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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Blake Corum

The touchdown machine from Michigan has finally made up his mind and is declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft after securing Michigan their first championship since 1997. Corum is an undersized back, but that hasn't phased him in the slightest. He has had a phenomenal career. In his sophomore year, he split a lot of carries with Hassan Haskins. Even with the split, he posted a stat line of 144-952-11. That is 6.6 yards per carry. Once Haskins left, Corum took the reigns of the backfield and put up 247-1,463-18. Averaging 5.9 yards per carry, in addition to 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns, made him nearly unstoppable.

He was the leader for the Heisman but then suffered a knee injury in Week 13 that sidelined him for the rest of the season. This year, he saw a slight decrease in yards (1,245) and yards per carry (4.8) but recorded a touchdown or more in every single game (27). He was by far the best running back in college this year, and a team will be lucky to draft him come April.

Player Bio

Name: Blake Corum

Jersey: No. 2

Position: Running back

School: Michigan

Class: Senior

Height: 5'8

Weight: 213 lbs.

Games Watched: Maryland (2022), Penn State (2022), Ohio State (2023), Alabama (2023), Washington (2023)

Injury History: Suffered a season-ending injury in 2022, believed to be a meniscus tear.

Player Breakdown

Vision (13.5/15)

Corum is a patient back that follows blocks and knows right when to hit the hole. A lot of his carries are inside runs, and to produce the type of production he has, you have to be a skilled, patient runner with excellent vision. He waits for the holes to open up and bursts through. Being small helps him maneuver through these openings easier, and his quick feet do the rest of the job. He is rarely stopped behind the line of scrimmage, meaning he has a good sense of where to gain positive yards.

Contact Balance (11/15)

For being 5'8 and 213 pounds, Corum holds his own. He doesn't get thrown around easily and is capable of trucking defenders on occasion. He will be facing stiffer competition in the NFL though, and might have a hard time shedding as many tackles as he has in college. He is a hard runner who always keeps his legs churning though, so he isn't as easy to bring down as some may think. Finishes runs positively as he tends to fall forward usually. In this clip, he demonstrates even though he is smaller than most, he can shed bigger defenders. Let's keep in mind that this was on the highest stage of college football.

Explosiveness (9/10)

If you haven't seen Corum play yet, his jump-cuts and hesitations are his best abilities. Breaking out of these moves makes him very hard to tackle. Being a small back, he had to separate himself from others somehow, and this is exactly how he does it. This goes along with his vision as well, because he waits behind his blockers, and once he sees any space, he either hits it explosively or hesitates for the space to get even bigger by jump-cutting and then taking off. He displayed this ability in his overtime touchdown vs Alabama for everyone to see.

Long Speed (8.5/10)

People thought that after his knee surgery, Blake would lose a step in the speed category. Well, he proved them wrong this year because during Michigan's game vs East Carolina, Corum got up to 21.1 MPH in just 4 seconds as he took a 37-yard run to the endzone. He has runs of 37, 40, 44, 54, and 59 yards this year. You don't hear many scouts talk about his long speed, but he has shown multiple times that he can break loose with his speed once he gets to the second level.

Short-Area Burst (8/10)

As I mentioned previously, Corum rarely ever loses yards. This is because of his ability to burst out of his cuts immediately. His feet move so quickly that he always seems to find positive yardage. The defense never knows what his first move is going to be. Making the first man miss is what he does best.

Change of Direction (8/10)

Corum is a shifty back who flashes effective one-cut maneuverability and twitch when attempting to make people miss. He knows when to bounce it outside with a juke or even hurdle defenders. If they are in his way, he has shown he can leap over them if that's his only move. His hips are a little stiff since he weighs a lot for a smaller back and has a compact base, but the cuts he makes are deadly.

Power (7/10)

This goes right along with contact balance. He doesn't just make defenders miss with his top-of-the-line juking ability. Corum also knows how to stiffarm and truck effectively, keeping his runs alive. He never goes down right away because his legs never stop moving. But it isn't common for him to truck a bigger linebacker. He handles corners and safeties well, but linemen and linebackers are a different story. Blake doesn't have Derrick Henry's power, but I feel like this is a respectable rating based on his size.

Ball Security (9/10)

Over four years (2020-2023) Corum only has seven fumbles. During that period, he has totaled 675 carries and 56 receptions. Also, two of those fumbles came during his freshman year. Between 2021-2022, he had only two fumbles. This year, he had three fumbles, but it hasn't been an issue throughout his career. He had 258 carries and 16 receptions this season, so fumbling the ball three times isn't something people will complain heavily about.

Receiving Ability (8/10)

Donovan Edwards was more of the receiving back in this dynamic backfield, but that doesn't mean Corum isn't a good receiver. He just wasn't given as many opportunities. Blake played a role similar to Edwards in 2021 when he played second fiddle to Hassan Haskins. During that season, he tallied 24 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. This year, he also eclipsed 100 yards, totaling 117 on 16 catches with a touchdown as well. He is very shifty after the catch and in space, so an NFL team can implement him into that role without hesitation.

Pass Blocking (2.5/5)

During his time at Michigan, he wasn't a terrible pass-blocker. But I'm not sure that will completely hold up in the NFL. I can't see a 5'8 running back chip a premium defender successfully, such as Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons, or T.J. Watt. He also leaves his feet a lot to gain leverage to compensate for his lack of size and power.

Player Summary

Blake Corum is arguably the best running back in this draft class. His 27 touchdowns to go along with 1,200+ rushing yards is absurd. Considering he played in 15 games, he almost averaged two touchdowns a game. He did have a very good offensive line, and system overall, but he showed he is more than just a decent running back behind a good group of blockers. His jump-cut and hesitations are top-notch, and his vision is something you can't teach. He always knows when to hit the hole, and bursts through it when he has the angle.

He has first-round talent, but there are reasons he probably won't be taken in round one. First, most teams have bigger needs to address. Running back is the easiest position to replace, so most teams won't spend a first on one unless they are freakish like Bijan Robinson. Another reason is that he is going to be 24 years old during the midst of his rookie campaign. It doesn't sound old, but teams want a young back nowadays because once their rookie deal is up, they will look to acquire another running back to replace, so they don't have to spend money. They would rather have a back from 21-25, rather than 24-28. And the last reason he probably won't go in the first round is because of his knee injury in 2022.

Corum suffered a meniscus tear and an MCL sprain in his left knee at the end of the 2022 season. Teams and scouts were a little weary of this as they wanted to see if he came back the same. Some will say he wasn't as productive this year because his yards per carry dropped from 5.9 (2022) to 4.8 (2023). But if you watched the kid, you know he is a special talent that will probably be a day-two steal. He is the definition of heart over height.

Rookie Projection: Back up who takes over starting role

Third-Year Projection: Pro Bowl potential

Final Grade: (84.5/100): Early-2nd Round Talent

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