The Panthers traded up to No. 1 in the draft, where they will take their quarterback of the future. So, what does that mean for Matt Corral, a third-round pick last year who missed his entire rookie season?
“He’s come in, and he’s ready to compete,” Panthers General Manager Scott Fitterer said, via Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer. “He’s 220 pounds, and he looks like a different guy. When he showed up, he was in great shape, great spirits.”
It seems unlikely that Corral ever gets a chance with the team that drafted, with Bryce Young likely on his way to town and veteran Andy Dalton also on the roster. Fitterer has talked to Corral’s agent, and the Panthers aren’t writing off the young quarterback’s future with them yet.
“I haven’t talked to him directly about anything that is going on right now,” Fitterer said. “His agent relayed that he’s ready. He’s ready to compete and come in here. There’s nothing promised to anyone; you get what you earn.”
Corral didn’t play a down in 2022 after a Lisfranc injury during the preseason. He spent the season on injured reserve as the Panthers started three different quarterbacks, went 7-10 and fired head coach Matt Rhule during the season.
Corral will get a chance to showcase his talent in the preseason, which could lead to an opportunity elsewhere. Or maybe the Panthers carry him on their 53-player roster as the third quarterback, giving him more time to watch, learn and grow.
Corral, though, is healthy and a year wiser.