Spoiler alert! In the next 2013 NFL Mock Draft I make following the 2012 NFL Draft, I will not have USC quarterback Matt Barkley going no. 1 overall. In fact, I don’t even have Barkley going in the top five, let alone the top 10. It’s at this point that your jaw literally drops.
I loved watching Matt Barkley competing for USC last season. Barkley really did have a fantastic season, helping USC defeat Oregon on the road and taking Stanford to triple-overtime.
Barkley has had excellent protection on the offensive line during his first three seasons with USC. As a freshman in 2009, Barkley had Charles Brown, a 2010 NFL prospect, at left tackle and Tyron Smith at right tackle. A year later, Barkley had Matt Kalil at left tackle and Tyron Smith at right tackle. In 2011, USC’s offensive line allowed a nation low eight sacks and Kalil, who will be leaving for the NFL Draft, did not give up a single sack after beating out Tyron Smith to be USC’s left tackle.
Leading up to the Spring game, Barkley has struggled in some of USC’s practice sessions without Matt Kalil at left tackle. Barkley has also received less reps and is working with some of the younger quarterbacks to help prepare them for after his departure. Barkley is also generating an overwhelming amount of exposure heading into this season.
Even though he lost 3 of his five starters on the offensive line, Andrew Luck has Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro returning at left tackle and right guard. Barkley lost his blue-chip blindside tackle in Matt Kalil after losing right tackle Tyron Smith, who was the top offensive tackle selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. Watching his freshman and sophomore tape, it is apparent that Barkley struggled to make quick decisions even though he had tons of time with USC allowing the nations fewest sacks last season.
USC has Robert Woods as their main target. The Trojans also have some inexperienced playmakers beginning to develop: sophomores Marqise Lee, Randall Telfer, and Xavier Grimble.
Everyone is pampering Matt Barkley as Andrew Luck is the stone cold lock to be the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. However, Matt Barkley could easily regress and have a Jake Locker-like senior campaign now that Kalil is gone.
I will be doing a contest where you got to guess the team and the overall pick that I got Barkley falling to. Post your guesses in the comment page, send me a tweet @ CMRRansom, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your guesses.
The first person to correctly guess the team and the pick that I project Barkley to go to will have the option to co-host a 2012 NFL Draft podcast for the first round next Thursday.
My podcast, “Draft Utopia,” is going to air our 20th episode on “Talkshoe” with pick-by-pick analysis for Thursday’s picks of the 2012 NFL Draft next Thursday. It’s the perfect opportunity to input your take on an NFL draft pick if you just want to watch the 2012 NFL Draft without hearing non-stop commotion from the Mel Kiper Jr.’s and Mike Mayock’s of the NFL draft world.
There is another contest we are also running. Its the Andrew Luck VS Robert Griffin III roundtable discussion. The winner of this contest will also have the option of coming on as a co-host for next Thursday’s 2012 NFL Draft special.
Two contests to enter and two chances to win. You have till 6:00 p.m. today to submit guesses for who you think lands Matt Barkley at what pick, so good luck. We are revealing where Barkley lands on our 19th episode tonight at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. On Saturday, I will look at the top case for Luck and the top case for RGIII, allowing someone to vote for which quarterback they like better leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.