NFC Rumors: Corral, Howell, Garoppolo, Bears

Many expected there to be an early run on quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Although nine passers did hear their names called in the three-day event, only Steelers’ selection Kenny Pickett was a Day 1 pick. With first-round hopefuls such as Desmond Ridder (Falcons), Malik Willis (Titans), and Matt Corral (Panthers) all falling to the later days of the draft, what does the 2022 NFL season look like for each rookie?

When looking at the potential debut dates for each quarterback, it was determined that only one quarterback was essentially a lock to play in their rookie season, according to ESPN’s David Newton, and it isn’t the first-round pick. When breaking down the percentage chance for each quarterback to start in Week 1, the percentage chance for each rookie to sit all season, and the best prediction for when each player will make their first start, Newton gave Carolina’s Corral a zero-percent chance of sitting all season. The next closest was Ridder, who was given a 20% chance of sitting all season, in the case that Mariota solidifies himself as Atlanta’s starter and keeps them near playoff contention.

Corral shares a position room with incumbents Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker, who both failed to impress in starts last year. Even after bringing back Cam Newton, the Panthers didn’t have a single quarterback on their roster complete at least 60% of their passes or throw more touchdowns than they did interceptions. With Carolina seeing such abysmal quarterback play last year, there is absolutely justification in the assertion that the Panthers are almost guaranteed to give Corral a look at some point in the season.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC, starting with a note on another rookie quarterback:

  • Also a first-round hopeful at points in the pre-draft process, Washington’s first selection of the fifth-round this year, Sam Howell, is potentially on the opposite end of the spectrum from Corral. Howell can probably be considered a guarantee to sit his entire rookie season for the Commanders. A couple weeks before deciding to select Howell, Washington traded second- and seventh-round picks to the Colts in exchange for veteran quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz will likely take the starting job in DC with last year’s starter, Taylor Heinicke, filling the role of highly qualified backup. Heinicke, though, is in a contract year and drafting Howell provides the Commanders with the option of letting Heinicke walk if the price isn’t right or the need isn’t there. Unfortunately for Howell, this likely means he won’t see the field anytime soon. Fortunately for Howell, he’ll have the old-fashioned approach of sitting, learning, and developing as a new NFL quarterback.
  • The 49ers have been trying for months to work some trade-value out of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. An intriguing trade possibility was hatched during today’s episode of the 49ers Talk podcast involving another team that been looking for trade partners this offseason. NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan discussed the idea of trading Garoppolo to the Browns. Cleveland has been attempting to dump Baker Mayfield off for some value maybe even more desperately than San Francisco has with Garoppolo and offseason trade acquisition Deshaun Watson could be staring down a year-long suspension. Behind Mayfield and Garoppolo, the Browns roster Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs. While, at times, the Browns have boasted confidence in Brissett should they need him, that confidence may have been based on the assumption that Watson would only miss a couple games. A one-year suspension may have Cleveland entertaining the possibility of acquiring their fourth new quarterback of the offseason.
  • At an extremely unlikely time for such moves to be happening, the Bears fired director of player engagement LaMar Campbell this weekend, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Campbell had been with Chicago since 2015 and was most recently a member of the committee that was assembled as the team searched for a new general manager and head coaching tandem. Not only did Campbell have the trust of the owners and committee, but he was highly respected in the locker room, as well. The timing is rough for Campbell as, at this point in the offseason, most teams have already completed their spring cleaning and hiring of their support staffs.
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