Video: Draft Prospect Matt Barkley
Every day we’ll post a video and some background for one of the more interesting college players featuring in the 2013 NFL Draft. Today, we’re talking about USC’s Matt Barkley.
USC’s Matt Barkley may be a cautionary tale for future NFL prospects. After an outstanding Junior year during which he threw 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions Barkley’s name was mentioned in concert with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
However, instead of declaring for the draft in 2012 he opted to complete his Senior year and was quickly named favourite to win the Heismann trophy.
Unfortunately the 2012 season turned sour as the Trojans lost five games on the season, resulting in an 7-5 record. To make matters worse, Barkley was knocked out of their game against UCLA with a shoulder injury. While his draft stock had been hit by a good-but-not-great performance in 2012 (36 TDs, 15 INTs) the shoulder injury was a disaster. The previously unanimous top 10 pick has now found himself outside the first round.
The majority of criticism levelled at Barkley surrounds his arm. Scouts warn that he does not have a very good deep ball and that he tends to loft it up too much, risking interception. While it has been noted that he can be lethally accurate at times scouts have also suggested that he can be a little inconsistent with short to intermediary throws.
The pendulum had clearly swung back from the hype after his 2011 season, however scouts are now beginning to find the medium when assessing his work.
Like just about any QB, Matt Barkley operates better with a clean pocket but his presence is better than some NFL starting QBs. Easily.
— Ryan Lownes (@ryanlownes) February 19, 2013
Barkley now has stated he will not throw at the combine with his shoulder still not completely healed, and scouts will have to wait until the USC Pro Day to see how his arm has faired.
Barkley’s best chance to improve his draft stock in the interview room, if he could stress his leadership qualities and game knowledge he could well sneak his way back into the first round.