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Old 11-22-2012, 11:03 AM  
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Matt Barkley doesn't resemble elite quarterback prospect in 2012

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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...rback-prospect

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When Matt Barkley returned to USC for his senior year, it was likely with visions of bagging a national championship and the Heisman Trophy before entering the NFL as the No. 1 pick in next April's draft. However, Barkley's subpar performance in this disappointing season that has ensued is threatening to send him plummeting down draft boards across the league.

The Trojans are sitting at 7-4 with just one game remaining in the regular season, and USC is out of contention in the Pac-12 race. Barkley doesn't have a chance of winning college's top individual prize, either, with playmakers like Kansas State QB Collin Klein, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o emerging as the main contenders.

Now, it is important to note that Barkley was not a lock to be a top-10 pick a season ago. In fact, scouts told me last spring that Barkley wasn't a cinch to be the third quarterback in the 2012 draft class, despite having a more impressive collegiate résumé than Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill (who went to the Miami Dolphins with the eighth overall pick) and Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (drafted by the Cleveland Browns at 22nd overall). Evaluators cited Barkley's lack of elite physical tools (height, arm talent and athleticism) as major concerns. Although Barkley was listed at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, scouts questioned whether he was tall enough to play the position at the next level, and worried that his lack of athleticism would make him a sitting duck in the pocket.

Scouts also worried about Barkley's lack of elite arm strength. Although he displayed the capacity to make short and intermediate throws with zip and velocity, he didn't blow evaluators away with his deep-ball range, accuracy or touch. Barkley routinely underthrew his receivers on vertical throws, relying on Marqise Lee and Robert Woods to make plays on the ball. Both playmakers are regarded as future elite NFL prospects; some wonder if Barkley's production is a byproduct of their remarkable skills.

With so many questions surrounding him, Barkley decided another year at the collegiate level would help him refine his game and make him a polished quarterback worthy of being selected at the top of the draft.

I've watched Barkley perform throughout his senior season. Here is my assessment of his game and whether he has a legitimate shot at hearing his name called first on draft day:

Arm talent

Barkley is a classic drop-back passer with sound throwing mechanics and a smooth delivery. He shows a compact windup and an over-the-top throwing motion with a quick release. Barkley displays good (but not great) arm strength on intermediate and deep throws. Although his balls tend to flutter on out-breaking routes that are longer than 15 yards, he shows adequate zip and velocity on his throws. Barkley can certainly fit balls into tight windows on intermediate throws inside the numbers, but he lacks the overpowering arm strength to complete the deep comeback from the opposite hash on a rope against tight coverage. The exceptional speed and quickness of NFL defensive backs will result in break-ups or interceptions, unless Barkley shows extraordinary timing and anticipation, releasing the ball well before the receiver comes out of his break.

On deep throws, Barkley shows a throwing range of about 50 to 55 yards. He has routinely connected with Lee and Nelson Agholor on vertical routes down the field. While most of those completions have resulted from his exceptional timing and anticipation, Barkley has shown the arm strength to throw the ball over the top of the defense when defenders squat on routes. This was particularly evident against Oregon on Nov. 3, when he connected on 75- and 76-yard touchdowns on deep post routes to Lee and Agholor, respectively. In my mind, these throws certainly squelched some of the concern about his deep-ball ability. However, the fallout from "Inflate Gate" could alter that opinion. (A USC ball boy was reprimanded following that game for deflating footballs, which he later admitted to doing; the use of underinflated balls makes it easier for quarterbacks to throw the ball down the field with greater zip and velocity.)

With the arm talent to make most of the throws at the next level, Barkley shouldn't have a problem succeeding as a starting quarterback, if he plays to his strengths.

Mobility

Barkley is not the kind of explosive athlete who can beat defenders with his legs on the perimeter. However, he flashes enough mobility and movement skills to be effective within the pocket. Barkley will routinely climb the pocket to avoid penetrating rushers, and his efficient footwork allows him to make accurate throws under duress. When the pocket completely crumbles, Barkley will attempt to escape, but he lacks the speed and quickness to run away from defenders on the perimeter.

As a passer on the move, Barkley is nimble enough to make accurate throws on bootlegs and rollouts. He shows the ability to deliver on the run without losing balance, which would allow him to make the most of the movement-based throws in West Coast offensive systems. Given the fact that Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer have succeeded in passing games that feature extensive movement in the backfield, Barkley's athleticism shouldn't impact his ability to start in most systems.

Game management

Barkley will enter the NFL with 47 games of starting experience at the major college level. The wealth of knowledge accumulated in those contests will ease Barkley's transition to the pro game, and allow him to quickly adjust to the speed and complexity of NFL defenses. Looking at Barkley's career arc, I've been impressed with the way that he manages the game at the line of scrimmage. He has been exposed to hot reads and sight adjustments, and has also utilized audibles to counter potential defensive looks.

In addition, Barkley has called plays from the line of scrimmage in no-huddle and two-minute situations, showcasing his mastery of the offense and knowledge of coverage. The utilization of the hurry-up approach also reflects his keen understanding of game situations and circumstances.

From a decision-making standpoint, Barkley has been mildly disappointing. He has made several errors in big games, leading to a high number of turnovers. While his touchdown-to-interception ratio is a respectable 36:15, the fact that he has thrown two or more picks in six games is disturbing. A quarterback with Barkley's experience should understand the importance of ball security, and he should avoid making risky throws. More importantly, Barkley should understand that tight coverage up the field means a check-down or safety valve is available underneath. Elite NFL quarterbacks operate that way; he has enough experience to know this strategy produces winning results. With nine interceptions in the Trojans' last four games, Barkley hasn't performed as expected; that will certainly affect his grade on draft boards across the league.

