A look at running back Elijah McGuire
By William Cochrane
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected running back Elijah McGuire with their seventh overall pick in Round 6 (No.188). Here is a look at what makes him an interesting selection by Gang Green.
Running back Elijah McGuire played four years at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette for the Ragin Cajuns. McGuire possesses very decent size for a running back, at a height of 5’10’ while weighing 214lbs. Specifically, he’s well-known for his athleticism during his senior year with the Ragin Cajuns.
McGuire, unfortunately, sprained his foot in the fourth overtime while playing against Tulane University in game number four of his senior season which the Cajuns had lost by a score of 41-39. The injury occurred on a night that the Sun Belt’s 2014 player of the year had rushed for a career high 38 times.
Despite the injury, it neglected to keep him out of any games the rest of the season, although it did hamper his workload for the team’s remaining nine games. During those nine games, Elijah compiled three 100+ yard games while rushing for a total of 99 yards on 17 carries in his final collegiate game vs Southern Mississippi during the New Orleans Bowl.
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Although, while dealing and playing with that sprained ankle amid his final senior season, McGuire rushed for 1,127 yards on 232 carries and caught 29 receptions for 238 yards. Additionally, he returned four punts for 31 yards. During the prior two seasons before his foot injury, the Lafayette’s star player returned a total of 25 punts while also catching a total 78 passes out of the backfield.
All in all the Jets snagged themselves an exceptionally versatile running back late in this year’s draft. At the 2017 NFL Combine, McGuire ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds, which was subsequently the 12th best overall time just .5 seconds behind FSU’s running back Dalvin Cook.
Rotoworld’s John Norris says McGuire could possibly be this year’s, Jordan Howard. With an aging and injury-riddled running back in Matt Forte, McGuire could see a great deal of playing time along with Bilal Powell in the Jets arguably weak backfield.