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Two Michigan football players listed as top-5 running back draft prospects

Michigan football running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards were recently listed as top-5 running back prospects for the 2024 NFL draft.



Michigan football running backs Blake Corum Donovan Edwards
Oct 29, 2022; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan running back Blake Corum is tackled by Michigan State safety Angelo Grose during the first half half on Saturday, October 29, 2022, in Ann Arbor. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier-USA TODAY Sports

In recent years, Jim Harbaugh has become known for running the ball. Michigan football running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards have been crucial pieces to the Wolverines’ success in recent years. Both Corum and Edwards were recently listed as top-5 2024 draft running back prospects by a top Pro Football Focus analyst.

Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards named top-5 running back draft prospects by PFF

This offseason, Michigan football sent 11 players to the NFL, nine via the NFL draft. The Wolverines also sent 11 players to the NFL after the 2021 season. Needless to say, Jim Harbaugh knows how to develop professional-level talent.

Before suffering a late-season injury, Blake Corum was the apparent front-runner to win the Heisman trophy. This offseason, Corum was eligible to declare for the NFL draft and was even encouraged by Jim Harbaugh to do so. Despite this, Corum returned and could have his best season yet.

Pro Football Focus draft expert Trever Sikkema believes both Corum and Edwards will be among the top-5 running backs taken in the 2024 draft. Also listed among the type five are running backs Trey Benson from Florida State, Braelon Allen from Wisconsin, and Treveyon Henderson from Ohio State. This makes four out of the five running backs Big Ten players.

How Michigan football will split playing time between Corum and Edwards

Not many teams can claim to have a top NFL draft prospect at running back. Even fewer can claim to have two. Somehow, Jim Harbaugh will need to figure out how to split playing time between two of the nation’s best running backs.

While the simple answer would be to run the ball more, Harbaugh has already spoken about how much more prevalent the passing game will be in the upcoming season. J.J. McCarthy proved near the end of last season that the possesses elite passing capabilities and those will likely be utilized more this season.

More passing typically leads to shorter drives and fewer overall plays per game. Corum will likely see fewer total carries per game this season, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. After Corum’s injury, Michigan should be more cautious with how often they use him. Finding ways to be effective offensively without having to run the ball with Corum 25+ times a game will be crucial for the Wolverines.

Donovan Edwards will also get more opportunities as a pass catcher if the Wolverines do indeed air the ball out more. Edwards has flashed his potential as a pass catcher and could help out as a receiving back or wide receiver. Don’t be surprised this season if Edwards is used in an even more versatile role than we have seen from him in the past.

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