4 major observations from Panthers QB Matt Corral’s NFL debut

(Scott Taetsch-Getty Images) Matt Corral
(Scott Taetsch-Getty Images) Matt Corral /
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What were the key observations to take from Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Corral’s performance at the Washington Commanders in preseason Week 1?

The Carolina Panthers finally got back to business in a gameday environment with their first preseason game at the Washington Commanders. This was a chance for starters to develop cohesion during their brief time on the field, which also saw quarterback Matt Corral get his first real experience of an NFL game.

Corral faces stiff competition for depth chart standing thanks to the presence of Baker Mayfield, who was acquired from the Cleveland Browns just a few weeks before camp. There is also the Sam Darnold equation with $18.85 million guaranteed for his services in 2022.

The Panthers appear intent on keeping Darnold front and center for as long as possible. But this was a good chance for Corral to showcase what he could potentially bring to the organization long term.

With that being said, here are four key observations from Corral’s performance at the Commanders from limited reps in preseason Week 1.

Major Observation No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Corral /

Carolina Panthers worked Matt Corral as QB4

Despite the need for Matt Corral to get as many gameday reps as possible after barely featuring in camp, the Carolina Panthers slotted him at the bottom of the depth chart. P.J. Walker, who is not expected to make the team, took center stage and the Ole Miss product closed out the game with the third and fourth string.

Again, this is far from ideal and is borderline mismanagement from the coaching staff. They clearly feel as if Corral needs more time, so any prominent experience he can generate in games like this will be positive for his development.

Walker aired it out 19 times to Corral’s nine. While that came with a victory, it’s done the third-round pick no favors whatsoever.