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Panthers' Matt Corral: Chip on Shoulder 'Got Even Bigger' After NFL Draft Slide

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 14, 2022

David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Matt Corral told reporters that he has more motivation after the potential first-round pick fell to No. 94 overall in this year's draft.

"I mean, I had a chip on my shoulder before. But it just got even bigger," Corral said Friday at the Panthers' rookie minicamp, per Coral Smith of NFL.com.

"[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."

The former Ole Miss star completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 20 touchdowns (five interceptions) and 3,349 yards alongside 614 rushing yards and 11 more scores for a 10-3 Ole Miss team that played in the Sugar Bowl.

Corral's slide was surprising given most predraft expectations. The Athletic consensus big board placed him 44th overall, and the NFL Mock Draft Database had him at No. 39.

Those rankings imply a second-round grade, but Corral was in danger of falling out of the third round.

Then again, NFL teams didn't appear to be big fans of the quarterback class this year. Pitt's Kenny Pickett went No. 20 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but no other signal-caller went until Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder came off the board at No. 74 to the Atlanta Falcons.

Other quarterbacks who slid include Liberty's Malik Willis (No. 86, Tennessee Titans) and Sam Howell (No. 144, Washington Commanders).

Although Corral may have been disappointed in the slide, he landed in a great spot in Carolina. The Panthers have been playing quarterback roulette for the past few years since the end of the Cam Newton era, and the door is open for Corral to be the long-term signal-caller in Carolina with the Panthers seemingly ready to move on from Sam Darnold.

For now, Corral is getting ready for his first professional season, which will begin Sept. 11 against the Cleveland Browns.

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