2022 NFL Draft: 5 coaches who could be fired before the 2022 NFL Draft

Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers
Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for college football coaches to make the jump to the NFL and Matt Rhule is the latest example. Some of the game’s best have struggled with the transition, like Urban Meyer and Nick Saban. Innovators like Chip Kelly couldn’t make it work. Perhaps the only somewhat recent success story was Jim Harbaugh who at least made a Super Bowl. Rhule just doesn’t seem cut out for the NFL.

There’s no question that Rhule walked into an awful situation in Carolina. There was no set quarterback, the defense was in shambles and Christian McCaffrey was about the only playmaker on the roster. The team surprised in 2020 with a 5-11 record after being assumed to be the top pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, that set the bar higher in 2021. Injuries to Sam Darnold and Christian McCaffrey made the 2021 season hard for Rhule to find success, but the best coaches can make the adjustments.

The injuries could help Rhule buy another season with a full roster. He also let offensive coordinator Joe Brady go earlier this season, so perhaps a season with a different play caller on offense could change things.

The end isn’t set in stone for Rhule just yet, but the clock is ticking. If he sticks around after this season he will have to prove himself early and often from the 2022 NFL Draft on through the 2022 season.