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2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Matt Barkley

  • Matt Barkley, 6-3/227

  • Quarterback

  • USC

  • Matt Barkley Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Extremely experienced
  • Distributes the ball to a variety of weapons
  • Good on touch passes
  • Basis for good footwork
  • Gamer
  • Decision-making
  • Field vision
  • Accurate in college
  • Intelligent
  • Confident
  • Good work ethic
  • Leader
  • Book smart
  • Improved his game
  • Great intangibles
  • Does lots of charity work; will be a good presence in the community

  • Weaknesses:
  • Arm strength
  • Lacks mobility
  • Coming off shoulder injury
  • Not a dual threat
  • Only fits a West Coast offense
  • Good but not great size
  • Accuracy may not translate as well in NFL

  • Summary: Barkley could have been a top-10 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he decided to return to USC for his senior season. Barkley doesn't regret the decision, but he definitely hurt his draft stock for the NFL. While Barkley disappointed as a senior, there are plenty of teams that need quarterback help.

    Barkley is as experienced and prepared as any quarterback could be entering the NFL. He laid claim to the Trojans' starting quarterback position as a freshman and completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,735 yards and 15 touchdowns, but also threw 14 interceptions. He made progress as a sophomore completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 2,791 yards with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

    Barkley's best season came as a junior in 2011. He had many prolific passing games, including throwing for six touchdown passes against UCLA and Colorado. He also led USC to a signature road win over Oregon. Barkley completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He was fantastic at getting the ball to his play-makers and avoiding mistakes. The Trojans' offense was extremely efficient and put up a lot of points.

    There were a few different reasons why Barkley's senior year went poorly. The biggest issue was a bad season from USC's offensive line. Barkley lost left tackle Matt Kalil to the NFL, and the Trojans had young inexperienced replacements. The rest of the offesnive line struggled as well. As a result, Barkley was under a lot of pressure and took a lot of hits. USC's defense had problems, too, and often put Barkley in bad situations.

    The senior didn't play well against Stanford or Washington, and was just average against California. He also had underwhelming games versus UCLA and Arizona. Barkley injured his shoulder against the Bruins after sustaining a massive shot from outside linebacker Anthony Barr. That knocked Barkley out against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,273 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2012.

    The shoulder injury was said to be the reason that Barkley couldn't compete at the Senior Bowl or Combine. He is scheduled to throw for scouts before the 2013 NFL Draft. It appears that Barkley and his advisors are playing things extreme caution. He did interview well at the Combine and many believed he helped himself in Indianapolis.

    As a quarterback, Barkley has the potential to be a competent game-manager. He is well-versed in the West Coast offense and moves the ball well in the short passing game. Barkley does not possess a big gun for an arm that can rip the ball downfield into tight windows. To make a downfield throws, he has to rely on timing, anticipation and the talent of his receiver.

    Barkley also isn't a mobile quarterback. There is no way he is going to make plays with his feet on any read-option plays. He is a pocket passer who has good field vision and generally good decision-making. His interceptions went up as a senior because he was pressing and forcing throws to avoid opponents' pass rush.

    Barkley's physical skill set is just slightly above average, but he is intelligent and instinctive. Barkley will need a stellar supporting cast with a good line and receiving targets to be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. He could distribute the ball to play-makers on short to intermediate passes and let them make plays.

    Barkley grades out as a second-round pick for the 2013 NFL Draft, but he could sneak into the end of the first round to a team that is desperate for a quarterback. With his intelligence and work ethic, Barkley should quickly pick up his new offense and be ready to play during his rookie season.

    Player Comparison: Matt Schaub. Barkley and Schaub have similar playing styles. Both quarterbacks do well in a West Coast system and distributing the ball to play-makers. Schaub is a good game-manager who can make the throws needed to augment the Texans' powerful ground game. Both Barkley and Schaub make up for a lack of arm strength with intelligence, anticipation and throwing the ball accurately on time. Barkley could be an NFL quarterback like Schaub if he goes to a good team. Schaub was a third-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and Barkley also grades out as a second-day pick.

    NFL Matches: Arizona, Buffalo, Jacksonville, New York Jets, Cleveland

    There are a lot of quarterback-needy teams that could talk themselves into using an early-round pick on Barkley. While he doesn't grade out as a first-rounder, he could go in the top 32 just from the demand at the position. If Barkley falls into the second round, there are options for him.

