Michigan football: Blake Corum should declare for 2023 NFL Draft
Blake Corum has reached the height of fame in Ann Arbor, becoming an instant legend during the past 2 seasons for the reigning Big Ten champion Michigan Wolverines.
He’s done everything possible, now turning the question to what’s next for the star running back.
Should he stay another year with coach Jim Harbaugh? Or should he make the move toward the 2023 NFL Draft? Now that it’s been announced that he’s out for the rest of the season, the answer seems crystal clear.
Staying in school for sentimental reasons, wanting to be with brothers and family — all of that is great. But in terms of personal benefit, no time would be better than now. Corum hasn’t made a formal announcement, but it’s possible that his days in Ann Arbor will soon come to an end.
Running back careers in the NFL are, on average, short-lived gigs.
According to Statista.com, NFL RBs last 2.57 years.
What does that mean for Blake Corum? Well, it means that time is of the essence. Another year in college probably wouldn’t do much for his draft stock; he’s already projected as a 3rd- or 4th-rounder, so he might as well get it while the getting is good.
At 22 years old, he has roughly 6 years of premium production left in the tank, with ages 25-28 being the peak. According to Apex Fantasy Football, nearly 85 percent of NFL running backs fit the description.
Of course there are exceptions. But stats are stats for a reason, and that’s because they’re accurate predictors. Not only would staying in Ann Arbor shave off a year of potential NFL production, but it’d also flush away at least $705,000, the league’s rookie minimum.
A finalist for the Doak Walker Award and, at one time, a top-3 Heisman candidate, Corum has already made a name for himself in Ann Arbor, so with the exception of winning a national title, there really isn’t much left for him to accomplish in college.
In 2021, Corum was a workhorse during the Wolverines’ rise to Big Ten supremacy, an ascent that included a 42-27 win Ohio State in the regular-season finale and a 42-3 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game. He’s had one of the best back-to-back stretches in Michigan history, accounting for 33 touchdowns and 2,415 rushing yards — with 1,463 yards and 19 TDs (18 rush/1 receiving) through 12 games this season.
Prior to injury, Corum was tabbed as a Heisman favorite by Harbaugh.
“There was a time there maybe four, five games ago where I would have thought, ‘Yeah, he deserves to be in New York for the Heisman Trophy,’ Harbaugh said, per Maize N Brew. “Now, I think he is the frontrunner for it. … I don’t think there is a better back in the country right now than Blake Corum. He is having an MVP-type of year. He’s having a Heisman Trophy kind of year.”
For other players, returning to school seems to be the best call. Take tight end Erick All, for example, who was injured in Week 2 and ruled out for the season following surgery. Entering the season, All was ranked among the top NFL Draft-eligible tight ends; however, another year could dramatically boost his draft stock.
With a lot of positions, returning boosts stock. But that’s not always the case with running backs, who need to get theirs while it’s available — or risk suffering another injury or plummeting on draft boards.
Michigan has never been hotter. Corum has never been hotter. Most stars want to finish the job with their team, and Corum has done so this regular season. Without him, Michigan wouldn’t be on the verge of a second straight B1G championship.
But what if the Wolverines don’t get the job done this year? What if they lose to Purdue, or in the first round of the CFP?
Fans, of course, would probably want to see Corum return in 2023. But let’s forget about fandom and focus on reality: He has nothing left to prove at Michigan.
The NFL is waiting, and it’s time for Corum to regain his health and make that jump.