2013 Draft Prospect Profile: Matt Barkley

Welcome to our 2013 Draft Prospect Profile series, written by Rob Quinn. Rob is putting together quick, digestible summaries for highly publicized discussed prospects, prospects that interest him, and prospects that interest YOU.

If there’s someone out there who has piqued your interest and you want to know a little but more about him before April rolls around, get at Rob and request he put a profile together. You can email him at RQUINN619@billsmafia.com with a request.

The series isn’t Bills-centric necessarily; however, when the occasion calls for it, Rob will include thoughts on how a player might impact the Bills were they to draft him. But overall, the goal is to educate you on some of the names you’ll hear called in April.

Matt Barkley: QB, USC (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Matt Barkley: QB, USC (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Matt Barkley
6‘2“ 230 lbs
USC Trojans
@MattBarkley (Verified)

Matt Barkley was expected to be one of the top quarterbacks selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, in the group with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. However, he decided to stay for his senior season, with hopes of leading the Trojans to a National Championship. Barkley isn’t really talked about with the top quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft, but much of that is due to him not playing in a bowl game, and not attending the Senior Bowl. With him not being the “flavor of the week,” he’s often lost in the discussion of top signal callers. Barkley will be drafted within the first two rounds of the draft, and it’s quite possible he could have the best career out of any of the quarterbacks taken this year; that is, if he’s placed in a system that plays to his strengths.

The Good
Barkley was a four-year starter for Southern California, completing 64.1% of his passes for 12,327 yards, 116 touchdowns, and 48 interceptions. He’s truly a “finished product” at the quarterback position. Barkley anticipates routes, and has incredible field vision which allows him to lead receivers into passes. He reads defenses very well, and played in a Pro-Style, West Coast offense. He’s reportedly a tremendous leader and does tons of charity work in the community. Barkley can be the face of a franchise, and he has no character concerns. He has the ability to deliver strikes in his short to intermediate passes.

The Bad
One knock on Barkley is that he’s had incredible talent surrounding him at USC. Every offensive player was a four-or-five star recruit, except for one offensive lineman, who was a three star recruit. He has limited mobility, and can’t be counted on to pick up a chunk of yardage when a play breaks down. His arm strength is average, and his deep ball accuracy is questionable. He often forces passes, and generally cannot fit them into small windows. Barkley has a tendency to stare down targets, which led to his high number of interceptions.

How He Impacts The Bills
The Bills are desperate for a quarterback, and Matt Barkley probably isn’t the name fans want to hear. However, he’s probably the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft. On the other hand, his ceiling for growth isn’t as high as some of the other passers. Barkley would provide the Bills with immediate starting-caliber talent at the quarterback position, and if head coach Doug Marrone’s offense is anything like that run at Syracuse, Barkley is the man for the job. He’s a great student of the game, and would be a perfect fit in the timing offense that Nathaniel Hackett described.

NFL Player Comparison
Sam Bradford

Projected Draft Position
Top 40 Pick

One Reply to “2013 Draft Prospect Profile: Matt Barkley”

  1. This is the Dark horse of the QB class and this is the one I feel the Bills will Draft. While I am a Tyler Wilson fan This is the guy.