Tag Archives: Matt Corral

Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Panthers picked up a potential franchise left tackle in Ickey Ekwonu, who gets to stay in the state of North Carolina. Offensively, the Panthers have a formidable set of receivers to start the year with in former Cleveland Browns receiver Rashard Higgins, who should combine with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrance Marshall, Jr. to round off the team’s depth. They also have 2021 sixth-round pick Shi Smith, who put up an 86-yard receiving performance in December.

Carolina Panthers       
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (6)
Ikem "Ickey" EkwonuNC State
1/1st Round
Ekwonu gives the Panthers the flexibility to leave Taylor Moton on the right side of the offensive line. He may be the best run blocker in the draft despite playing on the perimeter.
3 (94)
Matt CorralQB/Ole Miss
40/2nd Round
If Corral learns to protect himself better, then his quick release and instincts in the second or third phase of the play could prove to shine.
4 (120)
Brandon SmithLB/Penn State
96/3rd Round
Smith's explosiveness doesn't always exude itself due to snapping the pictures a step late. He has a chance to become a better pro than collegian.
6 (189)
Amare BarnoDE-OLB/Virginia Tech
143/3rd Round
Barno just needs to add more weight for the NFL grind. The Hokies used him in a variety of roles this past season as a chess piece. He was much better in 2020 than he was in 2021.
6 (199)
Cade MaysOL/Tennessee, Georgia
143/3rd Round
Mays' balance needs slight improvement, but he showed increased mobility this past season at the RT spot. The former Vol works to envelop defenders on the edge. He has started at four of the five OL spots in school.
7 (242)
Kalon BarnesCB/Baylor
271/4th Round
Barnes has to improve stopping his charge on the intermediate concepts as a corner. He brings major upside as a gunner. If he can learn to control the 4.2 speed, there are possibilities for him as a long-term No. 3 or No. 4 at the least. He has plenty of familiarity with the staff and a leg up on the competition in terms of knowing the team’s defensive system.
Undrafted Free Agent signings
DN Big Board Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take:
217Charleston RamboWRMiami (Fla.), Oklahoma 5.584th RoundRambo went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2021 and it was largely due to his play speed and run after the catch capability. A lack of bulk hurt his charge.
262Arron MosbyOLBFresno State5.464th RoundMosby may not have met the requirements for some teams when projecting its rushers, but he’s been a four-year contributor and actually had experience playing defensive back. Continues to get better.
345Davis CheekQBElon5.175th RoundCheek was one of our favorite quarterbacks in this year’s draft due to his play speed and ball placement. A quirky release didn’t do him any favors and there were durability question marks.
349Khalan TolsonLBIllinois5.165th RoundTolson is a heat-seeking missile who improved his diagnostic skills. The fiery Fighting Illini defender never really took the next step in school, but he always flashed the capability.
364Josh BabiczTENorth Dakota State5.135th RoundBabicz’s size screams NFL starter, but the overall savvy as a receiving entity may have been a step behind. From a talent perspective, he has room for growth after playing in a pro-style system in school.
377Marquan McCallDT-NGKentucky5.1055th RoundOne of the Wildcats’ true team leaders, McCall dominated in stretches against top-notch centers. He ranks as a two-down defender and could possibly find a role for a team that needs inside beef.
542Isaiah Graham-MobleyLBBoston College, Temple 4.536th RoundGraham-Mobley was another connection from the Panthers’ Temple days. He has had injury issues in the past but, when available, he played well in 2021.
668Talolo Limu-JonesWR/H-BackEastern Washington3.947th RoundWe projected a possible move back to the tight end or H-back position for Limu-Jones. He was a part in Eric Barriere’s incredible success at the FCS level, as both a middle of the field entity and beyond.
714John LovettRBPenn State, Baylor3.49Free AgentLovett has all of the physical tools but never found a rhythm at Penn State. When playing with Rhule’s staff at Baylor, Lovett averaged nearly 6.4 yards per carry in 2019.
Drew HartlaubSPenn StateN/AN/AThe team certainly loves speed. After most thought they got the fastest player in the draft in the seventh round in Barnes, he was actually second. Hartlaub ran a 4.22 in the 40-yard dash on his Pro Day at Penn State. During his career, he posted 16 tackles on special teams.
Andrew Parchment WRFSU, Kansas, Northern Illinois N/AN/AParchment really began to hit his stride at Kansas back in 2019. Long strider. Body dexterity to nearly make twisting grabs (Coastal Carolina '20, underthrown fade). Comes off the ball in a compact manner. Drives off the ball with high knees and rolls speed outs (1st QTR, 3rd and 7, Baylor '19). FSU’s second-leading receiver had the occasional concentration lapse in school.
Ra’Shaun HenryWRVirginia, St. Francis (Pa.) N/AN/AHenry, another postseason workout warrior (4.4 40-yd, 10’10” BJ, 6.7 3-cone), was one of the Cavaliers’ best down the field targets over the last two seasons after transferring from St. Francis (Pa.).
Derek WrightWR Utah StateN/AN/AWright was a significant contributor down the field for the Aggies in 2021 as part of a new offensive system. Games like the Colorado State contest showed off his ability to track the ball through coverage. Postseason workouts displayed his feel for the vertical passing game.

