NFL Draft 2013: Matt Barkley reportedly declines invitation to green room

Jeff Gross

USC quarterback Matt Barkley, once thought to be a lock for the top of the 2013 NFL Draft, won't be waiting to hear his name called in New York after all. What could be holding him back?

It was only last year that many NFL Draft analysts assumed USC quarterback Matt Barkley would be the prize of the 2013 draft after he opted to return to school for another season. However, now that the draft is fast approaching, not only does it appear that Barkley won't go at the top, but it looks questionable if he will even be selected in the first round. Potentially for that reason, Barkley has reportedly declined an invitation to attend the draft in New York on April 25th.

There is still a substantial chance that Barkley, the top high school prospect in the nation in 2009 and the first-ever true freshman to start a season opener for USC, will hear his name called on Day 1. He has a private workout scheduled with the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the seventh-overall pick in the draft, and there are plenty of quarterback-hungry teams out there. But as veterans have moved around teams in the offseason, the need to draft a quarterback early has dissipated.

The Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer from the Raiders after Oakland acquired Matt Flynn from Seattle. The Bills signed Kevin Kolb, the Chiefs traded for Alex Smith, while the Jaguars and Jets could stick with their current options. Even still, Barkley is widely regarded as no better than the second-best available quarterback in the draft after Geno Smith, while some analysts would not even rate him to be that high.

Every year, at least one poor guy sits in the green room for hours while he anticipates to hear his name called, and nothing happens. Barkley would likely be thrilled to be the next Aaron Rodgers on the field, but he appears uninterested in being the next Rodgers in the green room, so he is going to sit this play out.

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