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Some Observations on Barkley's Pro Day

Steve Dykes

After taking all sorts of criticism this past season, some are actually starting to see how good Barkley could be...

Lets start with Ted Miller.

Barkley didn't have a great season in 2012, but his season was better than about 90 percent of the quarterbacks in the nation. And he's still going to be an early round NFL draft pick.

Former Washington quarterback and current ESPN analyst Brock Huard picks up this very subject:

While there are plenty of reasons for the Trojans' fall, including depth and injury issues and defensive gaffes and meltdowns, Barkley can't make excuses. So I'll make them for him, and explain why I think that after his pro day workout at USC on Wednesday, NFL teams will begin to agree with what I already believe to be the case: that Barkley should be the first quarterback selected in this year's draft.

Huard takes the measure of Barkley in five ways: Throws downfield, third-down passing, red zone productivity, movement passing and durability and availability.

First, Huard points out that Barkley was: 1. A better downfield passer than Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III; and, 2. Better on third down in 2012 than in 2011.

Red zone? How about this: "... over the last two seasons Barkley's 42 touchdown passes on 116 attempts in the red zone speak loudly to the signal-caller's vast experience and productivity in that part of the field. Over that same stretch, Barkley was intercepted and sacked just three times."

Movement passing? Barkley's numbers outside the pocket and against blitzes are outstanding.

As for durability, Huard notes Barkley started "47 of 51 games over his four years in Los Angeles."

When was the last time that USC had a 4-year starter at QB?

All that amounts to experience. I can see why some have discounted Barkley after an uninspiring 2012 campaign, but unlike a number of past USC QB's Barkley running for his life during some stretches of his USC career. That builds character on the field.

I don't see that in Mark Sanchez or Matt Leinart...and I am huge fan of both.

When you live under pressure you take your survivability with a higher level of seriousness.

Barkley doesn't have a canon for an arm, he isn't exactly the speediest QB out there and you can question his decision making at times but I think with a year of carrying the clipboard he will have a solid career.

After listening to Kiper and McShay drone on and on about Barkley not living up to 2011, its nice to see someone attempt some intellectual honesty. Barkley has some issues but I think he will be a great get for whatever team gets him.