Unpacking Future Packers: No. 65, Michigan RB Blake Corum

The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Green Bay Packers need to start thinking about the long-term outlook of their running back room. Aaron Jones is entering the final year of his contract and will turn 30 in December, while AJ Dillon is set to hit free agency.

A player they could target in the 2024 NFL Draft to pair with Jones and potentially be his long-term replacement is Blake Corum. The Michigan running back checks in at No. 65 in the Unpacking Future Packers Countdown.

The Gatorade Player of the Year in Maryland, Corum rushed for two touchdowns in six games during his first season at Ann Arbor. The following season, Corum rushed for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. He added one receiving touchdown.

In 2022, Corum rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns, with one receiving touchdown. This past season, Corum rushed for 1,254 yards and 27 touchdowns, with one receiving touchdown, as he helped the Wolverines bring home a National Championship.

“He’s just so good at all the little things that really matter,” Luke Easterling of Athlon Sports said. “Patience, vision, contact balance, instincts, intelligence, toughness. He excels between the tackles and in space because he knows what’s happening around him, and knows how to set himself up for success.”

Corum has fancy feet and can string moves together without gearing down. He has outstanding vision and is a patient runner who has an innate ability to sense lanes opening up. The Michigan running back makes sharp, decisive cuts and is explosive in short areas. Once he clears the hole he is able to hit a second gear to create chunk plays. In 2022, Corum had 22 runs of 15-plus yards. 

“He shows a great understanding of what’s happening in front of him, and his eyes are quick to find the right crease and explode through it,” Easterling said. “He’s great at setting up blocks and evading contact, and vision is a huge part of that.” 

Corum is a compact running back with good contact balance. He runs low and keeps his legs driving through contact. According to Pro Football Focus, Corum racked up 624 yards after contact this past season. He has a nose for the end zone and finished his career as Michigan’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (58). If he gets a carry inside the five-yard line he won’t be denied. 

“He’s got such a compact frame, and a low center of gravity,” Easterling said.”Combine that with the aforementioned contact balance, and you’ve got a recipe for a guy who can churn out the tough yards.”

Corum finished his career as a Wolverine with 56 receptions for 411 yards and three touchdowns. He’s not a running back that a team will line up in the slot and run an expansive route tree, however, he has reliable hands to be effective on swing passes and in the screen game. 

“He may not be a mismatch guy who can win with elite athleticism, but all the traits that make him a great runner also make him really effective with the ball in his hands when he gets in space as a receiver,” Easterling said. “He’s great in the screen game because again, he can rely on all those runner traits, and it makes him a great checkdown guy, too.”

Fit with the Packers

The Packers need to start thinking about life after Jones. Even if Jones winds up being a lifetime Packer, he’s entering the back-nine of his career and will turn 30 in December. 

Corum can create yards for himself with his contact balance and competitive toughness. He has outstanding vision, dynamic feet and runs with good tempo. While he didn’t have a ton of production in the passing game, the Michigan running back checks a lot of boxes. 

“He’s just too good at all the little things, and all the things that are most important when it comes to being an effective running back at the next level,” Easterling said. “He can stay on the field for all three downs, and he sets a physical tone for the ground game, which every team wants.”

A year removed from suffering a season-ending leg injury, Corum put together a monster 2023-2024 season to help the Wolverines win a National Championship. Corum is a compact running back who runs with energy and patience. Part of making life easier on Jordan Love is to have an effective rushing attack. Adding Corum would give Green Bay’s young offense another way to attack opposing teams.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire