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Malachi Corley could be an explosive weapon for the Commanders

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By: dg28

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2024 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

Malachi Corley, WR
School: Western Kentucky | Conference: Conference USA
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 5’11” / 215 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 2-3

Player Comparison: Deebo Samuel

College Statistics

Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2020 Western Kentucky CUSA FR WR 9 6 65 10.8 0 0 0 0 6 65 10.8 0
*2021 Western Kentucky CUSA FR WR 14 73 691 9.5 7 1 -6 -6.0 0 74 685 9.3 7
*2022 Western Kentucky CUSA SO 14 101 1295 12.8 11 11 87 7.9 0 112 1382 12.3 11
*2023 Western Kentucky CUSA SR WR 12 79 984 12.5 11 4 11 2.8 0 83 995 12.0 11
Career Western Kentucky 259 3035 11.7 29 16 92 5.8 0 275 3127 11.4 29
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/16/2024.

Player Overview

Malachi Corley was a two-sport athlete in high school. He was a productive basketball player and a two-way football player. On the football field, Corley played cornerback and wide receiver. Despite receiving state-wide accolades for his play, Corley was lightly recruited as a two-star recruit and chose to stay in-state and play at Western Kentucky.

Once he became a Hilltopper in 2020, Corley would convert to receiver full-time and see action in nine games with minimal production. In 2021, when Bailey Zappe broke the NCAA record for completions and touchdowns, Corley played his part by hauling in 73 of those passes for seven touchdowns. It was 2022 that would be Corley’s breakout season. He topped 100 catches, had almost 1,300 yards, and had 11 touchdowns, but what was impressive is he led the country with 975 yards after the catch and 40 forced missed tackles. Corley’s 2023 was less productive, but he was named All-CUSA First Team for the second straight year.


  • Densely built like a running back
  • Glimpses of creative releases to beat press coverage at line of scrimmage
  • Flashes good hands to catch ball away from body
  • Great short-area burst to make quick cuts and avoid contact
  • Excellent contact balance and strength to shed tackles
  • Can turn short catches into long gains with ability to run after the catch


  • A lot of touches result of scheme and free releases
  • Production came on limited number of routes
  • Appears to body catch deeper passes instead of relying on hands
  • Seeks out contact unnecessarily; could save his body

Let’s See His Work

How He Fits on the Commanders

With the departure of Curtis Samuel to the Buffalo Bills and Antonio Gibson to the New England Patriots, the Commanders lost two of their more dynamic playmakers after the catch. The addition of Austin Ekeler should help, but the team could use another dynamic player on offense.

Malachi Corley can be electric with the ball in his hands and would bring a run after catch threat that the Commanders haven’t had at receiver in a long time. Kliff Kingsbury is a creative offensive mind that can manufacture touches for him in the passing and running game. He may need to do that frequently as Corley improves his route running. Corley’s skillset would allow him to line up throughout the formation wherever Kingsbury thinks he would have an advantage over the defense.

Although he would be most productive in the short and intermediate areas of the field, Corley has good enough speed, hands, and ball-tracking to occasionally beat defenders deep. The versatility and tough running after the catch make the comparisons to Deebo Samuel, a player Adam Peters is very familiar with, easy. Will he use a premium pick to make Corley D.C.’s Deebo?

Originally posted on Hogs Haven