Matt Corral’s journey is straight out of a Hollywood script — fitting for a kid from Southern California.
Corral went from beloved private-school starting quarterback and teammate of Michael Pittman Jr. to alleged scapegoat following an altercation with Wayne Gretzky’s son. Between Oaks Christian School and Long Beach Poly, he threw for over 11,000 yards and 123 touchdowns, earning a four-star prospect rating from 247Sports.
He dreamed of playing quarterback at Southern Cal and accepted an offer from the school but would up de-committing from there, then committing to and then de-committing from Florida before linking up with Ole Miss.
He went from starting to benched to starting again following a full-on coaching change with the Rebels. Under coach Lane Kiffin, Corral led the country in total offense (384.3 yards per outing) and finished as the only player in the FBS with more than 500 rush yards and 3,300 pass yards in 2020, then beat those numbers in 2021.
Age as of Week 1: 23 | Height: 6-1 5/8 | Weight: 212 | 40-time: n/a
Comparable body-type to: Rex Grossman
We’re breaking down everything you need to know about Corral from a Fantasy manager perspective, including best fits, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.
Best Fantasy fits
Unlike fellow prospect Kenny Pickett, Corral doesn’t figure to compete for playing time in training camp and instead would try to improve his game through practices while Mitchell Trubisky stops the gap for a year. But as soon as 2023, Matt Canada’s offense might run nicely with a two-way quarterback in Corral surrounded by a stable offensive line and quality receivers. This landing spot offers the most long-term upside beginning in a year.
New York Giants
Corral would lay in wait for a year while Daniel Jones competes in 2022, theoretically upping his game under the tutelage of new head coach Brian Daboll. Not only did Daboll coax accuracy and efficiency out of raw prospect Josh Allen, but he tried recruiting Corral to Alabama once upon a time. Their familiarity with each other could help expedite Corral’s development.
If Corral were to land on a team where he could start right away, Seattle would be best for Fantasy thanks to their terrific receivers. Putting rookie quarterbacks on the field isn’t foreign to Pete Carroll, and the Seahawks’ current offense could be altered to support Corral’s strengths this year with an eye on development into 2023. If Corral were to develop his passing game, his ceiling could come close to what Russell Wilson did in Seattle.
Next-best long-term Fantasy fits: New Orleans, Philadelphia, Atlanta
Worst fits among teams with QB need: Carolina, Washington
Corral offers a lot of intriguing potential that fits into what NFL teams are looking for from quarterbacks, but his film suggests he shouldn’t be put on the field in 2022. That means Fantasy managers should view Corral as part of a long-term plan. Ideally, Corral would land with a coaching staff with job security and experience developing quarterbacks. He could then sit for his rookie year and compete for a starting job in 2023. If that scenario plays out, Corral would get taken with a late second or early third in rookie-only drafts in one-QB leagues and a top-8 pick in two-QB/Superflex. If he winds up in a less-ideal situation then shrewd Fantasy managers would simply avoid him on the belief he won’t amount to much statistically.
- Athletic talent with smooth, fluid body. Not necessarily a dual threat but absolutely willing to run if the opportunity arises
- Played primarily in RPO/shotgun spread offense. Experienced with playing up-tempo. Sold pass fakes in RPO well. Claimed many third- and fourth-down concepts were from NFL concepts.
- Quickly set up his base quickly after faking handoffs in RPO, snapping his feet, hips and shoulders in perfect synchronous harmony to set up his throws.
- Quick release on his passes with no wasted motion.
- Strong, live arm complete with velocity that ranged from good to elite. Multiple passes of 50-plus Air Yards on film.
- Was a good, mostly accurate distributor of short, quick throws within the confines of RPO offense. Should become an effective short-area passer in any scheme.
- Bread-and-butter throws were slants and stop routes out of RPO. Could throw them in his sleep.
- Outstanding when not under pressure, completing 73.1% of his passes at 9.44 yards per attempt. Threw much better intermediate and deep throws when he had time.
- Typically maneuvered well around and out of the pocket when pressured. Showed plenty of good escapability when under duress and frequently tossed to his “hot” read or ran for positive yardage.
