Giants could target standout Michigan RB in the mid-rounds of the NFL Draft

Michigan running back Blake Corum (New York Giants target)
Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants are looking to add depth to their running back corps following Saquon Barkley’s departure. Despite already signing Devin Singletary, the team wants to add another playmaker to the backfield, according to ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan. The Giants aren’t looking to break the bank for a backup running back, but they could potentially target one in the middle rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Could the Giants target Blake Corum?

One player the Giants could have on their draft board is standout Michigan running back Blake Corum. Corum has been projected to go somewhere between the second and fifth rounds of the draft. Corum was a key contributor to the Wolverines’ ground game and helped lead the team to a national championship.

Corum was a Heisman front-runner in his junior year until a season-ending meniscus injury cut his season short. However, up until that point, he had already accumulated 1,543 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns on 258 touches, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.

During his three years at Michigan, Corum has been a touchdown magnet and is currently the team’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 58.

Standing at 5-foot-8 and 215 pounds, Corum may not have the prototypical size of an NFL running back, but he makes up for it with exceptional athleticism and quickness. With his size and skillset, Corum has drawn comparisons to legendary running back Barry Sanders.

What Corum would bring to the Giants

Corum isn’t the fastest runner, posting only a 4.53s in the 40-yard dash, which is considered to be a below-average time for running backs. However, he did run a 4.40 in college and has shown that he can rip off big plays at high speed when the opportunity presents itself.

One of Corum’s biggest assets is his exceptional vision. He can spot penetration and make quick decisions about when to cut or bounce outside. His highly efficient transitions allow him to navigate through traffic and create big runs.

Corum also excels as a route runner, showcasing soft hands and excellent ball-catching abilities, making him a valuable asset in the passing game.

In terms of his physicality, the 23-year-old is a tough runner who is not afraid of contact. His willingness to run downhill and battle for tough yards makes him a beneficial weapon in short-yardage situations. In 2021, he forced 49 missed tackles on 144 rushing attempts and finished with 944 yards. On 247 carries in 2022, he forced 73 missed tackles and turned 36 of those in 10+ yard gains, showcasing his elusiveness and power as a ball carrier.

Corum has proven himself a top performer in college football. In 2022, he earned the highest PFF grade among running backs in the country. After returning from injury, he maintained a solid 84.0 grade and continued performing at a high level on the field.

Despite his standout performances on the field, some teams may have concerns about Corum’s durability due to the high number of carries he has accumulated throughout his college career. With 675 carries to his name, there may be questions about how much tread is left on the tires.

Where can Corum fit in the Giants’ offense?

Michigan utilized Corum as their lead back, their bell cow, and their goal line back all in one. The most effective way to deploy Corum would be in a committee system. Ideally, he would be paired with a speedy back who can also excel as a receiver out of the backfield, much like how the Wolverines utilized both him and Donovan Edwards.

Given their similar physical attributes and skill sets, it may be difficult to see where Corum fits in a rotation with Singletary. Corum would likely be limited to short-yardage and goal-line situations, mirroring Jamaal Williams’ role with the Lions in 2022.

The Giants could also develop Eric Gray to add speed to their running back group. It isn’t uncommon for a team to use three running backs. During the Chiefs’ 2022 Super Bowl run, they split carries between Clyde-Edwards Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and Isiah Pacheco. Their running game was successful and allowed each back to shine, ultimately leading to Pacheco’s breakout.

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