    Arizona and Buffalo may be desperate enough to trade up into the end of the first round for Barkley. Neither team has its long-term starter on the roster. There have been some rumors that the Cardinals really like Barkley.

    The Jaguars and Jets feature busts Blaine Gabbert and Mark Sanchez as their starters. They are top competitors for being the worst quarterback in the NFL. Jacksonville and New York could strongly consider Barkley in the second round as a replacement for those disappointments.

    If Barkley falls in the 2013 NFL Draft, he could be targeted by the Browns in the third round as competition for Brandon Weeden.

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    Gracelynn 03-07-2014 07:36 am (total posts: 1)
    1     1

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    Luna 01-02-2014 07:55 pm (total posts: 1)
    3     3

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    JCM 04-25-2013 03:01 pm (total posts: 1)
    8     10

    I don't buy into comparing players of a school to others of that school at same position.

    Like MB as a QB: he isn't a party animal like Sanchez or Leinhart and is a better leader.

    But... did Woods and Lee make MB or vice versa?

    Still, I like Woods to the Vikes at 27 and Barkley to Buffalo in round 2, unless someone has secretly fell in love with him and snatches him up in rnd 1.
    Adronis 04-14-2013 08:16 pm (total posts: 1)
    8     10

    I truly believe he will be a sleeper and will have a desent NFL career as a starting quarterback. Besides his bad Senior season, he was graded high as close to being equal with pac 12 rival Andrew Luck in 2011. I believe this kid can start maybe a year or two from now in the league, but I believe he's going to be the most successful trojan qb and he just needs a chance.
    I love a parade! 04-10-2013 01:32 am (total posts: 1)
    8     9

    will he be an oakland raider?

    that is the word on the street
    Live 03-22-2013 12:23 pm (total posts: 1)
    9     9

    Best QB in this year's draft. Hope Arizona gets him. He and Fitz would put up monster numbers.
    BTS99 03-22-2013 08:07 am (total posts: 1)
    12     9

    I think what makes me laugh is that i feel Matt is having a Jake Locker affect. Comes back to play QB for one more year, team performs poorly, and instead of being evaluated by combine experts as 1st round grade still, he is now a 2nd-4th round grade depending on who is evaluating. Instead of focusing on his positives, they focus on everything he isn't perfect at. Yet mark my words, if Jack Locker can still get drafted in the first round pick 8(maybe not number 1 like Kiper said during Lockers Junior season), so too will Barkley.
    Spiderman 03-14-2013 03:36 pm (total posts: 1)
    11     228

    Yeah Sam Bradford-first overall pick, Stafford-first overall pick, RGIII-second overall pick, Matt Barkley-second round?? even in the weakest QB draft class in years. I don't know Bman's comment got so many thumbs down when everything is said is 100% true; USC QBs have had very little success in the NFL both in terms of championships and individual QB metrics. Plus personally I think he's a tool..
    Surender 03-11-2013 06:06 am (total posts: 1)
    10     10

    Please do another vid. The cooybws are thinking about taking Barron n it's really making me mad. Make a vid that we can send to the cooybws for them to draft in the first round. So we can spam them not to draft Barron please this is crucial´╗┐ a Super Bowl or no Super Bowl situation. Please make vid please.
    Bman32x 02-20-2013 01:51 pm (total posts: 1)
    30     366

    This is hilarious Walt. I don't know why anyone is surprised. Who is the last REALLY good, reliable QB who didn't fit the "noodle arm" and crumble under pressure moniker? Carson Palmer has been BETTER than most, but even his skill set is limited and ultimately showed his ceiling of success.

    Barkley, looks closer to the Mark Sanchez end of the spectrum to me, who even in the NFL fooled everyone an extra 2 years bc we underestimated the impact the Jets defense had on those two AFC championship games.
    Nat 02-20-2013 01:35 pm (total posts: 1)
    105     17

    These scouts act like he's the first QB to ever defer his crucial workouts to his pro day. Bradford, Stafford, RG3, Luck (among others) all decided to throw at their pro day opposed to throwing at the Combine. These comments suggest something beneath this prejudice against Southern Cal., no?


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