Prospect: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Grade: 7.7 (Grading Scale)
+ Sturdy 230 pound frame, has added muscle mass since he arrived at USC
+ Good mobility, both inside and outside the pocket
+ Shows the ability to roll out and throw well on the run
+ Can extend the play with his maneuverability and sidestep the rush
– A shade under 6’2″, but has shown no evidence of it hindering his play
– Doesn’t offer much in terms of escapability and won’t pick up many yards with his feet
+ Extremely bright kid, who works hard on and off the field
+ Recognizes blitzes, formations and coverages pre-snap and often calls audibles at the line on his own
+ USC runs an NFL style passing system and Barkley has adapted quickly
+ Coach Lane Kiffin, puts a lot on Barkley’s plate in terms of play calling, audibles and he has excelled
+ Good situational awareness, when he spots a weakness on defense he will exploit it quickly
+ USC plays a hurry up system, Barkley is relied on to call the plays and formations based on the defense
+ Processes information quickly and is a sound decision maker, especially in crunch time
+ Good in the classroom, he should have no trouble adapting to an NFL playbook
– Interception % increased big time this year, tried to force a lot of throws
+ Exceptional Leader, respected by teammates and coaching staff
+ The word “field general” comes to mind when watching him play
+ Decided to stay at USC, despite NCAA sanctions and bowl ban
+ Could have entered 2012 NFL and been a high first round pick, but wanted to win a National Championship
+ Exudes confidence and plays with a swagger, rubs off on his teammates
+ Doesn’t have the strongest arm velocity wise, but has shown the ability to make the NFL throws
+ Can fit the ball into tight spaces, especially when rolling out or throwing on the run
+ Arm strength has improved as his throwing mechanics have gotten more sound
+ Isn’t scared to make the tough throw, when he resets his feet and throws he is very accurate
+ When given time in the pocket his footwork is sound
+ Makes up for velocity with quick reads, anticipation
+ Manipulates the defense like an NFL veteran, will freeze the safety and look off coverage
+ Accuracy on short passes is very good, throws the 3-5 yard slants very well
+ Timing with receivers is sound, knows where they should be and trusts them
+ Throws his receiver open and shows good anticipation on his ball placement
– Connects on a lot of deep passes, but it’often under thrown and the WR has to come back to the ball
– Falls in love with touch passes, likes to float the ball into coverage
– Deep ball accuracy wanes due to arm strength questions
– At the next level he will have to temper his desire to take so many chances down field
– Has shown inaccuracy when throwing across the field
+ Very poised in the pocket, perhaps his biggest plus
+ Doesn’t get rattled under pressure, will hang in there and take a hit to complete the pass
+ Took a beating as a Senior but hung in the pocket and tried to get the ball off
+ If his first read is covered Barkley has shown the ability to reset his feet and adjust
+ Very good moving out of the pocket, perhaps at his best when rolling out and throwing on the run
+ Excellent play action passer, sells the run fake very well
+ Recognizes blitzes and lets his internal clock tell him when to let go or take off
– With such a poor offensive line, Barkley’s internal clock got sped up as a Senior leading to mistakes
– With pass rush bearing down, he tried to make the big play when he should have just taken the sack
Matt Barkley is a polished and poised QB prospect. He has shown the intelligence, leadership and pocket presence to make an immediate impact in the NFL. He is sharp pre-snap at identifying coverages/schemes. While he isn’t Andrew Luck, he has shown the ability to call his own plays and change things on the fly. He does a great job at processing information and making the right decision. While his arm strength is only average, his mechanics and ability to manipulate the defense with his eyes, as well as the timing and anticipatory skills he has shown make up for it. Barkley is a tremendous leader and his teammates look up to him. His biggest knock will be his height, as he is a shade under 6’2″, but Barkley is superb when rolling out and throwing on the move. Barkley endured a tough Senior season and with results not up to expectation it appeared the pressure started to get to Barkley. Despite a down Senior season Barkley still has all the tools to be a successful NFL QB.
vs Notre Dame
-Makes VERY few mistakes, if the play isn’t there he immediately checks down of gets rid of the ball.
-Ball comes out of his hand quickly, his mechanics have improved since his freshman year.
-His progressions are outstanding, scans the field an multiple times freezes the LB or safety, opening up the receiver.
-Beautiful deep ball for 33 yard TD, gets ball out fast, tough to pressure.
-Fakes out half the Colorado defense with pump fake.
-Completed 25/39 passes, should have had more completions, but Woods and Lee each had multiple tough drops.
-Forces a throw into triple coverage, comes out wobbly, lucky it wasn’t picked.G