Age (Draft Day): 23
Position: Running Back
Weight: 215 pounds
Projected 40-yard dash time: 4.50 seconds
As a 4-star recruit out of St. Frances Academy, Blake Corum enrolled at the University of Michigan in January 2020. In his first season, he appeared in five games and rushed for 50 yards. He had to wait his turn to show that he could be the lead back for the Michigan offense.
Prior to the 2021 season, Sports Illustrated wrote that Corum was poised for a breakout year. In the first two games of the season, he rushed for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 128 yards on kickoff returns and led the nation in all-purpose yards with an average of 221.5 yards per game. On September 18 against the Northern Illinois Huskies, Corum recorded his third straight 100-yard rushing game, becoming the first Michigan player to accomplish this feat since Denard Robinson in 2011.
In 2022, Corum rushed for a career-high 243 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Maryland. He continued with over 100 yards rushing in each of the next four games. Corum was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performances against Maryland and Michigan State. Corum suffered a knee injury in the 11th game of the 2022 season and missed the rest of the year. After the injury, he announced that he would be staying at Michigan for another year in 2023.
On October 14, 2023, Corum became the tenth player in Michigan history to reach 3,000 career rushing yards. Corum rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on November 25, 2023, setting a new single-season rushing touchdown record of 22. He is the only player in the FBS to score in each game this season.
On December 2, 2023, during the 2023 Big Ten Football Championship Game, Corum rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns, for his 55th career touchdown. With 52 rushing yards in the game, he passed 1,000-yards on the season, and became the first player with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Denard Robinson. With two rushing touchdowns in the game, he tied Anthony Thomas for Michigan's career record for rushing touchdowns.
Elite footwork: Corum possesses exceptional foot quickness and agility, allowing him to make sudden cuts and change direction with ease. This makes him extremely hard to bring down if he has space to work with. His low center of gravity allows him to jump-cut across running lanes with ease. He is one of the most laterally explosive running backs in all of college football.
Toughness and Inside running: Despite his smaller stature, Corum is a surprisingly tough and physical runner. He has a knack for squeezing through tight holes and picking up tough yards between the tackles. Surprisingly, he is a better inside runner than an outside runner. Usually, smaller backs are more prone to use their speed and bounce every run to the edge. Corum thrives at making himself small and slipping through small holes that bigger backs would struggle to hit.
True Bell-Cow: Corum has demonstrated the ability to handle a heavy workload, consistently producing even when carrying the ball over 20 times per game. His durability and stamina make him a reliable option for an offense week in and week out.
Size Limitations: Corum's smaller frame (5'8", 215 pounds) could be a concern for some NFL teams. His lack of ideal height may raise questions about his durability and ability to withstand the rigors of a 17-game NFL season. While some teams will be impressed by his ability to be a true bell-cow runner for Michigan, others will look at it as a negative. He has a ton of carries throughout college, which could cause his NFL career to be shorter due to injuries.
Lack of Elite Top-End Speed: While Corum has good enough speed to break away for occasional big plays, he doesn't possess the elite top-end speed of some of the top running back prospects in the draft. This could limit his ability to outrun defenders on the edge.
NFL Comparison: Mark Ingram II
Drawing parallels to former NFL running back Mark Ingram II, Blake Corum shares several similarities in not only their playing styles, but their physical attributes and builds. Both Ingram and Corum possess compact frames, exceptional quickness, and a knack for picking up tough yards between the tackles. They are also both better suited as inside runners than outside runners due to their reliance on power and elusiveness, rather than just sheer speed.
Draft Projection: Third Round
Blake Corum is a talented running back with the potential to have a successful NFL career as a starter. His blend of quickness, toughness, and versatility makes him a well-rounded player who can contribute to an offense in various ways. While his size and lack of elite speed may raise some concerns, his overall skillset and work ethic suggest that he can overcome these limitations and become a productive runner at the professional level. Blake Corum is projected to be a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, his size limitations and lack of elite top-end speed could cause some teams to hesitate in selecting him with a higher pick.