- Learned to take better care of the football: Had two games with five-plus interceptions in 2020, had five total interceptions in 2021. Told CBS Sports HQ in February he had to learn to not be as aggressive and take what defenses gave.
- Solid burst, acceleration and speed as a rusher. Usually followed his blockers and showed very good awareness of when to give up on a run and slide rather than take the hit or go out of bounds to stop the clock.
- Height and size border on below-average. May have put on weight for the Combine.
- 463 of 468 dropbacks in 2021 were in shotgun. Must learn how to play under center.
- Benched in 2019, but may have had more to do with coaches fighting to keep their jobs than for how Corral played.
- Felt like release point was a little low. Might lead to batted-down passes in the pros.
- Truly felt like Ole Miss offense didn’t ask him to think much. Majority of his throws felt pre-determined based on pre-snap reads or were partial-field reads post-snap. Rarely, if ever, scanned to his third progression and seldomly found and hit his second.
- Stared down targets frequently. Led to a number of bail-out catches from his receivers. Must absolutely get better at manipulating defenses with his eyes or else he’ll get picked every game.
- Decision-making needs work. Missed open targets downfield too often and either settled on shorter options or would feel pressure and take off or get hit. Would sometimes throw into obvious tight coverage (or even worse double coverage). May put too much trust in his receivers and tight ends to make plays on 50-50 balls.
- Too many instances of not feeling or anticipating pass rush pressure, leading to short “hot” throws or mistakes. Often seemed panicked in such situations. NFL defensive coaches will bring a lot of pressure until Corral proves he can beat it.
- Struggled when pressured, completing 42.9% of his passes at 5.3 yards per attempt.
- Incredibly raw on intermediate and deeper throws. Owned a 52.1% completion percentage on passes of 10-plus Air Yards with nine touchdowns on 142 attempts (6.3% touchdown rate ranked 97th among qualifying quarterbacks). Only occasionally flashed anticipation and progressions. Capable of making deep-ball bucket throws and attacking busted coverage, but didn’t consistently do it.
- Suffered three ankle injuries in 2021: A rolled-up right ankle he played through in October, a hurt left ankle in late October against Auburn that forced him from the game, and a right high-ankle sprain on New Year’s Day 2022 against Baylor that saw him return to the sideline on crutches. The high-ankle sprain limited Corral at the Combine.
- Teams must investigate significant maturity issues. Changed high schools following an altercation at a high school basketball game with Wayne Gretzky’s son, telling CBS Sports in 2021 that the Gretzky family “went through hoops to f— my life up” while insisting he never threw a punch. Committed to dream college USC but later de-committed for reasons possibly related to the altercation. Then committed to Florida but de-committed following coaching change because he “just didn’t believe what they were saying” about whether or not he would be their starter. Was a key figure in the 2018 Egg Bowl fight. Admitted to CBS Sports that he previously had a drinking problem, and also said he proudly overcame depression issues through therapy in 2019.
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Advanced stats to know
- 463 of 468 dropbacks were in shotgun
- 8.5 average target depth (ranked 64th out of all qualifying collegiate quarterback)
- 5.2% TD rate (60th)
- 46.7% TD rate on passes thrown 10 yards or closer to the end zone (24th)
- 51.5% completion rate on red-zone passes (84th)
- 27 of 35 red-zone completions traveled 4 Air Yards or fewer
- PFF charted Corral with a “turnover-worthy play” on 2.1% of his passes (sixth-most)
- 607 of his receiving yards came on screen plays (5th-most)
- 2,023 of his pass yards came after the catch (7th-most)
- Owned a 52.1% completion percentage on passes of 10-plus Air Yards with nine touchdowns on 142 attempts (6.3% touchdown rate ranked 97th among qualifying quarterbacks)
There’s a lot of Marcus Mariota in Corral. Both are quarterbacks who excelled in a specific scheme that made them great in college. Both were also incomplete passers when they were done in college. Mariota got into a starting job right away and never really excelled before getting benched and dumped. Corral needs a year of acclimating to the pro game before reliably giving his chance to win games. If given one, he should eclipse Mariota’s career and potentially develop into one of the league’s more exciting passers.