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Matt Corral practices with the Panthers for the first time

Carolina's third-round pick could compete with Sam Darnold for the starting job.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There's not much to glean from a quarterback's first day of rookie minicamp in the NFL, but two things stood out about Panthers' third-round pick Matt Corral on the field on Friday.

Corral's quick throwing release, said by experts to be the fastest in the 2022 quarterback draft class, was on display with some fast, snap throws to his fellow rookies.

The former Ole Miss signal caller also seemed to take good command of the huddle, and rally his teammates. Of course, that was in a huddle full of rookies. Corral will have to impress his veteran teammates soon.

But he seems like someone who's up for the challenge.

Because of a bowl game injury, and some perceived off-the-field issues, Corral fell to the third round of last month's draft. That's when the Panthers traded up to take him.

Corral was in Las Vegas for the draft and watched his name slide to the No. 94 overall selection in person.

"I had a chip on my shoulder before but it just got even bigger," Corral said. "It was a roller coaster for sure. It was a bunch of mixed emotions. When I got that phone call, I've never truly been happy and sad at the same time. I've never felt that way before."

Quickly after his selection, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Corral fell because of "unreliable behavior" including issues with alcohol.

"Truthfully I don't know where that came from," Corral said. "That was honestly the first time I heard that."

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said the team did extensive background research on Corral and felt comfortable making the pick.

"We got nothing but positive feedback. I got nothing but honesty from Matt," Rhule said. "There was never an off-field concern for me."

Corral will compete with incumbent Sam Darnold, who struggled in 2021, for the starting spot.

Rhule also indicated the Panthers could still be in the market for a veteran QB like Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo. 

"We want to have a really strong quarterback room, so I don't think we would say no to a veteran at this point," Rhule said.

Contact Nick Carboni at ncarboni@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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