Former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. Like all of said prospects except for Kenny Pickett, though, Corral was not drafted as highly as he'd hoped to be. Pickett was the only passer selected in the first round of the draft, and also the only one selected in either of the first two rounds.
Corral ended up being the fourth quarterback off the board, heading to the Carolina Panthers, who traded up to the No. 94 overall pick at the tail end of the third round to grab him. At his first minicamp, Corral spoke about the draft experience, and how it made him feel in the moment.
"I mean, I had a chip on my shoulder before. But it just got even bigger," Corral said about falling to the third round, per 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."
Corral's new coach, Matt Rhule, seems excited about what the rookie can bring to the table.
"When we watched the tape, we loved the way that Matt played," Rhule said. "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."
With only Sam Darnold ahead of him on the depth chart, it's possible Corral could push his way into a starting role if he has a good summer of work. That's a goal that could be on his mind in the future, if not necessarily just yet.
"If I know the playbook, I'm going to be ready to play," Corral said. "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."