A year ago, Matt Barkley was touted as one of the top 15 picks, one of the top 3 or 4 QB’s, in a quarterback rich draft. Instead of declaring for the draft though, he decided to head back to USC for his senior season. A move that I personally applaud. With Barkley back under center, the USC Trojans were the nations preseason number 1 team and favorite to win the National Championship.
Fast forward to April 2013.
The NFL draft is under way with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds completed and Matt Barkley is still undrafted! I don’t understand why Barkley is free falling like he is at a Tom Petty show, but I will give you my thought as to why he is still on the board.
I’m by no means a USC guy. Most times I find myself rooting against USC for various reasons, but mostly due to the fact that I think they get too much publicity for putting up gaudy numbers and win streaks while playing against super weak schedule. Here are a couple recent USC QB examples of having more fluff (hype) from USC’s talent and bad opponents than stuff (skill) to their actual game:
Exhibit A – Carson Palmer
Exhibit B – Matt Leinhart
Exhibit C – John David Booty
Exhibit D – Mark Sanchez
NFL scouts and front office officials might have discovered that USC attracts a ton of talent. Talent that I believe masks the ACTUAL ability of these quarterbacks that get all of the hype. If that is the case, my only questions is this: What took so damn long? I’ve been saying that for years!
I understand that USC had a bad year overall last season, being the preseason favorites and barely making it to the Sun Bowl and all, but is that ALL on Matt Barkley? With Lane Kiffin was calling the shots, I think not. I give Matt Barkley credit for actually getting USC to the Sun Bowl. Because it seemed like Kiffin was doing his best to not make a Bowl game with his horrid mismanagement.
Quarterback play is so critical at the NFL level. When two-thirds of the league, or at the very minimum, half of these NFL teams still need a legitimate signal caller, how does this guy not get his name called within the first three rounds???
Granted everyone has a different opinion, but I believe that Arizona, Jacksonville, Oakland, and Philadelphia are the most dire teams who need to look at options that aren’t currently on their roster. Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Tennessee would probably be the next tier down. I also think that Kansas City, Dallas, San Diego, and Chicago could venture to take a peak too.
Bottom line – there is never, I repeat, NEVER not a need for quarterback play in the NFL. Many teams may consider themselves set at the position, but some of those teams are probably wrong.