Round 3, 94th Overall: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The Carolina Panthers didn’t have a third-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, so they traded their fourth-round pick in this year’s draft (pick 137) and next year’s third round pick to the New England Patriots in order to move up and select Mississippi’s Matt Corral. They got their quarterback after all.
Most draftniks had this year’s quarterback class ranked in tiers, with Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, and Matt Corral residing in the first tier. Some had Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder in that first tier as well. After the Pittsburgh Steelers took Kenny Pickett with their first-round pick at 20, there was a massive slide for all of the remaining quarterbacks. No QBs went in round two, and Atlanta shocked the NFL world by selecting Desmond Ridder at No. 74 overall in the third round, instead of Malik Willis or Matt Corral.
Willis went 11 picks later to the Tennessee Titans and it appears that Carolina Panthers GM Scott Fitterer saw a chance to jump up ahead of Washington and Indianapolis to select Matt Corral. The Panthers made the Mississippi quarterback their selection with the hope that he can challenge incumbent QB Sam Darnold for the starting job right away.
This worked out perfectly for the Carolina Panthers. They got a quarterback and their star offensive tackle, and they only had to give up a few middle round picks to do it. Corral is a dynamic player who showed last year that he can throw (3,349 passing yards, 20 TDs, 5 picks) and run (614 rushing yards, 11 TDs). He’s not quite Malik Willis in the running game, but he had more rushing yards than Desmond Ridder and could be dangerous if Carolina wanted to use him in some run-pass-option concepts in combination with running back Christian McCaffrey.