CHARLOTTE (N.C.) — A phrase that is rarely used, if ever, to describerookie quarterback before the April draft was “NFL-ready.”
Not being ready to start Week 1 was the knock on the entire 2022 quarterback class with the exception of Pittsburgh’sThe 20th most popular overall selection by the .
Corral’s offensive coordinator at Ole Miss said he understands, but believes the former Rebels star is closer to being ready than analysts gave him credit for.
“I don’t think he’s very far off at all,” said Jeff Lebby, now the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. “If you watch the tape, you watch how he played against the SEC West with a marginal supporting cast, everybody will understand quickly what the guy did and how he put the team on his back.
“It was pretty impressive.”
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Corral was enough for the Panthers to think about.To move into the third round, a 2022 fourth round draft pick and a 2023 second-round pick will be made.
They chose him to trade forquarterback when the Browns refused to pay more than $3.5 million of Mayfield’s $18.86 million contract, according to a league source.
He was chosen because of the uncertainty surrounding 2021 starterHe was 4-7 in the first season with the Panthers and 17-3 in the next four between Carolina and the. .
One slip by Darnold and fans will be screaming for Corral, who last season led an Ole Miss team that hadn’t had a winning season since 2015 to a 10-3 record and a trip to the Sugar Bowl.
“He is as an inspiring a young player as I’ve been around,” Lebby said.
ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid said he loves Corral’s quick release and quick feet and the way his “feet marry up with his eyes really well.” He is curious about how fast Corral can adapt to the NFL playbook.
“He was in a very run-pass-centric offense at Ole Miss that was very quarterback friendly,” Reid said. “So adjusting is going to be his biggest hurdle.”
The adjustment begins Friday, as Corral and the rest of Carolina’s draft class, along with undrafted free agents and invited tryout players, begin a three-day rookie camp.
“Matt’s able to adapt,” Lebby said. “He had three different coordinators and quarterback coaches while he was [at Ole Miss]. He was able learn and process at a high level. He's capable of doing that at the next stage.”
Here’s a complete look at Carolina’s projected post-draft depth chart and how the(italicized) fit in:
Comment: Barring the late addition of a veteran quarterback, Darnold will begin training camp and likely the season as the starter, but he’ll be on a short leash. Darnold will not be allowed to relax after the two consecutive five-win seasons.
Comment:McCaffrey has only played in 10 of 33 possible games over the past two seasons. It is important to keep McCaffrey healthy. Spreading the word is one way to do this.
Comment:Robby Anderson is now Robbie Anderson. Anderson also applied to have his jersey number changed from 11 to 3 Other than that, there is talent, especially if Marshall steps in for the second season.
Comment:As Ben McAdoo, the new offensive coordinator, aims to establish the run and protect quarterbacks, expect to see a lot more two-tight end sets.
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Comment:This was the key to the draft. His 154 collegiate pancake blocks earned him the nickname “Pancake King” and fits McAdoo’s philosophy perfectly. He needs to be more efficient at pass protection.
Backups:, , ,
Comment:Christensen is a Panthers starter. Left guard is the only spot available if Ekwonu fails to perform. Corbett, who shared a Super Bowl ring in the end with the Falcons,Last season was a huge get in free agency, as Fitterer rebuilt it.
Backups:, , Cade Mays
Comment:Elflein could be a challenger here, but the Panthers have invested $2.8 million in Bozeman in free agency for a one-year deal. Eflein, Bozeman and others can serve as guards if required.
Comment: Carolina picked up Burns’ fifth-year option after he made his first Pro Bowl. What’s needed is for Gross-Matos to stay healthy and pick up the production of 2021 sack leader, who left in freedom agency. This could be a great place to start.
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Comment:Ioannidis's addition in free agency was significant because he adds a threat to pass-rush alongside Brown, who is more of a run-stopper.
Comment:The Panthers traded up to acquire Smith in the fourth round, adding speed and talent. At the combine, Smith ran a 40-yard sprint time of 4.52 seconds. Former Carolina linebackerIt was completed in just 4.6 seconds in 2005.
Comment:This begs the question: what happens to theWilson, a free-agent signingee? This will be very interesting if he's not on the roster. Littleton is a great cover linebacker in the league and could play a role.
Backups:, , ,
Comment:This position may be the most skilled and deepest, other than running back. If Carolina can find a way to utilize Barnes’ 4.23-second speed in the 40-yard dash —This group is truly special.
Comment:Chinn's safety was the main goal. This group has been solidified by the additions of Woods through free agency, as well as Steve Wilks, defensive pass coordinator and secondary coach. Wilks lobbied for Chinn not to be moved to linebacker.
Comment:Chris Tabor, the new special teams coordinator, reaps the benefits of Hekker's addition. Hekker is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and just came off a Super Bowl win with the Eagles..