Ole Miss Football: Matt Corral could be Panthers’ QB1 immediately

Matt Corral was taken in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and he could legitimately be QB1 right away.

Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis. All three of those quarterbacks heard their names called before Matt Corral on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft, but the Ole Miss football star didn’t fret and was selected by the Carolina Panthers at No. 94 overall in round three.

Carolina was rumored to be interested in trading for Baker Mayfield but instead, it traded into the third round to take Matt Corral. Sure, the organization could still make a move for Mayfield, but the fact that traded up in the draft to take Corral is pretty telling. It shows that they really liked the Ole Miss product and felt like he could take over under center.

It’s pretty clear that Sam Darnold isn’t the answer for the Panthers as he struggled mightily last season and PJ Walker doesn’t exactly feel like a long-term fix either. Corral could be.

Corral isn’t the biggest quarterback, standing 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, but he’s a dual-threat who got better every year at Ole Miss. He went from backup in 2019 to superstar in Lane Kiffin’s first season at the helm in 2020. He passed for 6,686 yards and 49 touchdowns over his final two seasons with the Rebels, completing 71 percent of his passes in 2020 and 68 percent in 2021.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that he lost his star receiver after the 2020 season and still had more yards in 2021 and cut his interceptions from 14 to five. He was much smarter with the ball.

Now he’s fighting a struggling Darnold and unproven Walker for the starting quarterback job and the Panthers trading into the third round to take him makes it seem like he could be the go-to option in 2022.

Corral has the talent, so let’s see if he’s healthy enough to be QB1 right away for Carolina. The Panthers may have just gotten a steal at No. 94.