5 Carolina Panthers rookies who could surprise people in 2022

(Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Arron Mosby
(Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Arron Mosby /
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Carolina Panthers
(John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral /

87. . QB. Carolina Panthers. MATT CORRAL. 2. player

Matt Corral – Carolina Panthers QB

The scrutiny surrounding Matt Corral has already begun after the Carolina Panthers traded up to No. 94 overall for the Ole Miss product. Facing and overcoming adversity is nothing new to the signal-caller, who has spoken openly about his battles with depression and inspired others going through a similar situation in their everyday lives.

This is a tremendous fit for Corral. And it also helped that offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was highly influential in getting the signal-caller on board, according to general manager Scott Fitterer.

The Panthers do have Sam Darnold as the starter right now. But the former USC standout can now expect a true quarterback competition for the No. 1 spot for the first time in his NFL career.

How Darnold responds to this will be crucial. And considering the Panthers still owe the player $18.85 million fully guaranteed after triggering his fifth-year option, he’s unlikely to be removed entirely from the equation unless a willing trade partner comes forward.

Corral has some flaws and will need to pick up a pro-style offense quickly. However, his ultra-fast release and ability to process efficiently could see him transition much better than originally anticipated.

Whether this amounts to winning the job in Week 1 is debatable. Even if fans are clearly wanting change at the most important position on the field.