How much playing time will the Carolina Panthers give quarterback Matt Corral during his rookie campaign in 2022?
After an eventful and complex search for a new quarterback, the Carolina Panthers finally got their guy when Matt Corral slid down the 2022 draft far enough for the organization to move up and secure his services at No. 94 overall. Something that gives the coaching staff a long-term project to develop en route to finally becoming the team’s starter at some stage.
Just when that will be is unclear.
There is plenty to suggest Corral can make the necessary improvements with offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan, with his accuracy, mentality, and poise all leaving reasons to be encouraged with additional refinement.
Drafting a quarterback always comes with an enormous sense of expectation within the fanbase. This bears more significance on the Panthers after having to witness so much poor production under center since Matt Rhule took over as head coach.
Perhaps the presence of Sam Darnold as the team’s projected starter is heightening the urgency surrounding Corral. This added pressure is somewhat unfair to the player, who needs to develop at his own pace and see where things lie after that.
Moving forward with Darnold is not going to go down well with the team’s loyal supporters who saw enough of the USC product last season to suggest he isn’t the answer. Something that has the Panthers failing to rule out another trade for a veteran if they feel it’s the best thing to do.
Carolina Panthers cannot put too much pressure on Matt Corral
Corral might pick things up quicker than expected, which would be a massive plus. However, bulking up would be wise and there are some decision-making complications that could emerge despite Carolina’s offensive line looking much improved in 2022.
The Panthers likely did not see Corral as a Week 1 starter. But McAdoo’s insistence that Carolina took their shot at the signal-caller could mean he is transitioned sooner than anticipated.
Much will depend on Darnold’s performance and what else the Panthers have up their sleeves. A move for Baker Mayfield remains a possibility and Jimmy Garoppolo is another name that might factor into the equation if the San Francisco 49ers are confident in Trey Lance stepping up.
However, this is out of Corral’s hands. It would also be worth the organization seeing what they have in the player before the time comes to assess an exceptional group of prospects entering the league from the college ranks next spring.
Rookie quarterbacks starting right away wasn’t always a thing. It’s easy to forget that based on last season and in certain recent examples throughout his history.
Sitting for most, if not all, of their first years did not do the likes of Patrick Mahomes any harm. So it would not be the end of the world by any stretch if Corral went down this direction.
In an ideal world, the Panthers will be fighting for something down the stretch. If they aren’t, then this would be the best time to throw Corral in at the deep end to see how things unfold.
By that point, the player will have seen enough from the sidelines and developed enough in practice to hopefully make a tremendous impression. One that could see the Panthers look at other positions during the 2023 draft.