Blake Corum Scouting Report

In our Scouting Reports, we will give you a quick debrief to get you the information you need to know. We’ll also take it a step further and provide an in-depth review showing off examples of what we like, and what we don’t. Included is a date from the initial scouting report, this is so new notes can be added as the year goes on. Those new notes will be dated as well. With that, welcome to the Blake Corum scouting report!

If you’d like to see more, below are all the completed scouting reports for this season:

QBRBWRTE
Drake MayeBlake CorumComing soon!Coming soon!
Michael Penix Jr.
Spencer Rattler

Blake Corum has drawn a lot of excitement for the 2022 CFB season. He showed a solid skillset in the previous year tag teaming with Hassan Haskins, eventual 4th Round NFL Draft pick. Now that he is comfortably on top of the depth chart, how has he performed? Let’s take a look.

Date: 10.28.2022 | Updates: 01.13.2023, 09.24.2023
Details: Blake Corum | RB | Michigan #2
DOB: 11.25.2000 | 23 years old
H/W: 5’8” | 210 lbs

YearAttYdsAvgTDsRecYdsAvgTDsFum
202026773.0257314.602
20211449526.611241415.911
202224714635.91811807.311
2023*583516.185285.600

Projection

NFL Draft Projection (updated 09.24.2023):

4th Round Pick – Corum displays a number of quality traits both as a runner and in the passing game, including as a pass blocker, which is rare for a college back. He’s a technically sound runner with few flaws. Having said that, I don’t see anything which gives him that “man among boys” feel at the college level. He’s a bit undersized and receives a lot of help from his stellar offensive line. I don’t see a team willing to spend a premium pick on a player without elite traits at a volatile and replaceable position, which has little impact on the win/loss record. I expect a team will pick him up early on Day 3 where he will be a solid, dependable, though not sensational back.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Projection – 1QB (updated 09.24.2023):

Late 1st to Early 2nd Round Pick – If he lands in a place where he will challenge for significant playing time or as a high value handcuff, I can see Corum going in the late 1st round. If not, I predict he’ll generally be scooped up around the early-mid 2nd.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Projection – Superflex/2QB (updated 09.24.2023):

2nd Round Pick – By the middle of the 2nd Round of SF/2QB drafts there could be a few quarterbacks drafted, pushing Corum down a bit. Save for a stellar landing spot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him available in the late 2nd Round of rookie drafts.

Scouting Brief

Corum is somewhat of a boring running back. I don’t say that as an insult. He displays a whole lot of positive traits: plus vision, good burst, nice patience, anticipation and decisiveness, excellent pad level, solid balance, decent hands, experience flexed out, and a great pass blocker.

However, playing with the Michigan offensive line often makes his job easy. Secure the handoff, allow the blocks to set up, find and hit the lane hard, pick up a handful of yards. Get up, huddle, rinse and repeat.

Being a boring running back, while not an insult, is also not a ringing endorsement. Corum runs the play design and gets what his offensive line gives him, occasionally picking up a bit more on his own.

Despite the plethora of traits mentioned earlier, he doesn’t show a great or consistent ability to pick up significant yards beyond what his line provides. There are the occasional flashes, but he doesn’t stand out significantly over the CFB defenses he plays against, which doesn’t bode well for when he goes against NFL defenses.

In some ways, I see Corum as the opposite of 2023 NFL Draft pick Sean Tucker scouting report here):

  • Corum loves attacking the designed gap; Tucker was much more read/react/adjust.
  • Corum is very comfortable getting skinny and squeezing through slim gaps in the line; Tucker often avoided tight traffic at the line.
  • Corum is great at consistently running behind his pads into and through traffic; Tucker runs into traffic upright.
  • Corum doesn’t do much on his own; Tucker gets much of his production by himself.

Corum has been very productive at Michigan. He has a great yard-per-carry average and he had good reception numbers in 2021. However, after watching four games, I’m convinced that production largely belongs to the offensive line.

To provide a reference, Corum’s 2022 yards-per-carry and yards-per-play from scrimmage are not the top on his team, and by a decent margin. Corum had a 5.9 YPC compared to Donovan Edwards’ 7.1 YPC. Corum averages 6.0 yards per play from scrimmage, Edwards got 7.5.

In fact, at the time of this writing, every running back with more than five carries has a comparable or better YPC/YFS than Corum. It’s a small sample size, but it matches what I see during games. He does a lot of really nice things, and most important he avoids negative plays…but for the next level, he may end up being just a guy.

