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Face of the Franchise: NFL Draft Experts Pick New QB for Washington - Matt Corral

One former player, and his analytics founding partner, take an early look at the 2022 NFL Draft's First Round

It's a mock draft season, and for the Washington Football Team sitting at No. 11, there's going to be lots of speculation about trading, picking, and who to take if they stay there. 

Quarterback is obviously the topic of discussion these days, and finding the next leader of the franchise is even more important than the name and logo being unveiled in just a couple of weeks now. 

And that's where the hosts of the Locked On NFL Draft Podcast, Eric Crocker (former NFL and AFL cornerback) and Ryan Tracy (founder of Analytics Matrix), turned their attention when putting out one of their earliest mock drafts this season.

With the 11th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Crocker and Tracy have Washington selecting Matt Corral, the quarterback out of Ole Miss.

"Gunslinger (who can) can move, similar to (Ryan) Fitzpatrick," the duo said about the pick. But they cautioned, "Medical (is) a factor."

There are certainly some good things to like about Corral. His toughness, for example. 

Not exactly a running quarterback in the purest sense, he can still move the chains with his legs when called to do so, or he sees an opportunity. 

The downside to this is his willingness to take on defenders, leading to some of the injury concerns. 

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In the short and intermediate areas of the passing game, Corral can be decisive and knows how to put the right amount of zip behind a pass based on location, timing in the route, and depth of receiver compared to the defense. 

Where his tape can be worrisome is in the deep area of the field. Far too often his deeper passes are late, slow to arrive, or simply off target.

A lot of this is mechanics-based, as he tends to throw from a narrow base when he misses. This is because of timing a lot when he is so late deciding when to pass that he can't afford to take the time needed to set his front foot before letting the ball go. 

His arm motion is quick and sturdy, and his leadership ability has been praised by many.

At the end of the day, like all prospects, Corral has some impressive strengths and some noticeable - but fixable - flaws. He's also 6'1, so not the ideal height for an NFL quarterback, but not the shortest we've seen.

Can Washington win with his strengths while minimizing and correcting his flaws? That's the question head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew will need to answer, before selecting him in the 2022 NFL Draft, this spring.