2013 NFL Draft Projections: Matt Barkley

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Where will Matt Barkley get drafted? We’ll find out on Thursday. Well, more like Friday. This time last year, the consensus was that the four-year USC starting quarterback was a lock to go No. 1 overall in this draft. But after a senior season that saw him throw a career-high 15 interceptions, the book on Barkley has changed considerably, seeing him fall into the second round, according to most pundits.

With West Virginia’s Geno Smith being the overwhelming favorite to be the first quarterback taken, and Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib making a late run to beat out Smith on draft day, Barkley’s stock has plenty to overcome.

Barkley has only thrown in public once since being injured on an Anthony Barr sack against UCLA back in November, though the well-spoken communications major has reportedly performed well in interviews, keeping him in what has become a solid second round projection.

As for who’s interested, there’s a shortlist of NFL teams in the market for quarterbacks this year, headlined by the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills.

Bruce Arians and the Cardinals have had the biggest media buzz around Matt Barkley, and the first-year head coach came to USC to watch Barkley throw in the Trojans’ Pro Day, last month. Arizona have the 7th overall pick in the first round, and if they pass on Nassib and Smith there, they just may be looking for a signal caller in the second round, there they hold the 38th pick. Should Barkley wind up playing his pro ball in Glendale, he’ll officially be pronounced as unable to avoid Matt Leinart’s footsteps.

The Bills appear to be the favorites for Ryan Nassib, considering that new head coach Doug Marrone coached Nassib at Syracuse. Though considering how Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll passed on USC safety Taylor Mays in 2010, it’s not exactly guaranteed that the big-armed quarterback will stay in upstate New York.

The Kansas City Chiefs could still be in the mix for a quarterback after trading for Alex Smith earlier in the offseason, though they’re not likely to make the big splash for Geno Smith as they were once considered to.

Other teams that could conceivably draft a quarterback include the Jacksonville Jaguars who have struggled with Blaine Gabbert, and the Oakland Raiders, who are still looking to replace Jim Plunkett.

Current Projections

Bob Kaupang of Rant Sports: 1st Round, 7th overall to Arizona Cardinals [Link]
Rob Rang of CBS Sports: 2nd Round, 33rd overall to Jacksonville Jaguars [Link]
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports: 2nd Round, 38th overall to Arizona Cardinals [Link]
Tam Bradford of Chicago Now: 2nd Round, 39th overall to New York Jets [Link]
Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation: 2nd Round, 41st overall to Buffalo Bills [Link]
Josh Sanchez of FanSided.com: 2nd Round, 60th overall to Chicago Bears [Link]
Walter Cherepinsky of Walter Football: 3rd Round, 66th overall to Oakland Raiders [Link]

Topics: 2013 NFL Draft, Football, Matt Barkley, USC Trojans

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