NFL Network's Charlie Casserly recently released his "all value" team in which he picks the 10 players he felt represented the best value for where they were taken. The former Redskins & Texans GM named Matt Barkley among his best value picks.
"I rate him higher than Andy Dalton coming out of college, as Barkley is a more accurate deep passer," he wrote. "I think Barkley is a very similar prospect to Matt Schaub when he entered the NFL back in 2004; both players are smart and know where to go with the ball, but neither boasts a big-time arm."
It seems to be a general consensus among draftniks that Barkley was a great value pick for the Eagles. You can certainly see why. He was seen as a potential top 10 pick after his junior season, but a below average by his standards senior season hurt his stock. However, there are reasons to believe it wasn't all his fault. He did get injured during the year, USC was really feeling the effects of lack of scholarships they'd had over the past few years and of course there's the presence of Lane Kiffin...
All that said, I'm always wary of so called great value picks for one big reason. Typically, a guy is seen as a value pick if he goes lower than where draft pundits expected them to go. Problem is, even the best draft pundits have far less knowledge and resources than actual NFL teams.
So we judge a guy to be a "value" pick when actual NFL teams appear to value a guy less than draft pundits do. Now, sometimes guys who "fall" on draft day do end up being very good players and therefore good value picks. But until Matt Barkley plays like anything more than a 4th round pick, I'm just going to assume that NFL teams let Barkley slip for a reason and that they know more than the draft pundits.