After staying for his senior season at USC, quarterback Matt Barkley has seen his NFL draft stock take on roller coaster type characteristics. At one point, critics viewed Barkley as at best a third round prospect. Fast forward to weeks before the draft, and some view him as a possible candidate as the first quarterback selected overall.
While some quarterback needy teams have addressed their needs through free agency, namely the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, and arguably the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets. Buffalo kicked former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to the curb after a dismal four seasons with the red and blue and soon left for Tennessee to be a backup. After this cut, the Bills could be in need of another quarterback. While the Bills did acquire Kevin Kolb from Arizona, he proved not adequate in a starting role, and could be in for trouble if provided competition.
Many have criticized USC's Matt Barkley as having a "pop-gun" arm, and lacking the "elite arm strength". After watching Barkley's pro day, NFL Network's Mike Mayock has this to say about the former Trojan's arm strength. "He's not going to blow you away with arm strength. It's good, but not elite, but I'll tell you what, timing and anticipation, and accuracy, that's where he's going to have to make his living." "Not everybody has Joe Flacco arm strength, and at the end of the day, you don't need to".
As far as Barkley going higher than West Virginia's Geno Smith, it could very well be a possibility.Smith has been under diress from scouting reports across the media, and did not have an exceptional showing at his pro day at West Vrginia. NFL Newtork's Mike Mayock believes that Geno Smith should not be selected within the first ten picks, like so many teams are assuming. "It's absolutely the football side," Mayock said. "Talk about the football issues: First of all, ball security, ties into the pocket awareness. Whatever that number is, 30, 32 fumbles in his career, he has no awareness of the rush surrounding him. ... Deep ball accuracy: I put a reel together of six to eight throws that should have been touchdowns, wide open vertical guys that he overthrew or underthrew. He stares down receivers and he throws the football late, so there's a lack of anticipation and timing."