There’s no question the biggest surprise from the 2013 NFL Draft was the fact that it took up until the fourth round for USC quarterback Matt Barkley to get selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 98th pick in the fourth round.
This year’s quarterback class may not have been as talented as previous years, but Barkley was a player that most likely would have been a top-five pick last year if he didn’t make the decision to return for his senior season with the Trojans. Say what you want about his arm strength, but he’s proven over the last couple of weeks that it shouldn’t be an issue and he’s certainly worth the risk.
Despite what happened with the Trojans last season, you can’t deny the fact that Barkley threw for nearly 7,000 passing yards and 75 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Not many players can say they’ve been a starting quarterback with a team since their freshman year and Barkley has sown potential since day one.
He may not have what it takes to be a starter during his rookie season, but Barkley is certainly worth the risk this late in the draft when it comes to having a backup. If anything, Barkley could develop into a solid quarterback with a year or two of mentoring as a backup.
Barkley falling to the fourth round was the biggest surprise of this year’s draft and it will be interesting to see what type of chip this leaves on his shoulder when it comes to proving himself at the pro level to all of the other 31 teams who decided to pass on him. He may not be the running type of quarterback for Chip Kelly‘s offense, but this is a huge steal for Philadelphia at this point in the draft.
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