The New Orleans Saints have one of the most intriguing seasons coming up for themselves, as they are tasked with replacing their HC (Sean Payton), finding their next long-term solution at QB (Jameis Winston?), and maneuvering a horrid cap sheet. But can this team decide that Ole Miss’ Matt Corral is their best solution in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft?
While the incoming draft class certainly is not one known for its QBs, Corral is one of the more polarizing options in it, and rightfully so. His blend of athleticism, running prowess, and throwing acumen paint him as one of the hardest prospects to analyze and a bit of a wild card.
But the Saints are in a position where they need to take a gamble on a player that could provide some stability to their offense, and Corral has the skillset to slide into that role in a season or two, making him the best fit for the Saints in the 2022 NFL Draft.
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Matt Corral Is Best Fit For The Saints In 2022 NFL Draft
1. Decision Making
Having a 2.5% career INT percentage across his four-year collegiate career, Corral is well-versed in keeping the game clean. In his senior season, Corral produced a 20:5 TD:INT ratio, showcasing how far along his decision-making skills are for his age.
Going hand-in-hand with those low interception numbers is the fact that Corral is more likely to take a sack and hold onto the ball than throw it up and make a bad decision, a tough ask of any collegiate QB trying to make a play. With Winston known for his high-turnover numbers, Corral would be a refreshing addition to the QB room, especially due to his low-turnover numbers.
With weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas at his disposal, Corral would be hard-pressed to make sure he got the ball to those guys on a regular basis, and through his solid, established decision making, that looks to be a realistic possibility, even right out of the gate.
Corral was incorporated into running plays more frequently as his collegiate career progressed, turning a career-high 152 carries into 614 yards and 11 rushing TDs. While the Saints certainly don’t typically have signal-callers that are on the agile size, Corral can help change that narrative.
Pete Carmichael survived the coaching staff changeover this offseason, as new head coach Dennis Allen decided to keep him on after Sean Payton stepped down. With Carmichael having experience with both Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston running the offense, Corral would fit right into what Carmichael is looking for out of his QB room. Of the incoming QB class, Corral ran for the third-most yards, showcasing that he surely can be a threat in both areas.
3. Scheme Fit
Carmichael is well-versed in coordinating an NFL-level offense, and Corral would become a natural fit into the style in which the Saints currently run. Sitting a year behind Winston would certainly help his development too, as catching up to the speed of the NFL game seems to be one of the toughest elements that rookies experience upon entering the league.
The Saints have had Carmichael call plays for them in the past – both in 2011 after Payton experienced a leg injury and in 2012 when Payton served his suspension for his involvement in Bountygate, Carmichael was tasked with running the offense. Having set a few NFL records along the way, Carmichael’s offenses have been top-notch when compared to the rest of the league, showing the type of situation Corral would be entering into.
There are likely going to be some shifts in offensive philosophy and play-calling with Payton out of the fold, but Corral would be a natural fit regardless. With the Saints having a few offensive weapons left that are near or at the top of their respective games, it’s fair to assume that if selected, Corral would help New Orleans continue to be relevant if given a starting job.