The New England Patriots took a flier on 2022 quarterback prospect Matt Corral after he was released from the Carolina Panthers this week, and a new report offers some hope he still has the upside to be a steal of a signing.
Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, Ole Miss product Matt Corral was a player who was rising up many draft boards. There was even some speculation getting selected in the first round by a QB-needy team wasn’t completely out of the question. However, in the end, he fell to the third round where he was picked by the Carolina Panthers and seen as a high-value addition.
Unfortunately for the young signal-caller, he tore his Lisfranc ligament last summer and missed out on the possibility of playing last season when Baker Mayfield failed in the lead role and the team fell out of the playoff chase.
Yet, that bad luck did not seem to change an apparent perception the Panthers had of him in the limited time he was with the organization, and they made the bold decision to cut him after just one season. Well, the New England Patriots saw a project worth investing time in and decided to pick up the 24-year-old when he hit the free-agent market this week.
New England Patriots depth chart (QB): Mac Jones, Matt Corral, Bailey Zappe
While Corral will compete with 2022 backup Bailey Zappe for the QB2 spot on the depth chart, the team will hope they can help him reach the potential many saw when he entered last year’s draft. Pats fans will also hope there is more to him because it isn’t completely impossible incumbent QB Mac Jones gets replaced during this season.
The former Alabama star regressed in 2023, and it has been widely reported that head coach Bill Belichick has soured on the third-year player. So, is there reason to hope New England has a steal in Corral?
On Friday, NBC Sports Patriots insider Phil Perry asked a few decision-makers about the prospect’s ability and several had positive things to say. “Super talented coming out of college. Good combination of arm and athleticism,” one AFC executive said. An NFC offensive coordinator also told Perry, “I was a fan of his college tape. Quick release. Accurate.”
Bill O’Brien is back as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator in 2023, and his run-pass-option style is a good fit for Corral, plus this organization is far more organized than the mess Carolina has been over the last decade. So there is reason to believe the team could turn him into a competent NFL starter.
However, there was also one opinion that was not as complimentary. Another NFC coordinator claimed that Corral “wasn’t impressive” in his limited preseason action in the NFL and that he “Looked uncomfortable and inaccurate.”