In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2013 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on April 25th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
Name: Matt Barkley
Weight: 227 LBS
As a result, the expectations levied on him have been relatively unfair. He’s been hyped so much that it would be difficult for any player to live up to such lofty expectations. Still, Barkley is a polished passer who has emerged as a strong leader, making him an attractive prospect even if he is no longer expected to be among the top-five picked.
The quarterback first turned heads nationwide eight years ago at well-known Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, where he was the first freshman to start at the prestigious program since Todd Marinovich. After a sterling career there, he then became the first true freshman QB to ever start for the USC Trojans. Over four seasons, Barkley totaled 12,327 yards and 116 touchdowns, including 3,273 and 36 scores as a senior.
Scouts point to Barkley’s cerebral approach to the game, poise, leadership ability and experience succeeding in a pro-style offense as his biggest strengths and reasons why he will be a top-notch quarterback in the NFL. Meanwhile, his detractors look at his weak arm strength, smallish stature, lack of athleticism and his injury history as reasons why he isn’t the elite prospect he once was.
Overall, however, there is no doubt that Barkley does possess some unique skills that team’s crave in a QB. Just how much one single team covets those skills will dictate whether he gets drafted early on day one, or falls to the second day of the draft.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.