Matt Corral’s slide in the 2022 NFL Draft sent him to Charlotte, after the Panthers selected him in the third-round, 94th overall.
At the time of his selection, rumors were spreading that Corral fell in the Draft due to underlying reasons. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that teams were concerned with Corral’s past alcohol related issues and that he struggled in interviews with teams.
“He dealt with a multitude of issues including alcohol and related issues,” Rapoport said. “He admitted publicly to battling depression. He has had ‘unreliable behavior’ off the field and he really, really struggled in some interviews with teams.”
That’s created an even bigger chip on Corral’s shoulder, who is ready to get to work and prove why the teams that passed up on him were wrong.
“I mean, I had a chip on my shoulder before. But it just got even bigger,” Corral said Friday during Carolina’s rookie minicamp, per NFL.com. “[Draft night] was for sure, a roller coaster. It was a bunch of mixed emotions. When I got that phone call, I have truly never been happy and sad at the same time. I’ve never felt that before.”
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule stood by the selection during his post-draft press conference. Corral added Friday that he’s happy with the opportunity Carolina has given him.
“Truthfully, I don’t know where that came from,” Corral said. “It’s just one of those things that got out there. That was honestly the first time I heard that. That’s nothing I can control. I got picked up. I’m here with an opportunity, and that’s all I can ask for.”
Corral’s talent is evident by his Ole Miss career, in which he led the Rebels to their first 10-win season since 2015 last season, while battling through injuries. Corral threw for 8,287 yards, 57 touchdowns and 23 interceptions on 67.3% passing over the course of his collegiate career.
“When we watched the tape, we loved the way that Matt played,” Rhule said. “His release, his moxie. He’s gotten injured a little bit because he runs guys over or tries to run guys over. But at the end of the day, it’s still a game of who has the ability to throw the ball. And we just love the way he throws the ball. His release, his vision, his timing — we thought it would translate over to this level.”
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