He is the only guy who has been battle tested - a three year starter in the SEC shows us what we are getting in the NFL.
Matt Corral has played against 11 ranked opponents in his career. That is about as many as the other top QBs in this class combined. In his last outing against Alabama, Corral completed 72% of his passes, threw a touchdown, and ran for a touchdown. He had the toughest strength of schedule out of all draft eligible QBs.
Strength of schedule plays a big role in my research. An average stat line against a great schedule is admirable. Corral completed 67.9% of his passes while throwing 20 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions. He also ran for 11 touchdowns. You know who else ran for 11 TDs in their senior college campaign? Kyler Murray.
The Kyler Murray comparisons may be a stretch, but Corral is certainly a special playmaker. While the amount of pass attempts don't show it (only 386 attempts this season), I consider him to be a gunslinger type QB who has phenomenal skills as a runner - a true dual threat. He has the highlight tape to prove he is going to be a problem when he decides to pull it down and run. The QB rushing game has become a key component to NFL offenses. Three different quarterbacks scampered for more than 700 yards last season (Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen) and another 6 ran for more than 300. Matt Corral is more than capable of fitting into that group this coming season. Teams will have designed runs for him, but he may be best when he pulls it down outside of the pocket.
Corral is a much better passer than I had originally thought. As I did my research, I found quotes from NFL analysts saying he may be "the most accurate QB in the draft" and that he has "phenomenal arm strength". Chris Simms says Corral has the quickest release we have seen in the last few drafts. While some consider 6'2" to be short for a NFL QB, Corral thrives when he is outside of the pocket anyway. He is a play action nightmare. Designs plays where he follows a play fake with a run-pass option is going to add a new dimension to the playbook.
There is no better preparation for the NFL than the brutal SEC schedule Corral has faced as a starter for three straight years. He is ready to play now -the only QB in this class who I would give that classification to. I would say Matt Corral is a lock for a first round pick. I am always an advocate of rookie QBs sitting behind veterans to learn the ropes for as long as possible, but I think Matt Corral could serve as a QB2 with packages built specifically to get him on the field. Based on all of the rumors I have read, it looks like Corral is getting overlooked. I think someone is going to get a steal. Here is where I can see him going:
Atlanta signed mobile QB Marcus Mariota this offseason. Can you think of a better veteran to help groom Corral? Kyle Pitts isn't a bad target to walk into a locker room with. The Falcons also have two picks in the 2nd round to add more help to the roster. The offensive line was a real struggle for Atlanta, but they are young and can improve (hopefully). There is potential to grab Corral at #8 and then a competent addition to the OL at pick #43 or #58.
Seattle has the #9 overall pick and currently have Geno Smith, Drew Lock, and Jacob Eason as their QB options. They recently signed Smith to a 1 year deal, which tells me they plan on letting him be a mentor to someone. They received Drew Lock in the Russell Wilson trade, but there is no way to tell how confident they are with him. Matt Corral would bring a new element to their run game, which they have been unsuccessfully trying to develop over the last few seasons. They also have the 40th and 41st pick, so they can draft a QB and still bring in respectable talents to fill other needs. Their front office has really made fans upset this offseason, so drafting a playmaker QB like Corral may also help them save a little face.
Lions (I believe this is where he will go)
Matt Corral is the kind of guy that Coach Dan Campbell loves. When given the option to sit out of Ole Miss' Bowl Game, Corral chose to play. He suffered an injury in that game that was originally thought to be more serious than it was. Full of emotion, Corral came back out on the sideline to support his teammates. He has been a proven fighter throughout his entire career, always going right after big dogs like Alabama and Auburn.
Detroit has picks #2, #32, and #34 coming this week. Corral at #2 would be a reach, especially if the plan is to sit him behind Jared Goff for at least a year (it should be). Picking Michigan Wolverine Aidan Hutchinson at #2 would be win for the organization and the state. I think they would have to trade into the top 8 to ensure they get Corral, but it is possible he falls all the way to 32. I am not sold Carolina takes him at #6 (Panthers are on my list - details to come). Atlanta may very well snag him at #8. Seattle is obviously a threat at #9. I would be shocked if no QB is taken in the top 10. However, if those other teams choose a different QB, the opportunity for Detroit gets more and more reasonable. There are only a handful of picks between #9 and #32 that would even be tempted to take a QB, and this year's draft is full of players that can help your team immediately. It is possible that the Lions can wait it out and draft a QB at the end of round 1.
Although the Lions' franchise has been a place of doom in recent years, they now have a new coach that the players love and have drafted strong in the last few years. What QB doesn't want to start their career with recently drafted OT, TE, RB, and WR who are all showing great promise?
Matt Corral and Christian McCaffrey would be must watch TV. The problem with Carolina drafting a QB with pick #6 is that they won't be able to add anymore assets on Day 2. That's right, the Panthers' 2nd pick of the draft is in the 4th round. They definitely need help on the offensive line. Who knows, maybe Sam Darnold would actually be alright with an offensive line. Drafting a QB knowing you don't have the front to protect them seems irresponsible, but the Panthers get more desperate with each disappointing season. I have seen that the Panthers seem to be more interested in Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett than Corral, so Corral may be safe from that situation.
The signing of Mitchell Trubisky did not slow down the buzz about Pittsburgh drafting a QB in Day 1 of this year's draft. I have read a lot of rumors and predictions - none of them have Corral going to Pittsburgh. I feel like Pittsburgh would be a good fit (imagine the RPOs with Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth). I think Tomlin likes Corral for all the same reasons Campbell does. I am not sure why Corral is not in the top 2 or 3 QBs with some GMs, but that seems to be the case with several, including the Steelers.