Following last week’s Senior Bowl festivities, NFL teams are starting to get a better sense of which prospects will be on their draft boards. After a dominant 2023 season, it’s no surprise Michigan will have plenty of prospects getting attention for the next couple months.
Quarterback J.J McCarthy and running back Blake Corum both had great seasons and have intriguing skillsets that will make them valuable at the next level. As such, there are many teams that could be vying for their services, but there are some landing spots that will be better than others.
Today we’ll take a look at some NFL teams that could be in the market for (and could realistically choose) McCarthy or Corum, and see how they might fit in their new homes in the league.
J.J McCarthy - Mid-to-late first round
As things currently stand, the Minnesota Vikings hold the 11th pick in the draft. Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins has been with the Vikings since 2018 and has been successful for the most part, but he tore his Achilles this past season and is set to hit free agency, so now could be the time for the team to move on.
Minnesota could be one of the better fits for McCarthy given the infrastructure the team currently has in place, particularly on offense. Any rookie quarterback could find success throwing to guys like Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson. Even if Cousins is brought back on a short-term deal, McCarthy could develop his skills as a backup for one or two seasons. Cousins has been just a solid quarterback for a long time, but McCarthy has the skills to take the Vikings over the top.
The Denver Broncos sit just one pick behind the Vikings at No. 12. They could also be in the quarterback market due to the struggles of aging veteran Russell Wilson, who has looked far from his old self the last two seasons. Much like Minnesota, Denver also has some good young skill players such as Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Javonte Williams.
Additionally, being selected by the Broncos would mean McCarthy would have the chance to work under Sean Payton, one of the league’s most respected coaches and offensive minds. Drew Brees blossomed into a star when they linked up in New Orleans, so perhaps a young player with a skillset and winning pedigree like McCarthy could allow history to repeat itself.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams currently sit at No. 19 in the draft. While the team did just make the playoffs with Super Bowl-winner Matthew Stafford at the helm, he isn’t getting any younger and has a laundry list of injuries that could raise some concerns for his future. The Rams have a chance to get out of his contract after the 2025 season, meaning McCarthy could develop for two seasons behind Stafford.
Much like Denver, McCarthy would have the chance to work with another one of the leagues best offensive minds with Sean McVay in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Rams have a stable of young skill players like Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell and Kyren Williams. Veteran receiver Cooper Kupp is there, too, although perhaps not for much longer given his age and contract status.
Blake Corum - Mid-Second to Third Round
Going from one Harbaugh to another, Corum could make his new home in Baltimore with the Ravens. The Ravens sit at pick No. 62 in the second round, which could be right in Corum’s sweet spot. The fact J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are set to hit the market makes this a position of need for the Ravens.
Not only would Corum get to play for John Harbaugh, he would get the chance to play alongside the likes of Lamar Jackson, Zay Flowers and Mark Andrews. The fact the Ravens also usually boast outstanding offensive line play and are among one of the league’s most productive teams on the ground also adds to the intrigue. Overall, playing for a proven winner with a good track record of ground success would be great for any running back.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers currently hold four total day-two picks, meaning they could have several chances to select Blake Corum in the draft. Despite a productive year from star running back Aaron Jones, the veteran is getting up there in age (for a running back) and has had some recent injury issues. Additionally, A.J. Dillon is set to hit free agency.
The Packers’ offense grabbed headlines in the second half of the season due to the play of quarterback Jordan Love, but the team also has plenty of good young skill players like Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson and Jayden Reed. Corum could be the next piece of the youth movement in Green Bay and would get the chance to run behind a good offensive line while spelling Jones at times.
Los Angeles Chargers
How’s this for a fit? With incumbent running back Austin Ekeler entering free agency and coming off a disappointing year, the Chargers very well could be looking for his replacement. I’m sure Jim Harbaugh wouldn’t mind using one of his draft picks on the running back that’s been the focal point of his offense the last two seasons.
Aside from the obvious connection with Harbaugh, it would serve Corum well to be in an offense with some exciting players like Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen. Ekeler has also been a favorite target of Herbert’s in recent years, so Corum could have the chance to make an impact on the ground and in the passing game. The Chargers do have plenty of other needs to address, making this somewhat unlikely, but the fit is there.