A quarterback prospect ranked No. 2 on most draft boards should expect to be long gone by the end of the third round of the NFL Draft. But not so fast, says Greg Cosell. The NFL Films senior producer has given former USC quarterback Matt Barkley a fourth-round grade, and has called into question the 22 year old's skill set.
"When I look at Matt Barkley, here's a couple of things I immediately see," said Cosell on NFL Network's 'Path to the Draft.' "Number one, he has average arm strength by NFL standards. Number two, his feet are not particularly quick, he he has slower feet. And three, he's a little shorter."
Barkley finished his senior season at USC with 3,273 yards and 36 touchdowns, but set a career high with 15 interceptions. The Newport Beach, Calif., native had a chance to be a top 10 pick in the 2012 draft, but opted to return for his senior season. And despite West Virginia QB Geno Smith being the only signal-caller to grade higher than Barkley with most analysts, Cosell doesn't believe he possesses the skills to be a franchise player.
In past drafts, quarterbacks consistently ranked No. 2 have on occasion slid significantly in the draft. Aaron Rodgers famously fell to the 24th overall pick after Alex Smith went No. 1, while Brady Quinn slipped to No. 22 in the JaMarcus Russell draft. But none have fallen to the depths of the fourth round. In fact, the last time there were fewer than two quarterbacks selected in the first round was 2001, which saw Michael Vick taken with the first overall pick and none other than Drew Brees taken with the first pick in the second round. And while Cossel certainly isn't suggesting that Barkley will go in the fourth round, he certainly isn't paying a compliment to any team that takes him early.