Let's start off this way: Matt Barkley And Robert Griffin III were both 2012 1st round projected qbs. Robert Griffin III came pro, and after a great season, severely damaged his knee for the second time in his career. Now, he's recovering from a second major knee surgery. Everyone sees RGIII as a top QB.
Matt Barkley elected to remain in college. While the team did not dominate as hoped for, Matt Barkley also suffered an injury to his throwing arm - his first. And he's also on the road back. And yet, suddenly he drops to a 4th round and some feel that was 3 rounds too high?
The reality is that the NFL is media driven, and much of what we think and feel can be traced back to a story, article, blog, or opinion of someone in the business. It's natural. The problem with that thinking is that it builds momentum and is virtually impossible to turn on a dime.
RGIII is a true talent - but his 2013 season will be a huge test of that talent. Not only will he be struggling to get onto the NFL field, but his style of play, and the redskins offense, will need to change dramatically to avoid any more injuries to the now IIIrd version of his knee.
Matt Barkley is a true talent as well. But his 2013 season will be a huge test of another kind. The NFL has gone on without him. He chose loyalty, to stay at college, and finish what he started. Despite these admirable qualities, the NFL couldn't sell him, and now he's the "johnny come lately" of yesterday. Everyone has written him off. The NFL that once held him up as a star of 2012, walked passed him in the 2013.
Sounds a little bit like the Eagles of recent years, doesn't it?
Who better to have on the team and give a chance at quarterback? I don't want the Eagles to anoint this kid as the starter. I don't want the Eagles to make it easy for Matt Barkley in the least! But he is unanimously considered to be the most NFL ready QB of this 2013 class. He has talent. His accuracy is admirable, For 116 college TDs thrown, he tossed a mere 48 INTs. He has played against some of the best competition in college football, and has amassed some incredible stats. So can he play at the NFL level?
USC has a reputation of sending bad quarterbacks into the NFL. While some of it is indeed warranted, the caliber of teams USC quarterbacks ends up on deserves quite a bit of that blame. Matt Cassell played lights out in New England with a superior offense, but struggled in kansas city with fewer weapons. Matt Leinart was anointed an NFL star before taking one snap for Arizona. While Mark Sanchez did make it to the playoffs for the Jets, his team was defense and running game driven, and he also was drafted early.
With Matt Barkley, there is no inheritance from college to place him on the NFL stage. Much like the eagles, his fall from the spotlight has been as much a product of over-hyping him previously as his own shortcomings. Much like the eagles, his 2013 outlook has been deeply discounted by NFL fans and pundits.
But, along comes this new coach, Chip Kelly with a new philosophy. Win the Day. Do everything you can to place yourself in a position to succeed.
Chip elected to become the eagles head coach. Chip elected Matt Barkley.
Maybe there is something to be said for a team trying to scrap back it's self respect with a quarterback with the same mission.
We're coming off a 4-12 season, folks. This feels like the road back.