USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley was a lock to be a top-10 pick had he entered the 2012 NFL Draft after his junior year. However, he returned for his senior season for an outside chance at the college football triple crown–Heisman Trophy, national championship and No. 1 overall pick. Needless to say, 2012 didn’t treat Barkley well but to say his draft stock has plummeted is a drastic understatement. So where will he end up when the 2013 NFL Draft finally arrives in April?
The Kansas City Chiefs hold the No. 1 overall pick this year and they need a quarterback. However, most mock drafts and player rankings have West Virginia‘s Geno Smith and Arkansas‘ Tyler Wilson ahead of Barkley now. Regardless, the Chiefs probably aren’t going to take either of those players simply because they’re not worth the top overall pick.
The kicker is Barkley likely won’t even be a first-round pick in April. The Chiefs are just one of several teams that need a quarterback, but they’ll wait until the second round to pick him up if he’s still there, which is looking more and more like a real possibility.
Barkley grew up wanting to be an NFL quarterback, he went to USC hoping to improve his chances, he has great mechanics, decent size and average speed but it’s both his arm and brian that have scouts worried.
Barkley’s senior season saw almost a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, which was much worse than his 5:1 ratio in 2011. Those two statistics alone explain why scouts’ interest in Barkley tanked between this season and last.
Barkley will likely be an early second-round pick on draft day unless some playoff team wants to snatch him up near the end of the first as a project for the future. Either way, Barkley likely won’t be making headlines (good ones, anyway) in the pros anytime soon.