Commanders Rumors: WAS Has Done 'a Lot of Research' on Matt Corral After Wentz Trade

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 27, 2022

Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) looks to pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
AP Photo/Thomas Graning

The Washington Commanders have reportedly done "a lot of research" on Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral leading up to the 2022 NFL draft.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Wednesday the Commanders may be in the market for a QB during Day 2 of the draft on Friday despite the offseason trade for Carson Wentz. Corral has emerged as a possible target if he's not selected in Round 1.

Washington is going to give Wentz every opportunity to prove himself as a franchise quarterback, but how quickly he wore out his welcome with the Indianapolis Colts raised further questions about whether he'll ever achieve that status.

Zak Keefer of The Athletic reported the Colts felt issues arising with Wentz, who they acquired last March, before the season even began and became frustrated with a "lack of leadership, a resistance to hard coaching and a reckless style of play" throughout the year.

So the Commanders would be wise to have a young quarterback on the roster who could be ready to take over the offense in 2023 if things don't work out with Wentz.

Corral is coming off a strong junior season at Ole Miss, where he completed 67.9 percent of his throws for 3,349 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 13 games. He added 614 rushing yards and 11 scores on the ground.

It's hard to remember a year where it was tougher to predict where the quarterbacks will land, though. The lack of any surefire Pro Bowl prospects at the position combined with a high number of teams that could be in the market for a No. 2 or developmental QB has blurred the market.

Corral could come off the board in the middle of the first round or he could still be waiting on his name to get called midway through Day 2.

Washington could be a nice landing spot for the 23-year-old California native.

The Commanders have Wentz penciled in as their starter and a solid backup under contract for another year in Taylor Heinicke. That would reduce the chances of Corral being called on as a rookie, and a season on the sideline could help his development.

While his physical tools are impressive, he's still learning the finer points of being a quarterback. More specifically, he needs to become quicker at reading defenses and getting throws out to second or third targets before opposing secondaries can react.

"Single-read QB at this point in time," Bleacher Report's Nate Tice wrote in his predraft scouting report. "Played in an offensive system that heavily featured run-pass options and easier progressions. His ability to progress on true dropback concepts will be a question mark until proven otherwise."

A year of practice and scout-team work to acclimate himself to the speed of the NFL while trying to hasten his reads would benefit him over the long haul.

If Corral shows legitimate progress and the Wentz experiment fails, the Rebels standout could find himself as Washington's starter in a year's time.

It's a link to keep in mind if he's still on the board as the Commanders' second-round pick (No. 47 overall) gets close.