Rumors in the NFL Draft: Could the Panthers pass on Pickett in favor of a dark-horse quarterback?
Instead of going chalk with Kenny Pickett out of Pitt, the Carolina Panthers might surprise everyone by taking Matt Corral out of Ole Miss at No. 6.
If the Carolina Panthers pick a quarterback at No. 6, they could look at Kenny Pickett from Pitt, Malik Willis from Liberty, or Matt Corral from Ole Miss.
While all signs point to the Panthers going chalk and selecting Pickett at No. 6, Peter Schrager remarked on Good Morning Football Tuesday that Corral should be kept in mind.
Pickett may have gone to the same high school as Panthers owner David Tepper and was recruited by Carolina head coach Matt Rhule while at Temple, but Corral’s appeal as a top-10 choice is building by the day.
If he hadn’t been injured against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, Corral might have been a top-10 lock.
The Carolina Panthers may pass on Kenny Pickett and instead select Matt Corral at No. 6 overall
While Pickett is considered the most pro-ready of the top-five quarterback draft prospects (Corral, Pickett, Willis, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, and UNC’s Sam Howell), Corral did play in the toughest conference and is coming off a fantastic two-year run as Ole Miss’ starting quarterback under Lane Kiffin. He is a strong leader, as seen by his 10 wins and New Year’s Six bowl appearance with the Rebels last season.
Though his leadership, arm talent, and mobility make him a first-round lock, his decision-making and size make him a draft prospect with significant boom-or-bust potential.
If he hits, Corral could be a better overall version of Baker Mayfield than he was. If he falters, we’ll be looking for the next Christian Ponder. Both signal-caller comparisons resulted in a top-12 finish for Corral.
What complicates selecting Corral at No. 6 is the possibility that the division rival Atlanta Falcons will select Pickett or Willis at No. 8.
After releasing Matt Ryan, Atlanta might very well find their next franchise cornerstone, while Carolina could face yet another regime change as a result of yet another terrible move. Corral has a lot going for him, but he needs to join the proper squad in order to thrive.
Carolina could surprise everyone by selecting Corral at No. 6, but if he fails, it will be a tragedy.