Despite getting drafted Day 3, Elijah Hood will be a steal for Raiders.
By the end of “Day 3” in the 2017 NFL draft most Raiders fans were tuned out, enjoying the rest of their weekend with friends and family. This wasn’t the case for me, when I saw the Raider’s selection for the 242nd pick flash across my TV screen I was ecstatic! “Finally a running back us Raiders’ fans have been waiting for!”, I proclaimed.
Hood might be the long-term answer at running back
Elijah Hood out of the University of North Carolina is a player that Oakland fans should be excited about, mostly because he can be the long-term solution post-“Beast Mode”. Pundits will look at this pick and say “So what? The kid’s a seventh-round pick and they barely amount to anything in the NFL.”
This isn’t the case with Hood for several reasons besides his natural talent which was on display in college but the two biggest being: time and the Raiders’ offensive line. The addition of Marshawn Lynch will help Hood develop his skills at the NFL level and even beef up while working with the Raiders athletic staff. In so many words, barring an injury to Lynch, Hood won’t see the field for at least a year but that’s a good thing.
The other factor that should excite not only Raider Nation but Hood himself is that monster of an offensive line. Hood will one day run behind the likes of Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele, and assuming he’s signed long-term, Gabe Jackson. If nothing else, this will serve as motivation for Hood as he’ll have a dominant line waiting for him to behind; oh the possibilities.
— Kelsey Riggs (@kelseyriggs) May 1, 2017
Quick look at his Tar Heel career
Hood finished his career with the Tar Heels with 2,589 rushing yards on 431 attempts with an average of six yards per carry. And 1,594 of those yards came after contact which averages to 3.7 yards after contact per attempt. If this number doesn’t stand out to you then let me ellaborate, Hood averaged close to four yards AFTER being contacted by a defender which means that he’s a “physical” running back that’s tough to take down and I’ve seen it while watching his tape. According to CFF.com, Hood ranked in their top 5 in percent not tackled on first contact with 37.5%, which means Elijah is making defenders miss 37.5% percent of the time he has the ball in his hands.
As I stated before, if Hood does all the right things and stays healthy then there’s no reason he can’t be the starting running back for the Raiders once Lynch goes riding into the sunset.