Chip Kelly has an affinity for players who played their college football in the PAC-12. After all, Kelly is one of the best coaches in the history of the conference and he played against some real good competition when he was the head coach for four years at the University of Oregon. One of those players was USC‘s Matt Barkley. If he declared after his junior season, Barkely would’ve likely been a top-ten pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Instead, Barkely went in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Barkley’s career has been on a downward spiral since the end of his junior season. Even though his draft stock plummeted for last year’s draft, Barkley actually had the chance to show the coaches that he was worthy of being the starting signal-caller. When Michael Vick and Nick Foles both went down with injury, Barkley had a chance against the rival Dallas Cowboys to prove his worth. Unfortunately for him, Barkley threw three interceptions in one quarter alone and that was all she wrote for the California native.
Now eight months later, Foles has blossomed in front of everyone’s eyes and Vick is now a member of the New York Jets. With that being said, Barkley will likely be the undeclared backup quarterback heading into training camp. There may be some competition with Mark Sanchez, who is also a USC product, but Barkley has more potential. Plus, the Philadelphia Eagles have seen what Sanchez is capable of doing, and that is something that is detrimental to the team. Barkley is undersized and he looks scared in the pocket, but with the right tools around him, Barkley could become a reliable backup if Foles goes down with an injury.