With one of the Raiders’ four seventh round picks, they selected North Carolina running back, Elijah Hood. Hood is the type of running back you’d expect the Raiders to select considering his size 6-foot, 220-pound frame and aggressive running style as a complement to their smaller, more shifty scat backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.
Hood has a playing style not unlike that of Marshawn Lynch who the Raiders signed the day before the draft to be their starting running back next season.
The man whose brand is Beast Mode is extremely well respected as well as emulated by aspiring NFL backs like Hood. But not every back gets to team up with him.
Upon Hood’s being drafted by the Raiders with their 242nd overall pick in the 7th round, he was beside himself at the prospect of teaming up with the man he emulates. He was literally overcome with emotion at the thought of it.
“I mean Marshawn Lynch, growing up watching him play, honestly as a runner, that’s one of the running backs I tried to model my game after most,” said Hood. “I mean Beast Mode. I just can’t wait to be in that running back room with him. He has so much to offer He’s a veteran. The way he conducts business, he’s a professional. I feel like I have so many questions I need to ask him and learn from him about the game and NFL and what it takes to be successful. It’s just so much much to take in. I’m about to be in a room with this guy. He’s literally the man who I wanted to become as a running back.”
Hood’s emulation of Lynch isn’t just one of those ‘Well, yeah, who wouldn’t?’ types of statements. Last season at North Carolina Hood broke 53 tackles, giving him Pro Football Focus’ 5th highest elusive rating among backs in this class. His 5.9 yards per carry was actually down from his sophomore season in which he averaged 6.7 yards per carry.
Now he has the perfect mentor.
Recently I noted at least ten examples of how adding Marshawn Lynch is a win both for him and the team. I thought ten wins covered it. But being a mentor for young backs like Hood as well as Richard and Washington was not among them. You can add that to the already layered winception Lynch brings to the team.
Even second round pick safety Obi Melifonwu unprompted called the thought of joining Lynch with the Raiders “icing on the cake.”