Two things we learned Friday about Louisiana State running back Derrius Guice.
He has escapability. And he’s not a returner.
After he wasn’t selected in the opening round of the NFL draft the night earlier, Guice did not come back for a second evening in the green room at AT&T Stadium. It would have been another long wait for a player considered by some scouts a top-20 talent; his name wasn’t called until Washington took him 59th near the end of the second round.
That was most surprising story line on a night when USC running back Ronald Jones II went to Tampa Bay at No. 38, and teammate Uchenna Nwosu, a relentless pass rusher, went 48th to the Chargers. Trojans defensive end Rasheem Green was chosen by Seattle at No. 79.
A day after five quarterbacks went in the first round, including a record four in the first 10 picks, another was not taken until Pittsburgh selected Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph in the third round at No. 76.
The Steelers traded up to get Rudolph. That means that every team that picked a quarterback, besides the Browns at No. 1, traded up to get that player.
The first draft in North Texas featured the first pair of brothers selected in the opening round, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (No. 16 by Buffalo) and safety Terrell Edmunds (No. 28 by Pittsburgh). Their older brother, Trey Edmunds, is a New Orleans running back, and their father, Ferrell Edmunds, was a Pro Bowl tight end for Miami.
Unlike the first round in which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks, the second and third rounds were announced by retired notable players from the various franchises.
“Hey Dallas,” he screamed, “the last time you were in a Super Bowl these picks weren’t born!”
The boos spilled down, and got louder from the locals when Akers announced the pick: aptly named South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, who some believe the Cowboys were targeting amid news Jason Witten plans to retire (reportedly to the “Monday Night Football” booth).
The Rams, who traded their first-round pick to New England for receiver Brandin Cooks, didn’t make a selection until late in the third round, when they took Texas Christian tackle Joseph Noteboom at No. 89. The Chargers took North Carolina State defensive tackle Justin Jones at No. 84.
In a fitting twist, Baltimore used a third-round pick on Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown. He’s the son of the late Orlando “Zeus” Brown, who played for Cleveland and the Ravens. Call his namesake Zeus Deuce.
As for Guice, his was anything but a feel-good story. He was embroiled in a controversy last month when, during a radio interview, he claimed representatives of an unnamed team asked him during a scouting combine interview if he “liked men,” and if his mother is a prostitute.
“It was pretty crazy,” Guice said in an interview on the SiriusXM NFL show Late Hits. “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?’ ”
The NFL investigated the claims and found no evidence of such questions.
“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 NFL said in a statement this week. “The investigation did not confirm that any club made the reported inquiries.”
The plot thickened during the second round as rumors swirled.
“He’s a first-round talent,” analyst Mike Mayock said of Guice during NFL Network’s draft coverage. “He had several issues getting to different buildings and meeting with teams. He missed some flights. They didn’t like his attitude. ... He fired his agent. It was a tumultuous offseason for this young man. He did not put his best foot forward.”
Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer