Derrius Guice entered the NFL draft considered by many to be the top running back prospect not named Saquon Barkley.
When Thursday’s first round ended, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny and Georgia’s Sony Michel had joined Barkley off the board, raising questions about why the LSU running back was still available.
Friday’s second round started, and fans watched Georgia’s Nick Chubb, USC’s Ronald Jones and Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson come off the board. Six running backs were gone, and still Guice waited with the third round approaching.
Finally, Washington ended Guice’s slide with the 27th pick of the second round, ensuring that the first-round prospect didn’t end up a third-round (or worse) pick.
Now, the question lingers as to why Washington was able to pick up such a good value late in the second round. Guice made headlines after the NFL combine when he told Sirius XM NFL radio that he was asked inappropriate questions by a team he declined to identify.
“Man, it was pretty crazy, bro,” Guice said. “Some people really try to get in your head, man, and really just test your reaction and see what your reaction is going to be.
“I’d go in one room and a team would ask me, ‘Do I like men?’ just to see my reaction. They’d try to bring up one of my family members or somebody and tell me, ‘Hey, man, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?’ Just random stuff like that, man, to see how you respond.”
On Wednesday, the day before the draft, the NFL announced that it had investigated Guice’s claims, and that there was no evidence to support the inappropriate-question allegations.
“Following reports concerning the interviews of Derrius Guice at the Scouting Combine, the League conducted a thorough investigation which included a formal review and report from every club that interviewed Mr. Guice during the combine, as well as discussions with Mr. Guice, his agent and others,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “The investigation did not confirm that any club made the reported inquiries.”
Guice told the Louisiana Advocate prior to the draft that he was toning down his wardrobe for Thursday’s red carpet in an effort to lay low while his character was under attack.
“I already got enough backlash,” Guice said. “Can’t really let my personality shine like normal. Now I’ve got to be this person I’m not. Now I’ve got to hide who I really am, hide my personality.”
Guice declined to show up at AT&T Stadium on Friday after not being selected in the first round.
So for now, all we know for sure is that Washington appeared to get a tremendous value by grabbing Guice late in the second round after trading down. Washington swung and missed with Matt Jones in 2015 and is in need of a runner to carry the load alongside Chris Thompson, who is more of a big-play specialist rather than an every-down back and is coming off broken fibula suffered in November.
Most everything else is rumor and innuendo.
More NFL draft coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• NFL draft grades for Round 1
• Barkley already an NFL star without playing a snap
• Bills captain: Josh Allen will have to explain controversial tweets
• Report: Chargers to cut team icon Antonio Gates