Falcons Set to Host SEC Star: Report

Falcons Matt corral

Getty Matt Corral No.2 of the Mississippi Rebels.

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral will wrap up his 30-team visits this week with a stop in Flowery Branch, home of the Atlanta Falcons, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Corral tossed for 3,349 yards and 20 touchdowns while running for 614 yards and 11 scores during his final season with the Rebels.

Sports Illustrated’s Daniel Flick confirmed in a tweet on April 8 that Corral, along with Malik Willis (Liberty) and Sam Howell (UNC), are the only top quarterback prospects who have met privately with the Falcons ahead of next week’s draft––that the publish knows of.

The Falcons met with Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh) and Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) during the Senior Bowl, 2022 NFL Combine, and Pro Days––but there hasn’t been a report of either of them visiting Atlanta’s facility.

Flick also addresses via Twitter that just because they didn’t bring them in for a private visit, doesn’t necessarily mean Atlanta isn’t interested in them but rather they could be keeping those extra meetings on the down-low, so other teams don’t jump ahead of them, or they have seen enough from them.

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Corral Wants to Be a “Sponge”

Corral didn’t play in the Senior Bowl or workout at the combine as he was still recovering from an ankle injury but he still showed up to speak to the press.

“Teams need to know that I understand the game of football,” Corral said, via AtlantaFalcons.com. “I wanted to make that point. It’s definitely something that I wanted to show, that they knew the ability that I had not only in my physical ability but mental as well.”

At the time, Matt Ryan was still on the Falcons roster, so Corral was asked if he would he mind sitting a year or two behind the veteran.

“I’d absolutely have no problem with it,” Corral said, “but I’m a competitor and at the same time I would absolutely want to be the guy. I am going to push behind him and learn as much as I can from him. How could you not want to learn from a guy like that? At the end of the day, he’s a guy that I want to be like. I want to be on a team for 10-plus years and be a franchise quarterback. I want to be a sponge and absorb as much information as I can.”

Of course, things have changed now.

Ryan is out and Marcus Mariota is the Falcons’ presumed 2022 starter, which means he would be Corral’s “teacher.” That may not be the best thing for Corral’s future since Mariota has been playing a backup role over the last two seasons.

Mariota Is O.K. With Atlanta Drafting a QB

The Falcons have not named Mariota as their 2022 starting quarterback, yet, which could mean that they’re thinking about drafting one, and if that’s the case, Mariota understands.

“If it’s not me, it’s okay too,” Mariota told Falcons’ top insider Steve Wyche. “I’ve been in this situation before. It’s a ‘control what I can control,’ mindset. I have no ego. I can be an ear and listen. Teams are going to do what they’re going to do. If they do draft someone, I’ll give as much advice and knowledge as I can. If not, I’m ready to roll.”

Mariota spent the last two years as a backup quarterback where he appeared in 11 games, 10 of them coming last season. He went 18-of-30 passing (60%) for 230 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also added 175 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Whether he’s a backup or starter, Mariota just wants a permanent home in Atlanta.

“If things work out, hopefully, I’ll be here for the next few years,” Mariota said.


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