USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley has submitted paperwork to the NFL regarding the 2012 draft, but adds that it's technically a precautionary measure at this point. If he does come out this year, he's expected to be a second round pick at the latest, but could go as high as the top 10.
The players will have until Jan. 15 to declare and Jan. 18 to withdraw. The deadline for paperwork-filin' is Dec. 17. Lane Kiffin doesn't expect Barkley to withdraw:
"I know I probably shouldn't say this, but unless he just wants to do it to be a special Trojan, he ain't coming back," Kiffin said. "Unless he decides to do something that's just a special Trojan because of who he is and doesn't care about the money, this is not gonna be a deal where he's gonna go late in the first or something like that. He's every bit ready to go to the NFL.
Barkley has come on as a late-blooming Heisman Trophy candidate. If he'd played the entire year at the same pace at which he's played for the past month, he'd likely be a surefire top-five projection. Some NFL scouts may prefer to see an entire year's worth of consistent production.