Pound the Table!: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Steve Dykes

Not at #4, but perhaps with our second round pick or trading up for a late first . Since A: He's projected to be at those rounds and B: He's better than Geno Smith.

Standing at 6-2,230 Barkley has a slightly above average frame for a QB. Most impressively is he finds the ball to the end zone(26 TDs, 39 TD's and 35 in a 'bad campaign'). Bad, perhaps for his team, but I believe Barkley did what he could to put the USC Trojans in a position to win games.

Barkley's combine results.

With 10 inch hands, Barkley should be able to control the ball. In fact, according to this he's never fumbled a ball.

I disagree with the questions about Barkley's arm strength, considering he averages 7.9 YPA. Of course, some of that may be due to precision routes in the WCO. But he's thrown passes of 75, 82 and 83. I think he can sling it.

Of some concerns, is his slow 40 yarder(4.8) but it appears he can time his throws and escape the pocket. Given his decent size, excellent hands and better arm strength than skeptics believe, my comparison would be to Jeff Garcia. A more modern/recent comparison would be Joe Flacco.

As for why he's better than Geno Smith, competition is the big red factor. USC was punished with sanctions, but even so, check out the strength of schedules for both:

Matt Barkley:




Geno Smith:




It's important to note that even though Geno Smith had 'tougher' schedules during his first two years. He played absolutely miserable, if not outright horrible as a starter against those high quality FBS opponents. His best game coming against Louisville.

Even more indicative is this recent year, given the talent of the Mountaineers and their strength of schedule how is it possible that they went 7-6?

No one will accuse Syracuse of being a world beater, but they beat Geno Smith TWICE in back to back years. Now mind you, there's special teams, defense,etc. Everything else to consider, but a QB is like a pitcher in baseball and his record is what it is.

Unfortunately, he hadn't shown consistency against higher opponents like King Felix did in MLB to justify his Cy Young award despite the Mariners sucking like all hell.

This is just my amateur opinion that Barkley's better than being given credit for, and concurring with the earlier scouting report that I believe Smith's benefited big time from lack of competition and played poorly when it was time to step up against higher ranked opponents.

Now, the ball's in BGN'S Court: Would you consider drafting Barkley round two if he's available there? Or, if you see the same potential I do, would you consider trading up for a late first to secure him?

USC Pro Day: Barkley throwing (via Lindsey Thiry)

Matt Barkley vs Oregon 2012 (via JMPasq)

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