There was much speculation about Tar Heels running back Elijah Hood entering the 2017 NFL Draft. Will he/won’t he, until he actually did. He announced he would return for his senior, and then seemingly changed his mind and declared. Mitch Trubisky and Nazair Jones were the only other juniors that North Carolina lost to the draft, and now Hood will join his former teammates in pro football. With the 13th pick in the seventh round, the Oakland Raiders have drafted Elijah Hood.
Hood broke out during his 2015 sophomore season when he rushed for 1,463 yards in 218 attempts. He average 6.7 yards per attempt and finished with 17 touchdowns in a year that should have been a sign of things to come for the Charlotte native. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as perfectly in 2016.
He got off to a slow start this season before suffering a concussion against Florida State in October. The injury kept him out of several games and likely affected him throughout the rest of the season. In the end, he finished with only 858 yards in 145 attempts, averaging 5.9 per attempt. Hood wasn’t even healthy enough to play in the Sun Bowl in December.
The season proved to be such a disappointment for him that it seemed like he would return in 2017 in order to improve his draft stock for next year. However, it’s likely that his stock has already peaked and scouts know the type of player he is to this point. Returning to Chapel Hill wouldn’t change too much for him in the long run, and he could further risk his health playing college ball without ever seeing a dime for it.