NFL Draft Expert Mike Detillier Looks at Matt Corral and Where the Former Ole Miss QB will be Selected in 2022 Draft
OXFORD, Miss. — When we looked for an expert assessment of former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral’s NFL Draft position, we turned to the guru, Mike Detillier.
Mike has been scouting and researching the top collegiate football players for 30+ years and is the editor and publisher of Mike Detillier’s NFL Draft Report.
He’s also the college and pro football analyst, as well as co-host of SportsTalk, for WWL Radio AM 870 and FM105.3 in New Orleans.
Mike is also a top columnist for newspapers and websites, including Sports Illustrated and the Saints Report, and a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country where he is recognized as the “go-to” expert for all things football, college or pro, and the Draft.
Detillier’s Look at Matt Corral
We recently visited with Mike about his thoughts on Matt Corral, and he says he is impressed with the improvement he saw in the Rebels’ QB from 2020 to 2021.
“You could see he had outstanding athletic skills to move around the pocket, make big plays with his feet and also buy time on the move to make a throw, but he needed to show more consistency with his accuracy and not turn the ball over as much as he did in 2020 — and he did just that.“
NFL Draft Expert Mike Detillier on Matt Corral
Everyone is familiar with Corral’s ability to use his feet. This past season, he was the only player in the FBS with more than 3,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing.
“Matt was always a big-time playmaker with his feet, no question about that,” Detillier said. “But look at the difference in his accuracy skills over his time at Ole Miss,” he continued.
Matt Corral doing Matt Corral things pic.twitter.com/t9LVZRuMma
— T.J. (@TJOxley1) November 26, 2021
“In 2020 he completed 70.9% of his throws and in 2021 he completed 68.3%. Whereas, in 2019 Corral completed 59% of his throws. The consistency part is there in an offense that Lane Kiffin did a great job centering around him.”
Detillier also noted the significant decrease in Corral’s interceptions last season, something further showcasing the young quarterback’s advancement.
“The big number is that in 2021, Corral had 386 attempts and just 5 pass interceptions. In 2020, however, he had 326 attempts and 14 in interceptions,” Detillier commented.
“You could see he was much more comfortable in Lane’s offense and he also upgraded his ability to read and recognize coverages better downfield. That caught the eyes of the NFL scouts.”
Mike Detillier on Matt Corral
Corral spent much of 2021 playing without his main targets, yet he still led Ole Miss to a school-record, 10 regular-season wins. He and the Rebels also finished the season a perfect 7-0 at home, another program milestone.
“In 2021, Matt threw 20 touchdown passes — without the star talent of Elijah Moore who scored on 8 touchdown catches in 2020 — and he was without many of his wide receivers throughout much of the season due to injuries,” noted Detillier.
At one point, not one of the “Big 3” Rebel receivers — Braylon Sanders, Jonathan Mingo, or Dontario Drummond — was on the field with Corral, nor was his starting tight end. It didn’t matter.
Corral kept finding receivers and kept leading his team. He finished the 2021 season 262-of-386 for 3,349 yards passing.
Detillier has watched thousands of quarterbacks throughout his tenure as a draft analyst. The bottom line is he knows what NFL scouts value in potential draft picks.
“Corral’s strength is his quick release and his ability to consistently be accurate in the short to intermediate parts of the field. It is all about accuracy and touch and Corral has that skillset.”
Detillier on Matt Corral
Corral could have opted out of playing in the Rebels’ Sugar Bowl game against Baylor on New Year’s Day. But he didn’t. In fact, he said he never even considered his teammates playing without him.
“I never questioned it just because one, I wanted to play and two… if I was them, in their shoes and they had a quarterback that was in the same position… I just couldn’t live with what they would think of me just leaving,” said Corral.
Ole Miss QB Matt Corral on never thinking about opting out of the Sugar Bowl.
He’s got one more game left when Ole Miss plays Baylor in New Orleans. pic.twitter.com/qigN0KbXga
— Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) December 17, 2021
As all Ole Miss fans will recall, Corral was injured in the first half of the game and forced to watch from the sidelines as the Rebels fell to Baylor.
While many opined that the injury might harm Corral’s draft chances, Detillier was quick to dispel those notions.
“It didn’t hurt him one bit,” Detillier said.
“The tape doesn’t lie on how good he is. He is still a first round pick in the 2022 draft. I respect him for playing. He knew what was on the line, but he wanted to be there for his team and teammates.”
Detillier on Corral playing in the Sugar Bowl
Detillier perfectly summarizes Corral’s assets.
“I really like him as a player for his toughness and his leadership skills, but more importantly his skills to be accurate with his throws downfield. That is paramount in the NFL,” the expert said.
Corral in the Draft
So where does Detillier think Corral will go in this year’s draft?
He says his opinion on that changed from last season to now, given Matt’s outstanding performance in 2021.
“Before this past season I had Corral as a 2nd-round pick,” Detillier began. “But he certainly has moved himself into a spot to go in Round 1, a teens pick” said Detillier.
“Kenny Pickett is rated slightly above Matt on my board. It’s close, but it’s Pickett at the top spot by a little bit. But in saying that, it takes just one team to like you above another and that’s the beauty and mystery of the draft. It’s close between the two QB’s,” Detillier explained.
Where Corral’s placement will end up in the NFL Draft remains to be seen, but his position in the hearts of Rebel fans is without question.
He is rightfully given credit by teammates, fans and coaches for helping establish a culture of winning at Ole Miss, and for a program that had not been in a postseason game since 2015, that is quite an accomplishment.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.