Matt Corral Draft Profile
My favorite thing about Matt Corral is that his teammates would go to war for him. He is a leader and everybody rallies around him; that is exactly what you want out of your quarterback. Corral had a historic two and a half seasons starting with Ole Miss and was the quarterback for receivers such as AJ Brown, Elijah Moore, and DK Metcalf. In the seven games that I watched of Corral, he showed that he was capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. He isn’t one of those limitless potential, the sky is the ceiling-caliber quarterbacks, but he is one of those quarterbacks that you can see playing in the NFL for over a decade. Corral dodged a bullet in the bowl game after suffering a rolled ankle; x-rays came back negative and there was no severe damage. One thing that I do love about Corral is that he came back on the sideline to watch his team finish the game after suffering his injury. Corral is one of those guys who genuinely loves the game and his demeanor is tough as nails.
The thing that stood out most when watching Matt Corral is his confidence when throwing towards the middle of the field. He puts tremendous “zip” on the ball and is able to fit the ball in tight windows. The velocity he throws the ball with perfect velocity on short and intermediate passes and would fit well with an offense that utilizes run-pass options (RPOs). What made Corral such a successful RPO passer was his ability to dissect defenses pre and post-snap. His ability to recognize coverages and use his eyes to make the right reads on RPOs is a testament to what he does leading up to the game. Corral is a student of the game who uses his eyes to his advantage. One thing that Corral does better than most college quarterbacks is going through his progressions. He never gets stuck on his first read and he uses his eyes to look off safeties and manipulate defenses. He also trusts his eyes and doesn’t second guess his decisions which is why he only threw five interceptions in his final season at Ole Miss. Corral trusts his receivers to win one-on-one matches and puts the ball where only they can get it. From a mobility standpoint, Corral can make plays happen with his legs. He is not quite on the same level as the Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray’s, but I’d mark him on a similar level as Tyrod Taylor. Similar to Taylor, Corral is tough, a great teammate, and everything you’d want out of your starting quarterback. While his ceiling may not be as high as other players in this draft, he’ll be in the league for a long long time due to how he plays the game.
When drafting a quarterback in the first round, I’m looking for greatness; I’m not drafting a first-round quarterback unless his potential is similar to Justin Herbert or Patrick Mahomes. I don’t believe Corral’s potential is on the same level as those guys. Two of Corral’s biggest flaws as a quarterback is his deep ball accuracy and ability to throw the ball on the run. Corral is both athletic and has a strong arm, but is inconsistent when making those two types of throws. When taking shots downfield, Corral tends to put a lean in his back that he doesn’t make on short and intermediate throws. This causes him to sail the ball and overthrow his receivers. When throwing on the run, Corral gets caught between trying to set his feet and running which results in ground balls or inaccurate throws. While the direction of the NFL is headed towards offenses mostly run out of shotgun, it is still important to be able to operate under center. From the seven games I watched of his, Corral never took a snap under center. This shouldn’t be too big of an adjustment, but it is something he’ll need to work on. Another thing he’ll need to work on is his ball security when being hit. I believe a good quarterback coach will create consistency in Corral’s mechanics when throwing on the run and downfield. When it comes to taking snaps under center, he’ll become more comfortable with the more reps he gets in training. Corral is a quarterback that a team can build around, but may not find success in the league instantly.
Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks aren’t required to be league MVPs, they just need to be team players. If we look at the quarterbacks who have won in years past: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Nick Foles, and Russell Wilson are all quarterbacks who didn’t put themselves above the team. They are guys whom their teammates rally around and go to war for; Corral has those same characteristics. With that being said, Brady, Mahomes, and Wilson all have freakish talents, which is why I personally would not draft Corral with a top 20 pick. Some coaches don’t put as high of a value on those game-changer-like attributes which is why I see Corral being drafted with a top 15 pick. With Ben Roethlisberger’s time most likely done in Pittsburgh, I could see Corral coming in and taking over for number seven. The Steelers need a guy who can fire the ball into tight windows and get the rock to his playmakers. Pat Freiermuth’s receiving abilities are on the upswing and Chase Claypool has a big body, which sets the Steelers up perfectly for an RPO offense that utilizes the middle of the field. I’ll add a few more teams to this list once we figure out all the new coaching spots, but Corral would fit well with the Steelers playing under Mike Tomlin.
Arm Strength + Deep Ball 7.25/10
Pocket poise 6/8
Improvisational Skills 3.25/5
Decision Making + IQ 9.25/10
Against the Blitz 5.5/8
Throw on the Run 2.25/5
Pro Comparison: Tyrod Taylor
Team Fits: Steelers, WFT, Saints
Draft Grade: Early Second Round Pick
Draft Projection: Top 15 Pick