The Carolina Panthers selected quarterback Matt Corral in this year’s NFL Draft in the third round, he was picked at the 94th spot overall. After this rather shaky draft night experience, Corral is now happy that he is on a team and is willing to settle down, and wants to work on proving himself to the entire league.
Going into the draft, Matt Corral was one of the top-projected quarterbacks due to his dual-threat abilities, and a lot of mock drafts had drafted him in the first round of the draft. He also got an invite to attend the draft in-person as one of the 21 players invited to Vegas. Following the draft night, Corral said that he now has more drive than ever to prove everyone wrong and show that he was overlooked by all teams.
“It was a roller coaster, it was a bunch of mixed emotions”: Matt Corral on Draft Night experience
The newly-drafted QB spoke to NFL News and said that “I mean, I had a chip on my shoulder before. But it just got even bigger, (draft night) was for sure, a roller coaster. It was a bunch of mixed emotions. When I got that phone call, I have truly never been happy and sad at the same time. I’ve never felt that before.“
Matt Corral was a star QB during his two-year stint at Ole Miss where he led the school to a stellar 10-2 record along with a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2021. He recorded 3,349 yards, 20 TDs, and 5 INTs. The reason Corral’s draft value took a nosedive was due to concerns about his maturity but the Panthers HC Matt Rhule disputed that by stating, “There’s no substance to that.”
“Truthfully, I don’t know where that came from, it’s just one of those things that got out here. That was honestly the first time I heard that. That’s nothing I can control. I got picked up. I’m here with an opportunity, and that’s all I can ask for,” Matt Corral said.
Matt Rhule justified the team’s decision to take Corral by stating, “When we watched the tape, we loved the way that Matt played, his release, his moxie. He’s gotten injured a little bit because he runs guys over or tries to run guys over. But at the end of the day, it’s still a game of who has the ability to throw the ball. And we just love the way he throws the ball. His release, his vision, his timing- we thought it would translate over to this level.”
For now, the Panthers have Sam Darnold as their starter who had a rather tumultuous year last year and his starting job is not secure. He will need to have a solid season in order to establish that he is worthy of being a starting QB. The team has not yet decided on who will start during Week 1, Rhule has said that he will pick the player who gives the team the best chance to win.
Matt Corral is just excited and glad to be on the team, though he wants to be the guy to start on Week 1, “If I know the playbook, I’m going to be ready to play, as far as getting ready to be a starter, of course, my mentality is to be a starter. But right now, I’m trying to get on that 53-man roster.”