I predict Corum will have a decent few years as a change of pace back and third down back. He’s consistently shown to be a good pass blocker, and has decent hands to boot.

With that, he’ll have opportunities spelling the starter(s), getting additional reps on special teams, and probably even spot-starting due to injury here and there. A nice, boring NFL career.

Update 01.13.2023:

Blake Corum has announced he is returning to Michigan for the 2023 CFB season. I think this is a very poor choice for him, even considering the late injury. Now he will be splitting touches with Donovan Edwards.

Michigan will run a lot, so his production shouldn’t be affected too much. However, it will be clear very quickly that Edwards is a better and more electric player than Corum, and his draft stock could take a hit.

Update 09.24.2023:

To this point, my prediction on Edwards hasn’t come to fruition; Corum has taken almost twice the carries with over 3x the yards and looks very solid. I haven’t seen anything to change the details in my report, but I have kicked him up slightly.

Detailed Breakdown

Let’s get the elephants out of the room first. The Michigan offensive line is a very, very good run blocking unit. It’s not just one or two blockers, the whole entire unit – including the tight end room – knows their responsibilities and handles them extremely well, and they do so consistently.

Just to give you an idea of the type of holes Corum is seeing, here are two snips from the Penn State game.

Blake Corum scouting report - Corum with a huge lane up front
Blake Corum scouting report - Corum has a big hole to run through

There are a whole lot of running backs who would happily assault someone for lanes this big. And Penn State’s run defense is – believe it or not – actually very, very good!

Prior to the Michigan game, Penn State allowed an average of 79.6 rushing yards p/game, only ~2.95 yards p/rush. Michigan is simply on another level. As you can see above, a large part of that is thanks to the blocking unit.

Is it fair to fault Corum for running behind an excellent offensive line? No, absolutely not, but it’s definitely worth noting.

Understanding this, we shouldn’t take anything away from what Corum does well, which – for starters – involves great pad level and projecting a small target.

In our first video clip, we’re going to see Corum in that Penn State game as Michigan gets down near the goal line. Corum takes the handoff, shows good vision to identify where his blockers have leverage, and attacks the open lane.

The lane closes before he crosses the line of scrimmage, a defensive tackle stunts and scrapes behind to fill it. As Corum gets back to the line, he covers the ball, gets his pads horizontal, and churns his legs to clear the glancing blow.

His balance and momentum even carries himself and the tackler a few yards closer to the goal line. This is great, textbook running right here, and these traits carry over in many of Corum’s runs.

As a guy who is listed at 5’8″ 210lbs – which would be a beefy 31.9 BMI – his strength is adequate, not exceptional for that size. He will occasionally churn through an arm tackle, though he doesn’t show a great propensity to get out of tackles…and that’s despite his naturally low center of gravity and good pad level.

I can’t help but to also think of other top backs in the 2023 class and envision how they would have scored here. Just one example, Zach Charbonnet (scouting report here) – 2019 Michigan teammate – consistently shows many of the same traits, except with violence and significantly more power. He would have powered his way through the tacklers into the endzone.

Despite that, it’s hard to completely write off Corum.

In addition to his pad level, vision, and balance, Corum shows quality athleticism too. He was reported to have timed a 40 yard dash in the high 4.4s coming out of high school, and he doesn’t appear to have slowed down since then.

In the below tweet, we can see that in Week 2 of the 2022-2023 season, Corum reached over 22 miles per hour and had the highest top speed of any ball carrier in college football that week.

Does he have elite athleticism? Despite the high MPH, I don’t think so. I look at our next clip for an example. If this looks familiar, it should, we saw a still image from it earlier.

We see Michigan’s line is able to part the white sea, exposing an eight lane highway for Corum to burst through. And burst he does. He has solid first-step acceleration to get through the line untouched, then displays a great ability to turn at speed which helps with the safety, who took a poor, aggressive angle.

Corum effectively goes untouched on this run, barely having his foot scraped on an ankle tackle attempt which coincidentally trips up two other defenders in pursuit. However, calling Joey Porter Jr. (CB #9, 2023 2nd Round draft pick), enter stage left.

Lined up in coverage on the far side of the field, Porter – who will be a very high draft pick this year – closes the gap extremely quickly. It’s pretty easy to see Corum won’t be the fastest player on the field.

