Although not throwing due to the Grade 3 AC joint separation the sullied Trojan suffered against UCLA in November, Matt Barkley managed to impress scouts while interviewing at the NFL Combine on Sunday and many insiders now predict the Arizona Cardinals will select the former USC quarterback with the seventh pick in April’s draft.
Regrettably for Cardinals fans, although unconfirmed, speculation persists that the 28-year-old Smith, who was permanently shelved in favor of Colin Kaepernick after getting concussed in November, has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hence, the 6-foot-2, 230 pound Barkley, who was once projected to be the first overall choice, is now a favorite to become an employee in the Valley of the Sun.
Hoping to further impress Arizona’s hierarchy, Barkley, who tossed 116 touchdowns, in comparison to a measly 48 interceptions, for 12,327 yards since debuting in “The City of Angels” as a freshman in 2009, is confident his bummed throwing wing will be entirely healed by Pro Day on March 27.
Considering the 22-year-old Barkley, who many wrongly predicted would guide USC (7-6) to its 12th national championship and become the school’s seventh Heisman Memorial Trophy winner, was an unmitigated disaster on the gridiron last autumn, Arizona’s alleged interest should be an enormous relief for the devout Christian.
The strong, accurate, mature and poised Barkley, playing behind a veteran offensive line with countless explosive weapons at his disposal, threw a relatively pedestrian 26 scores, in contrast to an alarming 15 picks, for 3,273 yards in 2012.
Regardless, with surefire superstars Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III highlighting last spring’s class, it now seems evident Barkley didn’t bang the pooch returning to one of La-La Land’s rougher ghettos to fulfill his four-year commitment with the Trojans.
However, it should be noted that new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians runs aggressive offensive schemes predicated on vertical passing.
So, to really attract Arizona’s decision makers, it is critical that Barkley shines tossing the pigskin this spring and silences concerns regarding his arm strength.
Ultimately, Matt Barkley’s chance to fly as a Cardinal will be determined in roughly a month.by