The televised action of the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine will begin on Saturday Feb. 23, where a select number of the nation’s most collegiate athletes put their skills on the line, hoping to garner more interest from scouts as they gear up for the NFL Draft in April.
A number of Trojans will participate in this weekend’s events, most notably, quarterback Matt Barkley.
He didn’t finish that business he intended to wrap up during his senior year, and a shoulder injury made it so that he ended the season on the sidelines, but he had a very solid year nonetheless. With 12,327 yards and 116 touchdowns in his career at USC, his skills on the gridiron are sure to stand out in this year’s class of quarterbacks.
But we won’t get to see any of those skills this weekend.
Because he is still healing from the shoulder injury he sustained against UCLA, Barkley will not participate in any passing drills in the Combine. No matter though; quarterbacks hardly ever raise their draft stock because of their performance in Combine workouts, and we already know that Barkley does not have elite height, arm strength, or mobility. He will however, participate in USC’s Pro Day in March, and he will throw at that point.
But what he can do–and what he will do masterfully–is impress NFL teams during the interviews.
Barkley has an incredible knowledge of the game, and a proven ability to be a field general. With his high football IQ, strong decision-making skills and leadership qualities, teams looking for a new franchise QB are going to take more than a passing glance at him.
Despite his shortcomings and the debacle that was his senior year, Barkley brings enough to the table to entice a team to nab him early, if only so that they don’t miss out on him by waiting a few picks.
Though Barkley will not throw on Sunday, Feb. 23, the rest of the quarterbacks in this draft class are sure to put on a show. Tune into the NFL Network, or catch all the action streaming online at NFL.com/Combine.