USC Trojans star quarterback Matt Barkley missed the final two games of the season after sustaining an AC sprain in his shoulder against the UCLA Bruins. Barkley’s injury costed him a crucial rivalry game against Notre Dame, as well as the bowl game against Georgia Tech. USC would lose both games with redshirt freshman Max Wittek at the helm, but Wittek showed plenty of flashes (including a cannon arm) that indicate he can be an All-Conference type talent for USC with some more seasoning.
According to a tweet from Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal , Barkley will not play in the Senior Bowl due to the shoulder injury.
This doesn’t affect Barkley’s draft stock directly, but it does place an even great strain on him to perform better at the Combine and during USC’s Pro Day.
This is one less opportunity for Barkley to turn his draft stock upwards, because he has fallen in scout’s minds and is viewed by some as a late first-round pick after once being regarded as a clear top ten pick.
The knocks on Barkley stem from his lack of arm strength, as well as the fact that he is a huge beneficiary of the talent around him. USC flopped despite having two excellent receivers in Marquis Lee and Robert Woods, and Barkley also threw 15 interceptions.
However, he was the third best QB in the Pac-12 in efficiency rating and did tie for the highest yards per pass attempt. Even so, Barkley should have led the conference in almost all of the major statistics.
Let’s hope Barkley can heal up and regain some of that momentum back, because high-upside prospects like Mike Glennon are becoming increasingly attractive to teams looking to nab a potential franchise quarterback. Barkley is viewed as a QB with little upside, but he does have incredible accuracy in the short and intermediate game.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.