USC Morning Buzz

NFL analyst Mike Mayock said he thinks Matt Barkley is a mid-to-late first round pick but won’t be surprised if he goes higher.

“(West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith) and Barkley to me are more like 20-32 (picks). However, the pointI’d like to make, with the rookie wage scale, it’s a lot less expensive to take a flyer on a top 10 quarterback than it used to be,” Mayock said.

  • Golden Trojan

    It’s been 3 months since the A-C separation, he didn’t have surgery and he still can’t throw in the combine? Unless he shines in his Pro Day, I wouldn’t use a first round pick if I don’t even know if he can still throw.

    • Rick Loomis

      It’s not because of the injury that he’s not throwing. This is kind of becoming a thing where QBs only throw at their own orchestrated Pro Days, his at USC.

  • Ben Doverz

    The Lisp has no idea on this one, MB is not going in the first round and if he does, that GM should be fired on the spot. MB will be lucky to go in rd 2 and if he does make a team, look for him to hold the clipboard for his NFL career.

  • Rick Loomis

    People who know me know I’ve never been a big Barkley fan so this comment won’t surprise. But shouldn’t a first round pick be for someone who should start right away, or at least end up starting in a year or two? And I mean that for any position pick. I just don’t see Barkley being a starting QB in the NFL, let alone a franchise QB.

    • TrojanFamily

      Late 1s are often not franchise QBs are first year starters. I personally think Barkley would be lucky to be drafted behind an older veteran QB where he can carry the clipboard and learn a system with some talent around him. he doesn’t have the physicality of a QB who can be successful without some weapons around him (a la Russell Wilson; RG III, Mike Vick, or even a Tebow. He doesn’t have that rifle arm of an Andrew Luck. But he has a high football IQ and could work rather well in a well-designed system. And considering the sorry state of NFL QBs, Barkley WILL start one day in the NFL.

      • Joe Blow


      • Rick Loomis

        If I was a GM, I’d want to draft another position player who can contribute right away in the late first round than a QB with Barkley’s limitations. The one area that soured the Cardinals on Leinart was his lack of accuracy on longer throws. The one common thing practically all good or great QBs have is accuracy. This is what makes Brees great. He’s not particularly mobile or athletic, but he can get the pass to the right spot where the receiver can catch it and usually in stride.

    • Ben Factor

      Rick, I was thinking about Mayock’s statement that the rookie wage scale is the critical change of the last several years. I’m not an expert on the wage scale, but If I understand Mayock’s implication, it’s that whatever position the 5th draft pick plays, he will earn X dollars.

      If you put a contribution-to-victory “value” on each position, QB is by far the most valuable, probably 2-3 times the “victory value” of many other positions. So, consider hypothetical. QB B, who is a decent prospect, but has only the physical talent of a slightly below-average starting QB in the NFL. But Strong Safety A has enough talent to join the the top 10 safeties in the NFL, maybe just below the top 5. QB B may have more “victory value” to the drafting team than Strong Safety A, because the QB position has 2-3 times the victory value of the safety position.

      Consider, then, picking QB B at the #8 spot, versus Strong Safety A. Before the rookie wage scale, the drafting team would not only be take a bigger risk that QB B would fail, but, in addition, would have to pay more for a QB drafted at #8 than a strong safety drafted at #8. So, QB B would constitute a double-edged risk–he would be more likely to fail, and the failure would cost more dollars. Now, QB B only has the single-edged risk of failure; he doesn’t cost more dollars. It makes sense that more “QB B types” will be drafted higher because of the reduced financial risk, due to the rookie wage scale. if the team drafting at #8 really DOESN’T have a legit QB prospect, the bet on QB B might not look so bad.

      Barkley had a short period of better play late in the 2011 season. What caused that? Can he recapture whatever it was? I don’t know. He will never throw downfield with the accuracy and velocity of some QBs. But what has hurt him a lot are poor reads, especially under pressure, and overconfidence in his arm.

      He’s NOT a dumb guy, and I think that may be his biggest advantage. Plus he’s optimistic by nature, and may find inner persistence because of his religious faith (not praising his faith, just making a psychological observation). I kind of think that he has been coddled in the shortcomings that he might correct (and I may be wrong about that). In a system designed around his inherent weaknesses, and with better coaching to overcome his correctable weaknesses, I’m not so sure that he will always make poor reads and throw with overconfidence. He might grow into greater productivity. I could see it.

      Think of all the QBs who can’t throw with velocity and great accuracy as distance increases, or who improve a little in those areas. If they know their limits and avoid poor choices, they may play. I think Barkley might be able to start in some systems. He certainly could be a reliable back-up in those systems.

      It’s unfortunate that he has not been able to throw a lot to prepare for his “draft evaluation”. It would sure help if he went to the combine, and looked to be at the top of his game. I wonder how much stock is put in “pro days” with a guy like Barkley, who played a lot, and not that well in awhile.

      I admit, though, that it won’t surprise me if you’re completely right, and I’m totally wrong. QB position is hard to call. Nonetheless, the draft risk profile has definitely shifted in favor of less stellar QBs.

  • Joe Blow

    Maycock is an @$$