Panthers Insider Throws Major Shade At New Patriots’ QB Matt Corral

Matt Corral, Patriots
NFL Analysis Network

The New England Patriots made some bold decisions with their initial 53-man roster last week. The most eye-popping was the quarterback position. Starter Mac Jones was the only quarterback to make it through cutdown day on the team. Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham were both cut and later signed to the practice squad.

In need of a quarterback to back up Jones, the Patriots found one on the waiver wire. They put in and won their claim on Matt Corral, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers. The 2022 third-round pick didn’t have much of a chance to make the Panthers’ 53-man roster this year.

The team used the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. They also signed seasoned veteran Andy Dalton to be his mentor and backup. That is something the Patriots likely feel they should have done with their quarterback position.

Should anything happen to Jones, the Patriots will now be turning to Corral, who has very little NFL experience. His work in the preseason this year was his first extended playing time as his rookie season was derailed by a foot injury in the preseason.

2023 is essentially the rookie season for Corral, which is the problem. As stated by Panthers beat writer Joe Person of The Athletic to Patriots beat writer Tom Curran, there are concerns about how ready Corral is to play in the NFL.

“The Panthers think he is at least a year away from being someone who can help them if he was pressed into service with an injury or whatever,” Person said. “A lot of that is because he did not run a real complex offense at Ole Miss under (coach) Lane Kiffin. It was not completely simplified but it was not what you would call pro-ready type stuff. Then, he doesn’t get any time last year (because of the injury).”

Corral has some talent; you don’t produce in the SEC as he did with Ole Miss without being able to play. But, he is behind the eight-ball when it comes to his development after being sidelined for his entire rookie season and playing in a bit of a gimmicky offense with the Rebels.

His performance in this year’s preseason certainly doesn’t look like someone ready to step onto the field should the starter be injured. As a developmental player, Corral is certainly worth taking a look at, but the Patriots already have two of those players at quarterback.

Zappe would fall into the same category as a college passer looking to learn a pro-style offense. Cunningham is being used in a hybrid role as a quarterback and wide receiver. The Patriots knew neither of them was ready for a backup role on the 53-man roster, but is hoping Corral is further along than he looked with the Panthers.