The anticipation is there
Derrius Guice is arguably the most anticipated offensive player to be drafted by the Washington Redskins since Robert Griffin III in 2012. Guice has the speed, vision and hands that will be a game changer for the Redskins offense this year. But, when it comes to Offensive Rookie of the Year, is there enough there for him to win?
Guice will be the NFL offensive rookie of the year if…
…the offensive line can stay healthy and hold up for a full 16 games. The is no questioning that rookie running backs thrive in the first ten games of the season, but then start to fall off during the playoff push. I don’t think Guice will be any different. That doesn’t make him a bad running back, that’s just him not used to the weekly grind of the NFL. Guice will flirt with 1,000 yards rushing, but it will be his pass catching abilities that will have to set himself apart from the likes of Saquon Barkley. If Guice can translate what he has shown in OTAs in running routes to NFL game speed, he will be bring the trophy back to Ashburn for the first time since 2012.
Guice will not be the NFL offensive rookie of the year if…
…Chris Thompson eats significantly into Guice’s routes and he hits the rookie wall making him less productive statistically. All the offensive rookies know who they are chasing for rookie of the year. It is a matter of whether they will be able to keep it up at a near record setting pace. The defenses that Guice will be playing in 4 of the final 6 weeks will be brutal: at Cowboys on short rest, Eagles (x2), and at Jaguars. It will be possible for Guice to fill up the stat sheet, but Gruden will need to be creative to ensure he is continuously involved. The offensive line may also not be full intact any given week from Week 12 on.
The planets will have to line up perfectly for Guice to win the award. We still do not know if Baker Mayfield will start Week 1 for the Browns. If Mayfield does, and the Browns win more than four games, there is a likelihood that he wins.
Saquon Barkley is the presumptive winner going into the season and is expected to open the offense up for Eli Manning. The lack of weapons besides Odell Beckham, Jr. and Evan Engram will give Barkley the opportunity to stuff his stat sheet.
I have no doubt in my mind that Guice will have a fantastic season. He will be the consistent running back the Redskins have been searching for since Clinton Portis. I hope Guice wins the award, and could be the reason the Redskins make the playoffs this year. But, there are going to be too many variables outside of his control to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.