2022 NFL Draft Rookie Profile: Matt Corral (Fantasy Football)
Ole Miss QB, Matt Corral, was on his way to being a 1st round NFL Draft selection during his final season in college, but a high ankle sprain in Ole Miss’ loss to Baylor in the Sugar Bowl has changed his off-season trajectory. He’ll almost certainly hear his name called after Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett, but could Corral make some noise for our fantasy rosters in his NFL career? Let’s dive into Matt Corral’s college profile, his film and then take a look at how he stacks up against other QBs in the 2022 class as we project what Corral’s fantasy floor/ceiling combination is at the next level.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Rookie Profile series going on until the 2022 NFL Draft. For more on each rookie, check out Andy, Mike, and Jason’s exclusive rookie rankings and production profiles found only in the Dynasty Pass, part of the UDK+ for 2022.
|Year||Games||Completion Rate||Pass Yards||Yards Per Attempt||Pass TD||INTs||Passer Rating|
|Year||Games||Rushing Attempts||Rush Yards||Yards Per Attempt||Rush TD|
Matt Corral stepped on the field early in his career at Ole Miss, but his production really took off once Lane Kiffin came over from Florida Atlantic in 2020. In two years in Lane Kiffin’s up-tempo RPO (run/pass option) offense, Corral ranked 7th and 17th in college football in passing yards, but this may be fool’s gold in terms of just looking at the raw numbers. Kiffin’s offensive scheme emphasized getting the ball out of Corral’s hands quickly, which shows up in Corral’s production. Per PFF, the former Ole Miss QB threw for the 5th most screen yards in the FBS last year. His 607 passing yards on screens accounted for almost 20% of his passing production in 2021. We’ll touch on Corral’s film in a minute, but one thing that stands out to me when looking at this data and scheme is that Corral will likely need time to develop into an NFL passer given how friendly Kiffin’s scheme was for his former QB.
One area of growth for Corral from 2020 to 2021 was in his ball security and decision making, as he threw for just 5 INTs in 13 games after throwing 13 the year prior. Similarly, Corral’s 77.2% adjusted completion rate ranked 11th among FBS passers a season ago, further speaking to ball security and the ability to make the correct read in Kiffin’s RPO offense. My take-home from looking at his passing numbers is that Corral excelled in this QB-friendly scheme, but it’s difficult to see that translating perfectly to the NFL.
In terms of fantasy, Corral brings rushing to his game, which we know is valuable in today’s scoring format. He saw his rushing attempts, yardage, and rushing TD count increase each season at Ole Miss, culminating in career highs in rushing a year ago at Ole Miss. Among the 2022 QB class, Corral’s 614 rushing yards rank 3rd behind Malik Willis and Sam Howell. If Corral is fortunate enough to one day land a starting job, we should at least remain hopeful he can add rushing value to his stat line.
|Height||Weight||Hand Size||Arm Length|
Because Corral injured his ankle in the Sugar Bowl on January 2, he didn’t participate in any of the on-field drills in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine a few weeks ago. He did weigh in at 6’2″ and 212 pounds, decent numbers for Corral after he was listed at 205 lbs. while playing at Ole Miss. He at least checked the box when it comes to hand size, but his arm length ranked in the 16th percentile. In general, Corral is still a bit undersized relative to most starting QBs in the league. Other than this, there isn’t much to take away from this section of the article.
It’s worth noting that Corral did participate in Ole Miss’ Pro Day on March 23rd. While he didn’t test athletically, he did work out on the field. Based on multiple reports, Corral impressed at his Pro Day, especially with his athleticism and quick release as well as some of his deep passes. Per this Yahoo! report, 31 of 32 NFL teams were in attendance to watch Corral earlier this week, including QB needy teams like the Steelers, Falcons, and Panthers.
