By Peter Andrisani (The Mock Draft Guy)
Many positional groups in this draft class get me excited. One of them that does not, is the running back group. Outside of a few of the top guys, it seems pretty uninspiring. But, out of this group, there is one player who has been borderline electric the past two seasons, and he is the focal point of today’s prospect profile, Michigan Wolverines Blake Corum.
Blake Corum in my opinion, is the most traditional running back in the entire draft class. Corum is just 5’8” but has a strong, bullish type of frame, weighing in at 213 pounds. Say what you will about projecting Corum to the next level, one thing that can not be disputed is his continued production. Since he took over the majority of reps before the 2021 season, Corum has produced 3526 rushing yards at 5.5 yards per carry, and a whopping 57 total touchdowns at the time of recording.
Those are some truly bell-cow running back type of numbers. But despite the numbers, Corum doesn’t have as much tread on the tires as you would think, only averaging 237 total touches per season since 2021. Don’t let Corum’s smaller stature fool you, he is a tank. Corum can put up 30 reps of 225, pair that with his last recorded 4.18 shuttle, and reported 4.38 speed, and you have a pretty rare combination of strength, twitch, and speed, with a low center of gravity.
Let’s talk about Corum’s game at or behind the line of scrimmage. Corum has excellent nuanced vision, he presses the line of scrimmage very well, but he doesn’t rush, no pun intended. Corum is a patient runner, that can go from 0 to 60 in a split second due to his explosiveness. Corum isn’t just a straight-line runner though, He displays his elusive ability through his use of Jump-Cuts, and Shiftiness. He’s also very slippery in tight spaces, I think this is due to his smaller stature, and his overall strength.
The Overall effort and motor are exceptional from Corum as well, once he’s wrapped up, he always keeps his legs churning and fighting for those extra yards. Once Corum breaks into the second and third levels, it becomes increasingly difficult to tackle him in the open field. His stout frame and overall elusiveness make it a real challenge for defenders to tackle him, especially with arm tackle attempts, which he just runs right through. Corum has a real Home run ability once he breaks through to the secondary levels.
Blake Corum, Like every other draft prospect, has general weaknesses and areas he can improve upon. The first area for me would have to be his ability as a Receiver. Now While Corum isn’t completely helpless, we’ve never really seen him run anything more than Flats, checkdowns, and screens. To become a true duel threat at the NFL level, I would like to see some development in his overall route tree.
Another area of Corum’s game that could use some work if he wants to be a true 3-down running back is his pass protection. While Corum showcases a favorable low center of gravity, he's raw in picking up blitz assignments. He needs to sharpen his football IQ to square up against savvy NFL linebackers and defensive ends in protection schemes.
Lastly, Corum’s season-ending knee injury in 2022 could bring up a few red flags. The NFL is striding away from true 3-down running backs over the past few years, and looking to deploy more of a two or three-headed rushing attack. If there are signs that Corum’s injury could affect him long-term, he might be viewed as a prospect that is only valuable in a running back committee type of attack, therefore knocking his draft stock just a bit.
In terms of a scheme fit for Blake Corum, I could see him fitting best as a rotational back in an inside zone or gap scheme. Although with a good Offensive line, and his attributes, I could see Corum being effective in some power running schemes as well.
Here are five teams that I think Could look to draft Blake Corum in the 2024 NFL Draft:
The Los Angeles Rams. The Rams have a bonafide stud in Kyren Williams, but as we have seen in years past, the Rams aren’t afraid to add running backs. Corum offers a nice contrasting running style to Williams.
The Denver Broncos. I don’t know what the Broncos plan is for the 2024 NFL Draft, but I think adding a running back should be up there. Corum offers a more aggressive running style to JaVonte Williams.
The Cleveland Browns. We have no idea how Nick Chubb will come back from his horrific leg injury. Jerome Ford has been good, but he hasn’t been setting the world on fire, the Browns might want to bring in another Back to ease the pressure off of Chubby.
The Las Vegas Raiders. Has the Josh Jacobs era ended in Vegas? It appears so. Zamir White looked really good as the starter. The Raiders might want to bolster their running back room if Jacobs were to walk.
Finally, The Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers' running game has been a disaster this season, Austin Eckler has lost a step, and Joshua Kelley was better, but not by much. The Chargers new head coach might want to go in a different direction.
My Pro Comparison for Blake Corum is Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier was a similar prospect to Corum, as he wasn’t much of a receiver, but he was a physical runner, with good vision and elusiveness in the open field. I think Corum is a faster version of Allgeier, as he ran a 4.6 at the NFL Combine, whereas I believe Corum will run in the low 4.4s. Allgeier rushed for 1000 yards in his rookie season and now finds himself in one of the better committees in Football.
Overall, I think Blake Corum is the most impressive Runner in the entire draft class, While I don’t think it’s the strongest running back class, that’s still saying something. While I don’t think Corum is going to be a 3-down bell-cow running back, he’s going to play very nicely in a David Montgomery or Tyler Allgeier role in an offense. He’s got plenty to offer NFL Teams. I think Blake Corum will be selected in the late 2nd-early 3rd round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
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