Back in May, Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Matt Corral admitted that falling all the way down to pick No. 94 overall and to the third round of this year’s NFL Draft class made an already-existing chip on his shoulder “bigger.”
At that time, some Carolina fans assumed and/or hoped that Corral would be given a legitimate chance to compete with veteran Sam Darnold for the starting job. The situation changed, of course, when the Panthers landed Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns last week.
During Tuesday’s introductory media event, general manager Scott Fitterer declared that the Panthers will hold an “open competition” this summer between Mayfield and Darnold for the QB1 spot on the depth chart. Logic suggests that leaves Corral as the odd man out and as a signal-caller about to complete a red-shirt pro season.
“The one good thing for Matt, there is a transition for him from a college offense he was in to an NFL offense, especially a [Ben] McAdoo offense, where there’s a lot of verbiage,” Fitterer said of Corral, according to Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “This will allow him the chance to really learn at his own pace, learn from a couple of veterans in that room in Sam and Baker, and having PJ [Walker] in that room as well.
“And when it’s time for him to get out there and play, he can get out there and earn that job if he’s ready. But it’s going to be on him to learn and play well when he gets there. Right now, our focus is to get all of our quarterbacks up to speed so we can play good quality football at that position.”
It’s been reported that the Panthers have no intention of trading or cutting Darnold this summer even if he loses the upcoming competition to Mayfield. Unless that changes, it seems unlikely Corral will see the field this fall barring injury setbacks or horrific play from the club’s top two options at the sport’s most important position.