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New Matt in Town? Should Falcons Target Ole Miss QB Corral at No. 8?

The Falcons could be in prime position to draft Matt Ryan's successor with the 8th overall pick.

The Atlanta Falcons could go in a number of different directions when they are on the clock with the 8th overall pick in April's NFL Draft.

One option that could intrigue them is selecting Matt Ryan's successor with their first pick, someone that could potentially be Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral.

Corral is one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class and his combination of a cannon for an arm and his speed could intrigue the Falcons.

To gain more insight on Corral, we spoke with The Grove Report's John Macon Gillespie, who has closely followed Corral's career in Oxford.

Matt Corral is seen as one of the top two or three quarterbacks in this draft class. Based on his play the last two seasons at Ole Miss, is that fair?

Absolutely. Corral has always had the arm talent, but his decision making evolved in a profound way under Lane Kiffin and Jeff Lebby. That paired with the physical progression of any young quarterback has made him special to watch. Make no mistake: Ole Miss doesn’t win 10 games in 2021 without Matt Corral at the helm. Once his growing pains in the NFL are out of the way, he can change the course of a franchise.

What are his biggest strengths?

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The arm talent is the most apparent, but his leadership skills changed in a positive way over his Ole Miss career. He’s always been fiery and a “gunslinger,” but he came a long way from being involved in an Egg Bowl brawl in 2018 to being a vocal and emotional leader for this program by 2021.

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What are his biggest weaknesses?

Man, it’s hard to say. I guess it’s his efforts in the running game, if that makes sense. He’s a competitor, and too often at Ole Miss, he put his body on the line on the ground. It cost him some mileage in 2021, for sure. Being a competitor is one of his greatest strengths too, but he has to be smart when he scrambles in the NFL.

What are the best and worst possible scenarios for Corral in the NFL?

Best case—he ends up with a competent coaching staff that has some playmakers around him on the roster and an offensive line that can protect him.

Worst case—the exact opposite. Falling into a situation in a franchise that is a proverbial dumpster fire.

In short, he has all the talent in the world and can be a huge success at the next level. But, as we’ve seen time and time again in the NFL, a lot of that comes down to who drafts you and when. It will be interesting to follow.