With Super Bowl LVI now a little more than three weeks away, Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN decided Wednesday was a great time to release his first mock draft of 2022. In that mock, Kiper has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral at 20th overall. Below is what Kiper wrote about sending Corral to the Steelers in the first-round.
Like the Saints, the Steelers could immediately contend if they can figure out their quarterback position this offseason. Ben Roethlisberger appears likely to retire. I don’t see backups Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins as NFL starters. They do have a strong core on both sides of the ball, though. If they acquire a veteran signal-caller via free agency or in a trade, this could be a spot to target a linemen to help a below-average O-line, but let’s assume for now that they go into the draft without adding one.
Corral fits the mentality of what Mike Tomlin wants from his team. He’s tough. He took a beating in multiple games in 2021, even running 30 times for 195 yards in a win over Tennessee. Oh, and he’s a stellar passer, too, with touch, accuracy and arm strength. At 6-foot, he’s not the biggest quarterback, but he threw 20 touchdown passes and just five picks this season. Corral sprained his ankle in the Rebels’ bowl game but should be fine to work out at the combine. Because he hasn’t yet graduated from school, he’s the only one of the top QBs who won’t be at the Senior Bowl, but he’ll get his chance to show his skill set in front of scouts later.
Based on what Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said during his Tuesday end-of-season press conference, we can’t rule out the possibility of the Steelers drafting a quarterback this year, and in the first round at that. If indeed a quarterback is sought after in this year’s draft, we can probably count on the Steelers looking for one with mobility, as Tomlin has talked quite a bit about that needed characteristic quite a bit over the course of the last several months.
This past season, Corral, who measures in at around 6016, 205 pounds, threw for 3,349 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions. For his career, Corral threw for 8,281 yards with 57 total touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Corral also ran with the football quite a bit during his college career. In total, he rushed for 1,338 yards and 18 touchdowns on 334 attempts.
Corral was the third quarterback selected in the first round in Kiper’s Wednesday mock draft, as he mocked Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett ahead of putting Corral to the Steelers. Expect a lot of major media mocks to include the Steelers selecting a quarterback in the first round this year at 20th overall, especially if free agency passes without the team signing a veteran to replace the retiring Ben Roethlisberger. We obviously will have more breakdowns of Corral on the way in the coming weeks but in the meantime, below are two that our own Jonathan Heitritter has completed on the Mississippi product.