The Carolina Panthers drafted Matt Corral from Ole Miss at No. 94, and this helps it in the long term versus an immediate fix that fans hoped for.
While Corral is a solid quarterback, he fills a need for the team in a longer period versus a day one starter.
The Panthers stand firm at quarterback with Sam Darnold and PJ Walker as the only other field generals on the roster. Cam Newton made his return to Carolina in 2021, but no talks gained traction about a reunion for 2022, and it may be for the best on both sides. The city of Charlotte and the Panthers owe a great deal of gratitude toward Newton, but he is no longer the quarterback that Carolina can trust in. The rotating of quarterbacks in the game should not be revisited in 2022 either as it proved disastrous.
The desperation for a quarterback became apparent in the offseason when Carolina pushed hard for DeShaun Watson, who despite great on-field success, has not seen the field since 2019. Oh, and let’s not forget the heap of accusations that are linked to Watson, which is a whole other story.
The way it looks now, Carolina beefed up its’ offensive line that ranked near the bottom of the league in efficiency. This may help Sam Darnold become a better quarterback, but that does not mean causation. Getting a better line does not immediately result in Darnold being better, but it could help. If Carolina gives Darnold more time in the pocket and he is not under pressure as much, then he could make better decisions resulting in improved play. Again, correlation not causation.
Now, Matt Corral fits in for a long-term plan. He is a young solid quarterback that will mature and develop in the future.
The thought process being as the young core of offensive linemen develop, namely Ikem Ekwonu, Corral takes over when the line is solid. He can head under center with a line that will protect him and allow his development in game situations.
In the next years, if the line improves then Corral gets closer to taking the team over and being the quarterback Carolina grooms into the starter. He has potential to be a solid quarterback, if not a star in the making, but it hinges on the offensive line.
That line needing to develop in years’ time may mean Corral develops with it until both are ready to be solid together.