper class middle aged people know how the youth perceive as to what is weird and what is not. The last time I was this sure about a running back was David Johnson who didn’t go until the third round because of the level of talent he played against at university of Northern Iowa division 1AA. Feast your eyes on the tape and tell me I’m wrong.