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What appeared to be a high ankle sprain suffered by Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral in the Sugar Bowl Saturday night will likely not hurt his draft status, NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier told Outkick during the game.
“I would like to know the full extent of the injury, but I don’t think it will hurt him much,” said Detiller, who publishes a yearly draft report and is an analyst on WWL Radio in New Orleans. “The technology upgrades with knee and ankle injures and surgeries are dramatically different now.”
Outkick’s David Chao, an orthopedic surgeon and former NFL team doctor, called the injury a high ankle sprain, which would mean a short recovery time of several weeks.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said after the game that X-rays of Corral’s leg were negative.
The 2022 NFL Draft starts on April 28. Corral, a junior from the Los Angeles area who entered the game No 16 in the nation in passing yards a game with 278, is projected to be a top 10 pick in the first round.
“He’s my No. 2 quarterback behind Kenny Pickett (of Pittsburgh),” Detillier said. “I have both going in the top 10. There are a lot of teams looking for quarterbacks. The full extent of the injury will tell you the story if it lowers him a little.”
Corral was injured with 2:13 to go in the first quarter when his lower right leg was rolled during a tackle. He was helped off the field, then walked on his own into the medical tent. He was later driven into the locker room for X-rays and did not return to the game. Corral soon returned to the field on crutches and watched the rest of the game. He completed 2 of 6 passes for 10 yards with an interception and rushed seven times for 17 yards.
“I don’t believe it’ll affect him at all,” Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting said Sunday morning. “He’ll still be in the mix for a first round pick and in the running to be the first quarterback taken.”
The Rebels’ team leader refused to opt out of the bowl game like so many players have done for several years despite playing on an injured left ankle for half of the 2021 season. Early in the season, he was considered a Heisman Trophy contender.
True freshman Luke Altmyer replaced Corral and was 6-of-10 passing for 32 yards at halftime with Baylor up 7-0. But Altmyer threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Braylon Sanders to tie the game 7-7 with 9:13 to go in the third quarter. Corral raised a crutch to cheer the score.
Baylor took a 7-0 lead when cornerback Al Walcott returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown with 10:16 left in the second quarter. Altmyer’s pass was tipped by linebacker Matt Jones into Walcott’s arms.
The scoreless first quarter was the first in the Sugar Bowl since 1986.
Corral entered the game No. 18 in the nation in efficiency on 260-of-380 passing for 3,339 yards and 20 touchdowns with four interceptions.