QB, Matt Corral – Carolina Panthers
The truth is that I would love to pick a wide receiver here, specifically, one of either Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Drake London, Skyy Moore, or Treylon Burks. All of whom I believe could have strong showings in 2022.
Unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult for a wide receiver to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL, let alone in back-to-back seasons.
Ja’Marr Chase had to break nearly every rookie record in the book before people were able to justify giving him the award in 2021, and the same can be said for Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014. So, sadly, I would be shocked if a wide receiver won again in 2022.
However, that’s certainly not the case with the quarterback position or Ole Miss standout, Matt Corral.
Not only has Corral proven to be a competitive, athletic and accurate passer who can deliver the ball just about anywhere on the field or make defenders miss with his maneuvers on the ground. But he’s also one of the few quarterback prospects that already has experience leading an NFL-style offense, due to the high-powered system Lane Kiffin had him run at Ole Miss.
Even though he’s not as polished or experienced as players like Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, or Desmond Ridder, he arguably landed in a far better situation than any one of these players. Tumbling into the third round to the Carolina Panthers.
First off, there’s already a lot of pressure on this Panthers staff to win now. Since head coach, Matt Rhule, was hired over two years ago and has yet to win more than five games in a regular season. So, while the team does still have Sam Darnold on the roster, you can bet that Corral will get his time to shine if things begin to turn sour.
Assuming Corral does get the opportunity to run the offense next season (which is very likely), he’s got all of the pieces necessary to set him up for immediate success. He’s got a legitimate All-Pro running back in Christian McCaffrey, who could handle the bulk of the carries and is a dangerous pass-catcher in the backfield. As well as a plethora of top-tier receiving options, including DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, Rashard Higgins, and Terrace Marshall Jr.
With elite receivers and one of the best running backs in football (when healthy) at his disposal, Corral could be a far more reliable option behind center than Sam Darnold. Since Corral was one of the more accurate players in college football over the last two seasons and is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback capable of making plays with his feet as well as his arm.
Making him a prime candidate to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2022.