Works field ✅
Poise ✅@MoveTheSticks says there's a lot to like about Matt Corral.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 23, 2022
What’s on Tape
Games Viewed: Vanderbilt (2021), Texas A&M (2021), Liberty (2021), Tennessee (2021), Alabama (2021), LSU (2021)
1. Quick release and top-tier arm strength.
While playing at Ole Miss, Corral was asked to read the defense and make a quick decision to get the ball out of his in a hurry. On tape, he definitely shows that arm strength is not a concern as he put out some really nice throws on tape. With the RPO system, the QB needs to be able to process the defense, make a decision and then fire the ball quickly. Corral’s release and arm strength pop on tape over and over again in his 2021 film. This clip against Vandy is a perfect example.
2. Maneuverability and athleticism in the pocket.
Corral looks like a great athlete on tape, demonstrating that he can consistently pick up yards with his legs, but what stood out to me with how fluid he looks in the pocket, especially when under pressure. There’s multiple instances where Corral is under pressure and is able to slide in the pocket or evade a pass rusher to either take off and run or get outside of the pocket and deliver the ball to one of his receivers. He’s got nice quickness and sudden agility in tight areas, especially for a QB. Helping to avoid sacks could also lead to more productive plays for his offense at the NFL level.
3. The ability to create yards with his legs.
In fantasy, we care about QBs who can pile up yards with their legs, and that’s exactly what Matt Corral can do. On his film, there are both designed runs and runs where the play breaks down, and Corral is athletic enough to take off and pick up chunks of yards at a time, such as in this play against Tennessee. During his final year at Ole Miss, Corral found the end zone with his legs 11 times and rushed for 614 yards. For what he lacks in “traditional” QB play, he may be able to make up for it with his rushing production if he lands in the right scheme.
What’s Not on Tape
1. Touch on the football.
Most of Corral’s tape shows his arm strength, but there aren’t a lot of throws on tape where he has to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball over a defender or drop the ball over his receiver’s shoulder. At Ole Miss, he wasn’t asked to be a traditional pocket passer who dropbacks from under center. As a result, most of his throws on tape are a quick hitter or a screen in the RPO scheme, or a deep ball on a broken play that he creates out of the pocket.
2. Complex reads and decision-making.
Corral’s best throws on tape came on timing routes where Corral operated like more of a point guard in basketball, delivering the ball to his receivers in open space or on timing routes like crossers and slants. Very rarely was Corral forced to sit in the pocket and pick apart the defense with touch and decision-making. At the next level, it’s possible he could struggle to read NFL defensive schemes and blitz packages.
2022 Fantasy Outlook
The best ability for QBs in fantasy is the ability to earn a starting job. After all, if you’re not one of 32 starters, and you’re holding a clipboard, not much else matters. Based on a lot of the mock draft data around the industry, Matt Corral’s NFL Draft stock seems to be falling compared to Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett. In December, Corral gained steam as a potential top 15 pick in April’s draft. However, as seen in the figure below from GrindingTheMocks, which sources mock drafts around the industry, Corral now projects as a fringe 1st/2nd round pick. As a result, the most likely scenario is that Corral could sit for the majority of his rookie season as he’s likely to land with an NFL franchise with a starter already on the roster.
As for Corral’s dynasty outlook, he’s an intriguing name for superflex formats, especially if you’re looking for a high upside player who won’t cost you an early rookie pick the way a Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett will. The hope with Corral (at least for fantasy) is that he lands in a scheme where his rushing upside is featured. Most pro scouts would agree that Corral has some work to do in terms of developing as a passer, making it more likely we’re talking about Corral as a fantasy viable asset after the 2022 season.
If you’re a QB needy team in dynasty superflex leagues, it makes sense to take a shot on Corral in the middle of round one, but in single QB formats, expect Corral to be available in the 2nd round of rookie drafts. Corral’s floor is definitely low, but he’s a great player to take a shot on if you’re shooting for ceiling outcomes. Look for him to make a push for a starting gig in 2023.