Ole Miss kicks off its 2021 season Monday night and it could be the final season for redshirt junior quarterback Matt Corral.
Corral still has one more year of eligibility after this upcoming season, but he might choose to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft if he has a successful season with the Rebels.
According to SI's NFL Draft experts, Corral is ranked as the seventh-best quarterback heading into the season.
An SEC quarterback has been drafted in one of the first two rounds in each of the past three drafts, and Corral could make it four straight drafts.
Corral shined last season in a shortened 2020 due to COVID-19 but shattered expectations by throwing for 3,337 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions while completing over 70% of his passes.
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Corral's success can likely be linked to offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who left his post as the quarterbacks' coach at UCF to become the offensive coordinator in Oxford.
Lebby's "Air Raid" offense put Corral in the best position to showcase his strengths and allow him to succeed. While turnovers were a bit higher than you'd want them to be, the pros outweighed the cons and the improvement from 2019 to 2020 was significant.
Now, as he heads into his third year as a starter, Corral must limit his mistakes as much as possible if he wants to capture the attention of NFL scouts. Of those 14 interceptions, six were thrown against Arkansas and five were thrown against LSU. The Rebels were undefeated last season in games where Corral did not throw a pick, so prohibiting these mistakes is paramount to Ole Miss' success in 2021.
Having a full offseason to get comfortable with the offense, we expect Corral to be even better in 2021, and while he'll face stiff competition all season long, he has the ability to continue to be the biggest difference-maker for Ole Miss this season.
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