77 Cade Mays and 69 Jamaree Salyer at Georgia
Cade Mays (No. 77 pictured, write-up below) and Jamaree Salyer (No. 69 pictured) were teammates at Georgia in 2019. Mays was taken in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft after starting at Tennessee as an offensive tackle.

Defensively, the NFL’s second-ranked defense under creative defensive coordinator Phil Snow had to garner a couple of reinforcements. The team needed to make up for the loss of Haason Reddick (Eagles) in free agency. Could the addition of sixth-round pick Amare Barno help fill at least some of the void? Much like Reddick, Barno was used in a number of roles in college due to his versatility.

In terms of the undrafted free agents, the Panthers did a viable job of getting a number of players who could be top-notch pickups or at least practice squad candidates. The team has intimate knowledge of several players they’ve worked with in the past at either Baylor or Temple. Some of those names include Graham-Mobley, Lovett and even their seventh-round selection Kalon Barnes.

2018 Recruiting Recap: Quarterbacks

The 2018 recruiting class at quarterback was a star-studded group that has already had two of its quarterbacks, Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars, 2021 NFL Draft, 1st Round, 1st overall) and Justin Fields (Chicago Bears, 2021 NFL Draft, 1st Round, 11th overall), hear their names called in the NFL Draft. Today, we take a look at the trajectory of the rest of the group. For the purposes of being fair in compiling our Top 10 lists by position group, we continue to use aggregate rankings from three of the top recruiting services (Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN). We also used the most prevalent designation for each quarterback (pro-style or dual-threat) when they came out of high school.

Trevor Lawrence (Pro) Clemson: Ranked #1 by 247Sports, Rivals, & ESPN
Consensus No. 1 recruit coming out of high school who exceeded the many expectations that were placed upon him. Lawrence showed ultimate poise as a true freshman going undefeated and winning the national championship with 347 yards passing and three touchdowns. He won various awards during his time at Clemson, finishing his career with a 34-2 record. Lawrence was taken first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft (Jacksonville Jaguars) and he was widely regarded as the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012 (Indianapolis Colts).

Justin Fields (Dual) Ohio State: Ranked #1 by 247Sports, Rivals, & ESPN
Fields committed to the Bulldogs and played in 12 of 14 games as a freshman. However, with Jake Fromm being set as the starter, he decided to transfer to Columbus. Fields became the third Buckeye QB in the last 50 seasons to win his first 13 starts. He threw for over 3,000 yards in his first season as a full-time starter with a 41-to-3 touchdown-to- interception ratio. He added over 1,000 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns in his career. Consistency was a concern for many when it came to Fields at the next level, and he ended up going 11th overall in the first round to the Chicago Bears. Many seem to have forgotten when he was a supposed 1A to Trevor Lawrence. I haven’t.

JT Daniels (Pro) USC Trojans: Ranked #2 by 247Sports & Rivals, #3 by ESPN
Daniels enrolled at USC in 2018 and started every game he played. He showed some promise, however a knee injury in the 2019 season opener ended his campaign prematurely. Kedon Slovis took over and played exceptionally well, causing Daniels to transfer to Georgia. He finally got his opportunity late in the year, starting the final four games, all wins for the Bulldogs. In those contests, he threw for over 1,000 yards with 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Daniels returned to Georgia for the 2021 season and, if he can build on last year’s momentum, may very well set up his pathway into the NFL.

