Will the Vikings Land a Wolverine?

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) is being introduced during the national championship celebration at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The talk for the Minnesota Vikings when it comes to the NFL Draft has been focused on quarterbacks and edge rushers.

Will the Vikings Land a Wolverine?

While that may be where they focus in the first round, there are needs across the roster. The running back room is among them, and a Michigan Wolverine may be the answer.

Will the Vikings Land
Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) runs against Washington cornerback Elijah Jackson (25) during the second half of the College Football national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, versus the Washinton Huskies. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

If Kirk Cousins doesn’t re-sign with the Vikings, the front office must decide who the next quarterback is for Kevin O’Connell. Reigning National Champion J.J. McCarthy is expected to be in that mix, but if Minnesota opts to go elsewhere, they may find themselves looking at one of his teammates. The running backs left plenty to be desired last season, and Blake Corum could be an answer.

There is zero question about whether Corum will be drafted, but how high remains to be seen. Taking a running back in the first round isn’t a new-age practice, and it is a rare occurrence outside of superstars like Bijan Robinson. The top running back off the board could go, but there will be debate about whether that should be Corum. If it isn’t, Minnesota may find a desire to link up with him on day two.

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Corum leaves the Wolverines as one of the most decorated rushers in program history. He nearly topped 4,000 yards and was over 1,200 in each of his last two seasons. His 27 rushing touchdowns in 2023 nearly doubled the already impressive 18 he generated in 2022. He wasn’t much of a threat out of the backfield, which somewhat deviates from the Vikings’ preferences, but he was so good with the rock in his hands that he may be tough to ignore.

As a smaller-stature guy, Corum runs with plenty of burst but isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder. He runs fierce and hard while doing a good job of keeping his legs moving. Because of Corum’s production, McCarthy’s results could be a bit more scrutinized. The Michigan running game, combined with Donovan Edwards, was so impressive that the quarterback routinely had pressure taken off of him.

Michigan running back Blake Corum runs the ball in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter at the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Monday, Jan.8, 2024. © Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK.

There’s no way Minnesota can continue to view Alexander Mattison as the bell cow back, and it stands to reason that Cam Akers won’t be back. Ty Chandler looked the part of a starter, but throwing all of their eggs in one basket put them in this spot a year ago. O’Connell may want to add to the position group early, and Corum would be a fit there.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.