NFL Draft 2022 Rumors: Matt Corral Could Go in Top 10; QB Has 'Fans Around the' NFLApril 19, 2022
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral reportedly has "fans around the league" that could lead to him coming off the board earlier than expected in the 2022 NFL draft.
Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reported Tuesday that Corral "conceivably could go as high as the top 10," though he predicted the Rebels standout would land with the Detroit Lions at No. 32 in his latest mock draft.
Corral hasn't attracted as much attention as some of his fellow quarterback prospects, led by Liberty's Malik Willis and Pitt's Kenny Pickett, but he's coming off an impressive 2021 season.
The 23-year-old California native completed 67.9 percent of his throws for 3,349 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 13 games. He also put together his best season as a rusher, tallying 614 yards and 11 scores on the ground.
He's not quite the dynamic dual-threat talent of Willis or the refined pocket presence of Pickett, but there could be a front office that sees him as the best of both worlds.
Corral said his biggest advantage over his fellow QB prospects may be his leadership ability, citing what he learned while working to overcome depression.
"What really separates me is my ability to lead a team," he said in March. "I understand what it means to be vulnerable around people who don't necessarily want to be vulnerable. I was one of those guys who didn't want to talk about emotion. That's just how it was."
It's possible a quarterback could go as high as No. 2 to the Detroit Lions, though prevailing wisdom suggests the Lions will upgrade elsewhere and then use their second pick in the opening round (No. 32) to grab a signal-caller, as was the case in Schrager's mock draft.
The Carolina Panthers are typically projected as the first team to take a QB at No. 6. While that's a bit high in a class without a surefire star at the position, the Panthers aren't slated to pick again until Round 4, which puts them in a tough spot.
Corral does have the ability to play right away, which at least puts him in consideration for Carolina, but taking him ahead of Willis and Pickett would come as a minor surprise.
More likely, he's ticketed to come off the board in the mid-to-late part of the first round, and a year on the sideline behind someone like the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mitchell Trubisky could be the ideal outcome.