The Oakland Raiders shored up the defense with five of the first six picks in the latest draft coming from that side of the ball. As Round 7 was coming to a close, the team took a flier on North Carolina running back Elijah Hood with pick No. 242.
General manager Reggie McKenzie is pleased with how Hood’s performed early in camp.
“So far he’s done extremely well. These guys are getting so much thrown at them right now, and trying to learn this playbook, but the young man is extremely tough,” he said during an exclusive call with Season Ticket Members earlier in the week, per the team site. “He’s a physical runner. He’s definitely more of a between-the-tackles banger than he is a receiving threat or an outside runner, but he has enough speed to bounce it outside, and get a lot of yards. What he can do will complement some of our other backs. He’s definitely a good back to add to the mix.”
Hood split carries with T.J. Logan at Chapel Hill but made the most of his touches. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry and added another 5.7 yards with each reception. He was off a breakout 2015 season that saw the running back amass 1,463 total yards and 17 touchdowns on almost seven yards per carry.
He’d be an ideal understudy to Marshawn Lynch, a bruising back fresh out of retirement and back home in the Bay Area.
Whether Hood pans out as a feature back in the future or not, it was a low-risk, high-reward pick late in the final round.