LSU running back Derrius Guice was expected by many to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but the Louisiana native was not chosen until the Washington Redskins selected him with the 59th overall pick on Friday night amidst a series of bizarre rumors and conflicting reports.
One possible reason for Guice’s tumble could be his since-disputed claim that he was asked inappropriate questions by teams at the NFL Draft combine, including one under the false premise that his mother was a prostitute.
After conducting an investigation into the matter for weeks, the NFL announced Wednesday that it found no such evidence.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Guice admitted to one team that the question was never asked to him, which caused his draft stock to suffer.
Guice was one of 22 players invited to be in the green room in Dallas on Thursday, but did not return to AT&T Stadium on Friday night after going unpicked in the first round
There had been rumors that Guice was the subject of a major story had yet to be revealed
However, TMZ denied having any such story about Derrius Guice
According to a story by NFL.com before the draft, scouts had concerns about Guice’s personality.
One NFC executive allegedly called him a ‘high-maintenance kid,’ while an AFC scout said, ‘there’s a lot of personality stuff.’
Three running backs went ahead of Guice in the first round on Thursday night, and on Friday, another three were off the board within the first 17 picks.
Guice was one of 22 players invited to be in the green room in Dallas on Thursday, but did not return to AT&T Stadium on Friday night after going unpicked in the first round.
As a junior in 2017, Guice ran for an impressive 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns after amassing 1,387 yards and 15 scores as a sophomore.
On Sirius XM radio on March 7, Guice was asked about the combine interview process and said, ‘Some people are really trying to get in your head and test your reaction… I go in one room, and a team will ask me do I like men, just to see my reaction. I go in another room, they’ll try to bring up one of my family members or something and tell me, “Hey, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?”‘
When asked about the interview process, Guice said: ‘Some people are really trying to get in your head and test your reaction… I go in one room, and a team will ask me do I like men, just to see my reaction. I go in another room, they’ll try to bring up one of my family members or something and tell me, “Hey, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?”‘
League spokesman Brian McCarthy released a statement Wednesday, reading:
‘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.
‘The investigation did not confirm that any club made the reported inquiries. Nonetheless, we used this opportunity to reaffirm our workplace standards and emphasize the importance of fully complying with all requirements of federal and state law. The NFL and each of its member clubs remain fully committed to fair and non-discriminatory employment practices.’
According to ESPN, the league spent weeks trying to figure out who asked Guice such questions, while at least one team said Guice ‘made up’ the comments.
As a junior in 2017, LSU running back Derrius Guice ran for an impressive 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns after amassing 1,387 yards and 15 scores as a sophomore
An NFL.com story on Friday noted that Guice has ‘indicated privately and to teams those questions weren’t really asked by NFL teams.’ The story – which reported via multiple sources that teams have concerns regarding the running back’s maturity – quoted an executive saying, ‘His explanation was that it was taken out of context. There’s just a lot going on with him.’
The NFL issued a statement at the time of Guice’s radio comments, reading:
‘A question such as that is completely inappropriate and wholly contrary to league workplace policies. The NFL and its clubs are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, state and federal laws and the CBA. We are looking into the matter. The league annually reminds clubs of these workplace policies that prohibit personnel from seeking information concerning a player’s sexual orientation.’
Despite the conflicting reports, outlandish questions are not uncommon at the NFL Draft combine.
Guice, has fun getting ready with Head & Shoulders for the 2018 NFL Draft at the P&G VIP Style Lounge on Wednesday. He would go undrafted during Thursday’s first round
In March of 2016, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel – who was a defensive backs coach at the time – issued an apology for asking Ohio State cornerback prospect Eli Apple at the combine if he liked men, prompting the NFL to reinforce its policies about inappropriate questions.
There are other possible causes for Guice’s tumble, some of which may turn out to be false rumors.
Veteran NFL reporter Jason La Canfora tweeted that there was a revelation about Guice on the horizon that could be affecting his draft stock: ‘Getting some word [that] TMZ may have an unflattering story about Guice that could be published soon which may have something to do with teams steering clear.’
However, TMZ executive Evan Rosenblum tweeted earlier that wasn’t the case: ‘NO, TMZ IS NOT HOLDING SOME CRAZY BOMBSHELL STORY ON DERRIUS GUICE.’
That wasn’t all.
One Twitter account, falsely purporting to be ESPN’s Schefter, promoted a piece of fake news about Guice threatening to kneel in protest during the national anthem – a demonstration that has caused a significant amount of controversy among fans and NFL owners.
LSU’s Derrius Guice walks the red carpet during the first round of the 2018 NFL football draft