The Patriots continue to grind on their roster as, according to reports coming in on Thursday evening, they will add quarterback Matt Corral to their 53-man roster and receiver Jalen Reagor to their practice squad. The two pending additions could provide some needed depth at important positions that have been somewhat in transition over the last two days.
Reagor's first-round pedigree offers some intrigue but he's been a disappointment through his first three seasons, two of which were spent in Philadelphia where he pulled in 64 catches and just three touchdowns. He was traded to Minnesota last offseason but only produced eight catches off of 13 total targets for the season.
Arriving in New England should provide a second fresh start for Reagor, who was regarded as a "fluid and explosive" athlete coming out of TCU. He had first-round talent and now can work behind the scenes to see if he can get his career back on track.
With Tyquan Thornton landing on Injured Reserve and DeVante Parker missing from practice this week, there could be a more pressing need for gameday depth at receiver. The two rookies Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte could see expanded opportunities arrive early if Parker's injury issue drags into next week. That's something that also could put Reagor quickly on the radar, potentially to face the team that selected him 21st overall just a few years ago.
Corral to Back Up?
When the Patriots cut Bailey Zappe on Tuesday indications seemed that the team would be in the market for another backup quarterback, likely a veteran with some experience, and on Thursday it appears they pounced when Carolina released their 2022 third-rounder Matt Corral.
Ironically, Corral missed all of his rookie season after suffering a lisfranc injury against the Patriots last preseason. Now, it looks like he'll return to where his 2022 went off track.
Corral is undersized but has a strong arm and all kinds of smarts and leadership traits that made him one of the top quarterback prospects in last year's draft. With almost no NFL experience he's still a raw player that will likely need time to adapt in a number of areas. In that regard, he's an interesting choice compared to Zappe, who gained NFL experience last year and already had a full offseason in the offense.
Corral has high-level traits but has seen his development stuck in neutral due to subpar weaponry around him in college and then the injury bug that hit him just as he was starting his pro career. He went 28-of-47 for 249 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and five sacks this preseason, a 64.9 rating.
Coral is a developmental flier with some skill to work with at the most important position in the game, but he's a far cry from an experienced veteran like Colt McCoy or Carson Wentz some threw around as options in the aftermath of cutdown day.
Now, with Corral reportedly joining the roster and Zappe on the practice squad, it will be a continuing competition that will go on behind the scenes for the back-up quarterback job. Either way, the winner will be low on NFL experience behind Mac Jones.