Matt Barkley was surrounded by a throng of reporters at Philadelphia Eagles mini camp last Friday, but it didn’t seem to faze the youngster a bit, answering all his questions clearly and concisely. In fact he raised a few eyebrows when he came out and said he expected to compete for a starting job right out of the gate as a rookie. In the past from guys like Kevin Kolb and Nick Foles we heard things like this is Michael or Donovan’s team, but that’s not so for the forthright and confident Mr. Barkley.
In all honesty we should have expected this. Barkley has not known what the bench feels like his entire prep and college career. He started as a wide eyed 14 year old as a freshman at perennial powerhouse Mater Dai High and excelled, becoming the top recruit in the country by his senior season. In unprecedented fashion he also started as a true freshman for Pete Carroll‘s then USC Trojans, something that had never been done before that point. Eight years of high school and college experience being the commander at QB should benefit Barkley’s transition to the NFL immensely. Deciding to stay for his senior season may have cost him millions as he may well have been a top 10 pick had he come out last year, but he feels like he is in the right situation now with coach Chip Kelly.
By all accounts Barkley was pretty impressive in the abbreviated mini camp and high octane Organized Team Activity (OTA) that Chip Kelly ran. He is known for being very accurate on short to intermediate throws with a quick release, but he needs to work on his deep ball accuracy. Barkley certainly has the look, feel, and immense pedigree of a franchise signal caller. Will he live up to the billing that was thrust on him since he was a bright eyed 14 year old? Only time will tell.