2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Elijah Holyfield
Position: Running Back
School: University of Georgia
Weight: 215 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 2
From time to time, you see a back that makes you stop and rewind. Granted, Holyfield is not a breakaway back that will streak away from players. Yet, what brings eyes to the screen is his approach to the run. Holyfield wants to run over the defender. With that said, running behind his pads, he strikes the defender with force. In addition, he will serve as his own blocker, moving the pile forward and downhill. On a couple of occasions, you will see Holyfield backing his way towards a first down, while carrying defenders. Despite only weighing 215 pounds, he carries excellent play strength. Holyfield runs with an anger that translates to the field.
Granted, Holyfield is not going to dance in the open field. However, he does present enough shiftiness to widen pursuit angles for defenders. That will give him extra yardage and punish those that take sharp, undisciplined angles.
While he prefers athletic violence by contact, Holyfield can bounce the play to the outside and get the corner. Once he does, it is acceleration in open space. Combined with the shiftiness, expect chunk yardage and big plays.
Through three years, Holyfield only caught seven passes. Under those circumstances, swing passes and dump offs are the only routes in his tree.
During short yardage, situations or near the endzone, Holyfield will find paydirt. Whether it is converting a third down or breaking the plane, Holyfield simplifies his approach and drives forward, through the line and any defender.
If you are honest, the Raiders have a mess at running back. No one knows if Marshawn Lynch is returning. On top of that, Chris Warren is still unproven, despite the fanbase clamoring. If the Raiders draft Holyfield on the second day, look at what they could receive. First, Holyfield’s usage in college is amazingly low. That is a direct result of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel taking up in the backfield. In essence, that helped Holyfield. Often enough, star college backs would enter the league with an overabundance of carries. In return, some will wear out early. Next, Holyfield’s style and lineage will most certainly catch Jon Gruden’s attention. Holyfield’s father, Evander is a four-time world heavyweight-boxing champion. The Raiders need a young running back like Holyfield that could turn out to be the Real Deal.