As we gear up for the 2013 NFL Draft, you will begin to see scouting reports on some of the hottest and most intriguing prospects in this year’s draft class. Prospects will have two remaining major chances to boost their draft stock — their school’s Pro Day and the NFL Scouting Combine. But while they can improve their stock at those events, the game film never lies. Let’s take a look at the tape.
The player in today’s scouting report is USC Trojans senior quarterback Matt Barkley.
Barkley entered the season looking like a potential No. 1 overall pick and the top-ranked quarterback, but a disappointing season for the team and an injury to his throwing shoulder delivered a blow to Barkley’s draft stock.
The experienced signal-caller did show off his recovery at the school’s Pro Day, but there are a number of questions that still surround his game.
How does Barkley check out? Here is the scouting report:
Player: Matt Barkley
School: Southern California
- Great field vision
- No off-field issues
- Great size
- Can make every NFL throw
- Pocket presence
- Great play-action fakes
- Can throw on the run
- Reads defense quickly
- Experience calling plays and audibles
- Underrated athleticism
- Lacks elite arm strength
- Injury concern
- Forces too many throws
- Not scheme versatile
- Deep ball lacks enough zip on consistent basis
- Always looks for a big play
Barkley’s offensive line didn’t do him any favors in 2012 and the injury to his throwing arm raises concern for an already perceived weak arm, but what Barkley lacks in arm strength he makes up for in intelligence. You won’t find a smarter quarterback in this year’s draft class or one that understands the game better both on and off-the-field. If you are looking for a face of your franchise, Barkley could be that man and he will not disappoint you. He has four years of starting experience in high school and another four years at the collegiate level.
Barkley is polished and very poised. He’s what you look for in a franchise signal-caller. If a team is comfortable running the West Coast offense, Barkley is a player that you need to consider. He may not come across as a top ten pick because of his physical limitations, but we have seen quarterbacks in the past that can excel with their elite intangibles.
When it is all said and done, Barkley’s understanding of football and ability to make quick reads should lead to success at the next level.