Vikings Draft Profile: QB Matt Corral
With the recent firing of Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings head coaching vacancy has had more rumors flying around it than a Hollywood celebrity and their new significant other. One of the frontrunners for this position has been current Ole Miss head coach, Lane Kiffin. The Vikings may also be in the market to trade their starting QB, Kirk Cousins, in favor of a short reset. For all of these reasons, there’s reason to believe former Ole Miss QB and top draft prospect Matt Corral will garner a lot of attention from the Minnesota Vikings in the 2022 NFL Draft process.
2018 (4 Games): 16/22 (72.7%), 239 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 13 Att, 83 yards, 2 TDs
2019 (10 Games): 105/178 (59%), 1362 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs; 57 Att, 135 yards, 1 TD
2020 (10 Games): 231/326 (70.9%), 3337 yards, 29 TDs, 14 INTs; 112 Att, 506 yards, 4 TDs
2021 (13 Games): 260/384 (67.7%), 3343 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs; 152 Att, 633 yards, 11 TDs
The first thing that pops out about Matt Corral is his progression as a dual-threat QB. In his early years at Ole Miss, he certainly showed flashes of a rushing ability, but in 2020 and especially 2021, he’s mastered the craft. This is extremely useful when needing to convert third downs or get into the end zone near the goal line.
However, he still prefers to play from the pocket whenever possible. When given enough time to throw from a clean pocket, he is extremely accurate, as shown by his career 67.3 completion percentage. Additionally, he’s improved in his decision making and ball placement this past year.
He puts the ball in an area where his receivers can make a play after the catch and has cut down on unnecessary throws into heavy traffic. In previous years, he was also turnover prone (see the 14 interceptions in 2020), but he did a great job of cutting down on those in 2021.
Matt Corral has seen some drastic improvements in the mental side of his game over the last few years, but still, some of his physical limitations leave some things to be desired. He is a very mobile quarterback, but sometimes that mobility gets him into trouble. When forced to throw on the run, he can get very erratic, and he also had a fumbling problem early in his career. That is something that cannot happen in the NFL, or it could have devastating effects.
In addition to some inaccuracies on the run, Corral just doesn’t have the strongest arm out there. He’s not going to be making the deep throws that other NFL QBs are making, and it makes him just a little bit easier to defend as a passer. If his career at Ole Miss shows any trends, we could also see some of the interception problems return as he gets a feel for the NFL game.
Corral’s Fit on the 2021 Vikings
As aforementioned at the beginning of this profile, the Vikings are in search of a new head coach. In all likelihood, it will be a young, offensive-minded coach that can lead this team into the long-term future. Lane Kiffen is as likely a candidate as any, and if that were the case, he may have a desire to bring on his college QB. The Vikings could also be in the trade market looking to ship Kirk Cousins and his $45 million cap hit elsewhere.
As for right now though, every one of these scenarios are just “what ifs”. I would bet Kirk Cousins is still the Vikings QB in 2022. Additionally, the 12th pick may be around where Corral will get drafted, but the Vikings have much more glaring needs if Cousins is around. Should they opt to go QB in round one, that leaves much slimmer pickings in the later rounds for positions like CB or EDGE. This likely won’t be how the Vikings use that 12th overall pick.