Tanner McKee (Pro) Stanford: Ranked #3 by 247Sports, #4 by Rivals, & #5 by ESPN
McKee spent most of the last two years in Brazil as a missionary. He made his collegiate debut in 2020, but appeared in just one game. The highly-touted 6-foot-6, 228-pounder will look to solidify his collegiate career in 2021 as a first-time starter. To do so, he will have to fend off senior Jack West.

Justin Rogers QB UNLV
Rogers, pictured, completed 14-of-22 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown for UNLV in 2020. Most of those yards came against an impressive San Jose State defense.

Justin Rogers (Dual) TCU: Ranked #2 by 247Sports & Rivals, #4 by ESPN
Rogers entered the Horned Frogs program as the highest rated recruit of the Gary Patterson-era. However, a devastating injury suffered as a senior in high school never really opened an opportunity at TCU. He threw just one pass for Texas Christian and -after seeing no game action in 2019- Rogers transferred to UNLV. He appeared in two games last season and will look to compete for the starting job in 2021. Standing in Rogers’ way is left-handed 6-foot-5 sophomore Doug Brumfield.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson QB UCLA
Thompson-Robinson -a three-year starter- has already accounted for 47 total touchdowns heading into 2021.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson (Dual) UCLA: Ranked #3 by 247Sports, #2 by Rivals & ESPN
Thompson-Robinson has seen consistent action in all three seasons for the Bruins. In 2020, he was named second-team All-Pac-12 after completing 65% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions in five contests. DTR also displayed his dual-threat rushing capability by accounting for over 300 yards and three touchdowns on 55 attempts. Facing a brutal schedule in 2021, the strong-armed veteran has a legitimate chance to become the high-riser of the 2022 NFL Draft’s quarterback class. Thompson-Robinson has first-round talent.


Jarren Williams QB-USF
Williams, pictured, was more than capable in 2019 for the Hurricanes but is now entrenched in a quarterback battle at USF.

Jarren Williams (Dual) Miami: Ranked #4 by 247Sports, #8 by Rivals, & #6 by ESPN
Williams saw brief action as a freshman, with most of his playing time coming in 2019. He completed 61% of his passes with 19 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. However, Miami finished the year 6-7 and put out a futile effort in their bowl game (2019 Independence Bowl). Williams transferred to Garden City CC following the year and their season was cancelled due to COVID-19. He then enrolled at USF, where the former U.S. Army All-American is entrenched in a four-way battle for playing time amongst four contenders. The list includes former UNC quarterback Cade Fortin.

Matt Corral (Pro) Ole Miss: Ranked #5 by 247Sports, #3 by Rivals, & #6 by ESPN
Corral took over as the Rebels starting QB last season following limited action in his first two years. He finished the year completing nearly 71% of his passes with 29 touchdowns, while also adding over 500 rushing yards and four more scores to his season totals. Corral displayed his ability as a big-time thrower of the football in 2020. He passed for at least 300 yards in seven of 10 games, but he needs to cut down the turnovers (14 INTs, 4 fumbles-3 lost).

Tyler Shough QB-Texas Tech
Shough transferred to Texas Tech for the 2021 campaign despite compiling a 13:6 TD/INT ratio for the Ducks in 2020. Shough also had two games with over 80 yards on the ground.

Tyler Shough (Pro) Oregon: Ranked #6 by 247Sports & Rivals, #15 by ESPN
Shough appeared in five games as a redshirt freshman in 2019. In 2020, he took over as the team’s full-time starter, completing nearly 65% of his passes with 13 touchdowns in seven games. Following a disappointing end to the season, Shough decided to transfer to Texas Tech, where he’ll look to help turn a program around and build his draft stock over the next few years.

Phil Jurkovec (Dual) Notre Dame: Ranked #5 by 247Sports & Rivals, #9 by ESPN
Jurkovec saw minimal snaps during his first two seasons with the Fighting Irish due to a depth chart that included 30-game winner Ian Book. He transferred to Boston College and became the team’ starting QB in 2020. He threw for over 2,500 yards with 17 passing touchdowns and added another three rushing scores on the ground. Another impressive campaign in 2021 could land him as a mid-round selection in next year’s draft. He has certain characteristics that attract evaluators at the next level, including an ability to fit the ball into tight windows.