There was no clear top quarterback unanimously decided upon in the 2022 NFL Draft class ahead of this past season and with less than one month to go until the event itself, not much has changed.
One passer in the conversation for best quarterback available in April has been Matt Corral of Ole Miss, but he wasn’t in the Reese’s Senior Bowl because of eligibility requirements and chose not to throw or participate in workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine, which has arguably hurt his stock.
Corral had a solid pro day in Oxford, but there are split opinions on if Corral made the right decision in Indianapolis. Did his lack of participation hurt or help his draft stock in any way?
There are two main approaches to this and, really, no clear-cut answer.
The first is the classic “scared money doesn’t make money.” Quarterbacks Kenny Pickett, Carson Strong, Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder and a host of others all put what they brought to the table on-the-field in front of those watching at the combine. Not all of it was perfect and not every prospect participated in every element of drills, but they still were able to show their bright spots.
Taking this mindset into consideration, it could be seen as a negative that Corral didn’t throw or go through workouts – that could reasonably be because he thought he had nothing to gain and that perhaps only negatives could come of it. Still, one could argue that a solid performance from Corral throwing to players who weren’t alongside him at Ole Miss could have been a major plus for him considering he didn’t get the Senior Bowl or Shrine Bowl type of opportunity some of the other standout quarterbacks in the class did.
The second approach ties into that. If Corral thought there was nothing he could do to elevate his draft stock at the combine, then it would make sense for him to just hold out until pro day where he could be in a familiar environment throwing to players he has an established relationship and built-up chemistry.
There’s also the secondary question of just how much stock we should put into offseason showcases where players get in front of scouts. Corral operated Head Coach Lane Kiffin’s RPO-based offense as smoothly as could be desired, and there’s a whole season of tape in real competition at a high level to back that up.
Corral brings an appealing skill set to the modern NFL, with the ability to not only evade pressure, but to make plays with his legs even in adverse situations, even while playing hurt to get the job done for his team. He’s proven an effective passer with a high level of accuracy and the ability to make throws at all levels of the field – even the more difficult ones down the field near the sideline with touch and velocity.
The main question that surrounds him is how well all of this will translate to the NFL level as he switches over from the Rebels offense to the next system he’s placed in. For now, it’s safe to say that regardless of reasoning, no one knows what’s better for Matt Corral in terms of the way he chooses to showcase his abilities in the offseason than Corral himself, and he’s already shown enough to reflect the first and second-round projections he’s earned in real games.
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