Ole Miss’s Matt Corral explains what he did to become a potential first-round pick in 2022 NFL Draft


Ole quarterback Miss Matt Corral has taken a big step forward from last season to the present day. The improvement shown was enough to get him into the conversation to become the first quarterback caught in the NFL Draft in April.

Corral joined CBSSports’ Pick Six podcast to discuss a variety of topics. The California native is in Malibu preparing to begin training for the 2022 NFL Draft. He noted that after sustaining a minor injury in the Sugar Bowl, he was back on his feet within a week and ready to continue his journey.

“It’s been great. It’s not as hectic as I thought it would be.… It’s definitely exciting because it’s a new chapter in my life and I can’t wait to start it,” he said. declared.

The Long Beach Poly junior has reduced his interceptions from 14 in 2020 to just five this season. He attributes this growth to understanding what defenses were showing him.

“It was just understanding the defensive pattern of the Drop 8 (three defensive linemen and eight others fall into the cover). I really didn’t understand it at all. I had never seen it until the Arkansas does it to me, then after Arkansas does it for me, everyone was just trying to get into Drop 8, “he explained.

“You have 11 pairs of eyes watching you, so you can’t look at a defender, you can’t shop; that was my problem. I was trying to find holes in the defense in the area. hook. I couldn’t do it because I was trying to look away. When I looked at this guy, this guy followed my eyes and the next guy took me away. It was frustrating because I just didn’t understand him . It was finding the right concepts to play against him and then go out there and execute and not think too much about it because it’s not that complicated. “

Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who has since moved to Oklahoma, took his quarterbacks through a program dubbed “Flight School,” which was designed to deepen the covers and their purpose.

“It’s a lot (working with head coach Lane Kiffin and Lebby) but it’s going to pay off to the next level just because it’s so complex. It was cover 1, cover 2, all covers basic but inside these covers it gets a little more complex depending on the training and checks in those covers. It made it easy as it translated the concepts that we ran and we saw them in these covers. blankets. (Lebby) would have cuts with those pieces and blankets. Right after those blankets, we looked at the cut-ups with these pieces. Seeing that mesh together, that made a lot of sense, “he continued.

“From year 1 to year 2 it made all the difference in the world because I knew where the ball was going 70% of the time before it was broken. You can ask any quarterback back, it’s going to make all the difference in the world. “

NFL teams may have questions about the Rebels’ attacking style and how it helped Corral’s transition to the next level. He noted that it is more complex than it looks on the outside.

“A lot of people see it as an RPO offense, which it is, but our passing game is quite complex. Depending on the coverage, my progress changes. A lot of offenses don’t do that,” he said. he explains.

“As far as the concepts we had from year one with Kiffin and Lebby through year two, nothing changed in terms of the concept. It was just that the progressions were getting more complex. Let’s say it was Cover. 3, my progression would be 3- 2-1 instead of 1-2-3. It would be a shooter, which means we have a post, a top and a flat course of sorts. Honestly, that would change just because I would expect it to be open and it made all the difference in the world because I knew where I was going with the ball before it even broke. ”

Competing in the SEC brings a new challenge every week, Corral spotlighted Alabama rusher Will Anderson and Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal as the players who had the most impact on the offensive game plan.

“This guy was a monster,” he said, referring to Leal. “A lot of these games where they have players like that, we’ll be calling quick throws to get the ball out of my hand really quickly because I didn’t have time to get the shot going. I think we did. good plot job against them and our coaches did a good plot job against them but, in the end, they made their plays in these games for sure. “

When the dust settles, the junior feels he has done enough to be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“Absolutely. I think where I separate myself is my work ethic and my ability to dissect the X and O part of the game. Lebby and Kiffin did a great job. I spoke to a lot of guys who were in the same position. I am not necessarily happy with where I am but I am well placed, “he concluded.

Liberty’s Malik Willis, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder are the other prospects often mentioned as possible first-round picks.

In his final season at Oxford, Corral, who partnered with Optimum Nutrition to promote their new energy drink, delivered 67.9% of his passes for 3,349 yards, 20 touchdowns and the aforementioned five interceptions. If picked in the first round he would be the fifth rebel since 2015 and the first since Evan Engram became 23rd overall in 2017. Corral would be Ole Miss’s third quarterback taken in the first round since 1970 , joining Eli and Archie Manning. .

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