NFL Draft: The Mistake of Matt Barkley Returning to College for Senior Year

Matt Barkley

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Year after year, top prospects decide to return to college instead of being a first round prospect in the NFL Draft. These players then fall on the draft board after having a lackluster senior year, and it is no different for USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

What seemed like unlimited potential four years ago has now become nothing more than a list of weaknesses for Barkley. Throwing only seven interceptions in 2011, Barkley doubled that throwing 15 picks in just 11 games. Who would want a quarterback who averages an interception a game? The NFL is even more complex than college, and can not afford quarterbacks to make turnovers.

Other than interceptions, Barkley’s statistics were not too bad, except for losing big games against big name colleges in the Pac-12, having an 0-4 record against Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, and UCLA.

Just like quarterbacks from the past, Barkley has lost a a handful of money in his decision to return to college instead of being a potential top-10 pick. Jake Locker returned to Washington only to fade in the draft, and the same with Matt Leinart returning to USC. Leinart could have easily been drafted first overall the year before if he entered the draft.

Barkley shouldn’t slip past the second round, but it was rumored a year ago that he would be a top-10 pick. The best case for Barkley, a team drafts him and he gains experience behind a veteran quarterback. He is a work in progress, but he can play in the NFL if he is willing to get out of his comfort zone.

 


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