ALAMEDA – It took significant time for Elijah Hood’s name to be called in this year’s NFL draft. The North Carolina running back was nearly last, the No. 242 overall selection.
He didn’t care. Hood was ecstatic, genuinely emotional on a Saturday conference call with local media.
He was excited to be a Raiders. He was over the moon about working with Marshawn Lynch.
The 220-pound power runner has tried to emulate the Oakland native, who became a Raider on Wednesday. Learning from him is a dream come true.
“Marshawn is the back who I’ve modeled my game after the most,” Hood said. “I just can’t wait to be in that running back room with him. He has so much to offer. He’s a veteran and a professional is how he conducts business. I feel like I have so many questions I need to ask, and so much I need to learn from him about what it takes to be successful. He’s the man I wanted to become as a running back.”
Lynch ranks high among the most elusive, physical, tackle-breaking backs of his generation, and Hood will be a sponge whenever he’s around his new teammate.
The running back room is full, with Lynch, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and Jamize Olawale. That’s the group expected to hit the regular season, but Hood believes he can earn a spot and continue to develop with the organization.
He dropped more than 10 pounds this offseason to be a more elusive runner, without losing his trademark power rushing style. Hood hopes to stick around and earn more carries in time.
“I have nothing but work ahead of me, and I can’t wait to do it,” Hood said. “I’m so blessed to be with this team and work with the running backs already there.”
Position: Defensive tackle
Weight: 300 pounds
Selection: Seventh round, No. 244 overall
ALAMEDA – The Raiders’ added yet another big defensive tackle to the roster with their fourth and final pick in the seventh round. Toledo’s Treyvon Hester was the selection, another powerful gap controller, who can break into the backfield with regularity at the college level.
Analysts say he has active hands that help him beat blockers. Critics say his motor can run out during longer plays, and may not have quality pass-rush ability.
He could develop into a rotational piece on the defensive interior, and he’ll have a chance to compete for a 2017 roster spot. Several lower-round or undrafted talents have contribute there, and Hester will certainly try to add his name to that list.