New York Jets Interest in Matt Barkley Draws Similar Comparisons to Previous Drafts

By Stephen Conway

The New York Jets quarterback situation keeps on getting more and more interesting as names continue to surface to come in and compete with Mark Sanchez.

Most recently, the Jets have come out publicly with interest in free agent David Garrard, who they worked out last week. Garrard could be a nice fit, but he is certainly not a long term solution and not the type of acquisition that will excite Jets fans and fill up seats.

If the Jets go this route, which they should, they would have to dive into the draft and pick a quarterback who could compete for the starting spot. Because of such a weak quarterback class in the 2013 draft, it’s difficult to pinpoint a possible prospect. However, with speculation that the Jets are interested in USC product Matt Barkley, there’s a good chance that you could see Barkley in the green and white next season.

Earlier in February, the Jets reportedly interviewed Barkley and may have an interest in making him the successor to Sanchez. Barkley had a disappointing senior year, which hurt his draft stock. But he had a promising college career, which makes his draft stock interesting.

Right now, Barkley is projected to go late first round or early second round. The Jets have the ninth overall pick. It’s ludicrous to think that they will use their ninth pick on him, but don’t rule out the possibility of them trading up to grab him or trading down in picks to get the best value for the USC quarterback.

If you remember, the Jets were in a a similar situation when they drafted D-Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold in the same draft in 2006. Ferguson was the Jets’ first overall pick and then they traded up to get Mangold in the later part of the first round. A similar situation could present itself if the Jets show more interest in Barkley.

There are some question marks about Barkley’s commitment to football as well as his overall skill set. He would fit well in the Jets new offense and would be an exciting rookie to see picked up by the team. Another huge question mark is the worry about him becoming a potential bust like Sanchez. Hopefully, that’s not the case.

It’s not out of the question that the Jets could pick up Barkley, Sanchez’s successor, in order to compete with him for the starting spot. Wouldn’t that be something? Maybe Barkley will be able to snap the streak of USC quarterbacks becoming busts once they enter the league.

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