Nate's Draft Profiles: Matt Corral
This draft class has already been deemed as one of the worst in recent times when it comes to the quarterback position. That’s easy to say with some of the classes we’ve seen here recently. However, I think there are some competent signal callers awaiting their time to hear their name called during the NFL Draft.
In this series, I will be breaking down each of the 2022 NFL Draft’s top names. I’ll give my evaluation on them, how I believe they’ll translate in the NFL, give an NFL comparison and potential landing spots.
We’ll kick the series off with my favorite of the field, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral.
Corral had better stats in 2020 than he did in 2021. In his first year of starting for the Rebels, he threw for 3,337 yards on 71-percent completion and tossed for 10.1 yards-per-attempt. He threw for 29 touchdowns but also tossed 14 interceptions.
In 2021 he threw for 3,343 yards with a 68-percent completion rating. He went on to throw for 20 touchdowns and threw only five interceptions on 58 more passing attempts.
Part of this was his new found ability to know when to use his legs, opposed to forcing the ball where it doesn’t belong.
Corral ran the ball 40 more times in 2021 and ran for 11 touchdowns, seven more than his previous campaign.
Another major difference between his sophomore and junior seasons was the loss of the majority of his 2020 weapons.
New York Jets’ rookie receiver Elijah Moore was Corral’s top target in 2020 and Jets’ rookie tight end Kenny Yeboah was his second top receiver. Moore was an early second round selection in the 2021 draft.
Corral’s ability to improve is what sticks out to me. I mentioned his big interception change from his 2020 to 2021 seasons and went as far as not having a multiple turnover game playing in the SEC.
He possesses pin-point accuracy and will hit his receivers on the numbers. He has an NFL level arm and can push the ball down the field when called upon. However, he’s best in short to intermediate routes, doting the ball all over the field.
Beyond the change of ball security, he has improved on when to use his legs to extend the play. He’s extremely athletic and his ability to take it himself has to be respected by opposing defenses; especially in the red zone.
Corral is far from a run-first quarterback however. He prefers to hang in the pocket and deliver the ball to his playmakers, but has now added the ability to tuck it himself, at the right times.
Beyond the tangible statistics and NFL measurables, Corral possesses a great sense of composure. Even at times when his team is down, he keeps his head in the game and doesn’t crumble. Due to this he’s led his team to several comebacks against some of the nation’s best defenses.
Let’s also not forget that he did all of this week-in-and-week-out in the SEC, playing NFL level players every week.
What scares me about Corral is the system that he played in at Ole Miss. It wasn’t often that he was forced to look beyond his first read, as the system was put in place for easy passes. We saw something similar to Joe Burrow at LSU and I knocked him for that, now look at the man.
He does have great accuracy, but at times struggles with hitting receivers on the run. His deep ball is a bit less than desired too.
I believe Corral will be a top ten pick, as I expect him to rise to the top of most big boards by the time the draft process is done.
I don’t expect him to be the next great quarterback of the league, but I believe he will be an NFL starting quarterback, doing enough to get his team into playoff contention. Beyond that, I’m not sure he’s one to win a Superbowl, but I’ve been proven wrong in the past.
Potential Landing Spots: Detroit Lions, New York Giants or Carolina Panthers
NFL Comparisons: Zach Wilson or Jalen Hurts