Corum can still boogey and will likely run in the 4.4s. However, he won’t see these lanes, he won’t go 14 yards untouched, three defenders won’t stumble over each other, and the defensive backfield won’t miss on these tackles on Sundays.

Having watched four games of his, it’s hard to miss a lack of negative runs. I know I’ve brought it up before, but it’s worth showing off a sampling of his runs and just how successful his offensive line is.

In particular, watch how well the backside is blocked, and really pay attention to how well his linemen turn defenders out of their gaps.

In the first run, we see the center and H-back pull to the left. The center’s job is to cross the face of the defensive end and seal him in – not an easy ask. The H-back will try to kick out the Will backer who is the force defender. Combined, this should give Corum a nice lane, assuming the rest of the blockers do their job.

This is one of the few where a defender wins. The left guard loses his block and the nose tackle is able to get a shot at Corum’s legs. He’s blocked just long enough so-as to not be a threat, so Corum drives through the tackle attempt easily.

Aside from that pesky nose tackle, everyone else nails their assignment and creates a nice lane for Corum. By this point, the safety is in the box and the Sam linebacker has scraped all the way across and has a bead on Corum.

There’s a whole heck of a lot of grass to Corum’s left, but he stops to engage with the backer and gets taken down immediately. He picks up four yards, arguably entirely due to the line.

The second run is similar, and the blocking unit again has a great showing. Showing outstanding patience and solid burst, Corum is able to drag the defensive end and fall forward for an extra three yards. All told, a seven yard pickup.

In the third and final run, once again the blockers all get it done and create a nice alley. Corum shows excellent anticipation, a nice little juke and good balance on his way to an 11 yard pickup.

In addition to his abilities as a runner, he had a solid year catching the ball in 2021 with 24 receptions. While he hasn’t had quite the same success in the passing game this year, there’s nothing to suggest he couldn’t continue the trend at the next level.

We’ll see in our next clip, Corum was even experienced flexing out as a receiver. Michigan would occasionally send him to the slot to take advantage of mismatches as part of the gameplan. While he’d really only run a quick hitch or out route, it is encouraging to see the confidence nonetheless.

Corum also naturally extends to catch the ball outside of his frame. He seems to be comfortable as a receiver, and is able to make a man miss when in space. However, he’s not immune to dropping the ball.

One of the areas I found most impressive was Corum’s ability as a pass blocker. It’s not often a major responsibility at this level, and even when it is, it’s not often a priority for backs to display a proficiency. Corum has shown he can hold his own in this area.

In protection responsibilities, I never saw him make a mistake. The line would often take a three or four man half-slide protection, leaving Corum to diagnose a potential inside rusher. No small feat considering the quickest way to the quarterback is straight through the middle.

Corum would regularly attack his assignment, square up, then apply a nice cut block right on the defenders thigh. Every one I saw was well timed, well targeted, and effective at stopping the threat.

While it wasn’t common, he would also stand up and anchor to defend an outside rush. I included one in the clip below, which shows Corum initially getting bowled back…a symptom of being only ~200lbs and not punching. However, thanks to his small stature, he was able to stay low, set his feet, lift and anchor to stop the rush.

Despite his listed weight, I question whether he has the size to take on blitzing NFL LBs or DBs. His frame is pretty-well filled out, so he may not be able to bulk up much more either.

Unfortunately, despite his technical running abilities, his ability as a receiver, and his pass blocking prowess, I believe his size is ultimately going to hold him back for the next level.

I think we can draw some comparisons to MJD (Maurice Jones-Drew) for the combine and draft. By that I mean, there’s a chance Corum posts a similar 40-yard dash time as MJD (4.39s), with similar measurables (207+lbs), and if so he may similarly wind up the sixth RB drafted…it won’t be in the 2nd Round though.

Even if he lights up the combine with a ~4.4s 40, and even if he weighs closer to 210 than 200, and even if he looks good in the drills…this isn’t 2006. He will still more-than-likely be a late Day 2 or even Day 3 pick.

Also similar to MJD, don’t expect that he will be given opportunities early. He will have to earn them, and do so starting from lower on the depth chart. Corum will likely start his career spelling, taking kickoffs and/or punts, and if he’s lucky, sliding in on third downs.

Plenty of players have made more with less, though personally I think that may end up being the peak of a nice, hopefully long, but boring NFL career as a backup running back and handcuff.

Additional details

Where is Corum in your running back rankings? Drop a comment in the comment box below to let us know your thoughts!

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