As if it were practice, Matt Corral flung a game-changing pass downfield with ease.
The Ole Miss quarterback, who may be one of the first passers taken in this year’s NFL Draft, was in charge of leading the Rebels to a last-second win. No. 17-ranked Ole Miss and No. 13 Arkansas were tied at 45, and only 76 seconds remained.
With Ole Miss at its own 32-yard line, Corral stood tall in the pocket. He looked left, but he didn’t like his options there. He peered right and threw immediately after.
Braylon Sanders was wide open, and the pass found him on the opposite 35. He sailed into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
Corral’s physical tools, mixed with poise and an ability to read defenses, may bode well for him in the NFL.
Matt Corral Draft Odds
Corral has the third-best NFL Draft odds to be the first quarterback selected at +1000. He also has odds to be picked first (+15000), second (+15000) and third (+5000) overall.
|Name||Position||Team||1st Pick Odds (4/28)|
|Ikem Ekwonu||OL||NC State||+400|
|Charles Cross||OL||Mississippi State||+10000|
|Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner||CB||Cincinnati||+10000|
|Derek Stingley Jr.||CB||LSU||+15000|
|Kyle Hamilton||S||Notre Dame||+15000|
|Matt Corral||QB||Ole Miss||+15000|
|Sam Howell||QB||North Carolina||+20000|
|Garrett Wilson||WR||Ohio State||+20000|
|DeMarvin Leal||DT||Texas A&M||+30000|
|Chris Olave||WR||Ohio State||+50000|
Matt Corral Draft Pick Projection
After trading away Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans need a quarterback and could select one with high potential at No. 13 overall.
The Texans may potentially stick with Davis Mills behind center. As a rookie last season, the third-round pick out of Stanford in 2021 showed some promise.
He passed for 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions on a 66.8% completion rate in 13 games in 2021. That could be enough to convince the Texans to give him one more season to develop as a starter.
However, drafting a quarterback with the 13th pick, which the Texans received from the Browns in the Watson deal, would be a relatively low-risk move. They could let Corral adjust to the NFL on the bench while seeing what Mills is capable of moving forward.
They wouldn’t have to trade up and could examine two potential options for their signal-caller of the future.
Matt Corral’s Stats
Corral was deemed to be among the best players in college football last season.
He was a finalist for the Manning Award (best college quarterback) and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (best upperclassman quarterback). He was also a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (best all-around player), Davey O’Brien Award (best QB), and Walter Camp Player of the Year (best overall player).
In 2021, Corral passed for 20 touchdowns, 3,349 yards, and just five interceptions on a 68% completion rate. He also rushed for 614 yards and 11 touchdowns on 152 attempts.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 24, 2022
The season prior, he racked up 3,337 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and 14 picks in 10 games while completing 71% of his throws. He also gained 506 yards and four touchdowns on 112 carries.
Corral finished his career with 8,287 yards and 57 touchdowns passing with 23 picks and a 67% completion rate. He ended up with nearly 10,000 yards of total offense (9,625).
Matt Corral Draft Profile
Corral possesses a skill set that should translate well to the pros.
He displayed patience when reading a defense. He doesn’t necessarily have to go after his primary receiver.
Corral has a quick release and throws a tight spiral. His passes, especially from short distances, have impressive zip. He can also work out of shotgun or under center.
He also often keeps throws away from defenders and only in places where his receivers can reach them. However, this mindset can occasionally lead to overthrows or underthrows — simply off target.
He’s comfortable checking down and looking for other options. As evidenced by his low number of interceptions, he doesn’t often force throws.
When Ole Miss was down 10-9 at Tennessee this past season, the Rebels were 33 yards from the end zone looking to gain the lead. Corral, calm in the pocket, pump-faked. Between that and a double move by wide receiver Dannis Jackson, defensive back Alontae Taylor was drawn out of position.
Corral took his shot along the right sideline, and the ball landed just beyond two defenders and in Jackson’s hands for a touchdown.
Corral can use his mobility at pivotal times when defenses don’t respect it. He also knows how to maneuver in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield.
However, he was often too willing to settle for scrambling. He also may want to learn how to slide on more occasions.
In the fourth quarter at Mississippi State, the Rebels faced a third-and-goal within five yards of the end zone. Corral caught a shotgun snap, looked to pass, then bolted.
He weaved between offensive linemen. And just a couple yards from paydirt, he spun off of a hit from a defender and crossed the goal line.
Corral has shown he can operate an offense and keep drives alive. If a team can surround him with the proper talent and scheme, he is capable of thriving in the NFL.