Clutch factor

Quarterbacks are ultimately judged on their ability to win big games. Barkley was outstanding in the Trojans' biggest games in 2011, but he has underwhelmed in such showdowns this season. In the Trojans' four losses, Barkley completed just 58.2 percent of his passes, recording 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. More importantly, he has made poor decisions in the opening moments of games, putting his team in an early hole. The most disappointing aspect of his performance is his inability to recognize pressure and coverage prior to the snap. For a senior with four years of starting experience, Barkley should display more poise under pressure and perform better in big games. Scouts will go back to the 2011 game tape to see if Barkley's problems are a trend, but his lackluster play in meaningful contests this season will give evaluators some pause when considering his prospects as a franchise quarterback.

Conclusion

Barkley was considered a strong possibility as a top-15 pick a year ago, but elected to return to school to hone his game for the pros. He has shown progress in some areas, but he is not the elite quarterback prospect some thought he'd be prior to the season. He is not in the same class as current young standouts Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) and Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins), but he has enough polish and potential to still merit consideration as a pick in the latter half of the first round. Given the number of teams that are desperate for a quarterback, though, I expect Barkley will come off the board within the first 20 selections of the 2013 NFL Draft.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #106
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Believe me i was high on this guy he is a backup at best listen to a vol fan
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Setsuna View Post
Smith can't overcome shit to win a game. RGIII did.
Name me one QB that can overcome shit every game.

I'm talking about a guy that is trying to keep up with opposing offenses because his defense couldn't stop your grandmother and her friends if they played a game against them, all while having to contend with constant pressure, because his O-Line couldn't block your grandmother and her friends either.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:31 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
I said that was his floor. I said his realistic floor was that he would be a qb who used his legs to extend passing plays. I also said rgIII had tremendous upside to be a great pocket qb.

Don't talk shit if you aren't going to exaggerate.
What the **** are you talking about?

If his floor is that he's an elite running QB, and that is all he accomplishes, then it doesn't ****ing matter.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by milkman View Post
Name me one QB that can overcome shit every game.

I'm talking about a guy that is trying to keep up with opposing offenses because his defense couldn't stop your grandmother and her friends if they played a game against them, all while having to contend with constant pressure, because his O-Line couldn't block your grandmother and her friends either.
And again, the reason you call it a risk is you have to ASSUME he is a clutch qb even though we haven't seem enough physical evidence. We have to assume he can handle tough defenses even though hes played mostly Mickey mouse defenses. Or that he can bounce back after getting battered around. We have to assume he will excel at blitz pickups, hot reads, and can win even in games where the defense dominates the o line.

I like the guys ability to overcome these things. But they are risks. Risks I didn't worry about last year with rgIII.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning View Post
IMO Geno is RGIII without the elite scrambling talent.
He's l McNabb with more clutch ability.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
And again, the reason you call it a risk is you have to ASSUME he is a clutch qb even though we haven't seem enough physical evidence. We have to assume he can handle tough defenses even though hes played mostly Mickey mouse defenses. Or that he can bounce back after getting battered around. We have to assume he will excel at blitz pickups, hot reads, and can win even in games where the defense dominates the o line.

I like the guys ability to overcome these things. But they are risks. Risks I didn't worry about last year with rgIII.
That is just a stupid ****ing argument.

You are just making shit up to support a stupid ****ing argument with no merit.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by milkman View Post
What the **** are you talking about?

If his floor is that he's an elite running QB, and that is all he accomplishes, then it doesn't ****ing matter.
You're being petty if you're going to get hung up about what I believe a qb is going to be in a worst case scenario, and ignore what I said was the realistic scenario.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:38 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tribal Warfare View Post
He's l McNabb with more clutch ability.
Thats what I see when I watch him play and the comparison I've been making for some time now.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #114
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Barkley is one of my least favorite QB prospects.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
You're being petty if you're going to get hung up about what I believe a qb is going to be in a worst case scenario, and ignore what I said was the realistic scenario.
No I am not, you dumbshit.

I am just doing exactly the same thing you are doing when you talk about the risks with Smith.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:42 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by milkman View Post
That is just a stupid ****ing argument.

You are just making shit up to support a stupid ****ing argument with no merit.
He hasn't played good defenses. He hasnt proven to be nails in the clutch consistently. His biggest successes have come out of a college oriented offense.

I didn't say he can't do these things. I am saying you are assuming he can even though we haven't seen it.

I'm the one arguing on merit. You're the one who is absolutely sure about something we haven't seen.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
He hasn't played good defenses. He hasnt proven to be nails in the clutch consistently. His biggest successes have come out of a college oriented offense.

I didn't say he can't do these things. I am saying you are assuming he can even though we haven't seen it.

I'm the one arguing on merit. You're the one who is absolutely sure about something we haven't seen.
not like he scored 70 in the bowl game ...or lit up the #8 passing d in the country last week and almost beat Oklahoma with no defense.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:47 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by milkman View Post
No I am not, you dumbshit.

I am just doing exactly the same thing you are doing when you talk about the risks with Smith.
I've said multiple times over the last year....
Big Ben never had to learn to read defenses. He is a pass first qb who can hold on to the ball too long. RgIII doesn't have to be elite at reading defenses either. He can use his speed to roll out of the pocket and him being an elite qb throwing on the run, he can extend plays in ways most qbs can't.

If geno can't read defenses on a top tier level, he is a flat out bust. Period.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #119
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not like he scored 70 in the bowl game ...or lit up the #8 passing d in the country last week and almost beat Oklahoma with no defense.
Never happened.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Inmem58 View Post
Geno had a break out year
He didn't have a break-out year for anybody who knows anything about college football. He threw for over 4000 yards last year, with 31 TD against 7 int. And he wasn't anything to sneeze at in 2010 either.
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