Id rather have Barkley, but I am in the minority i'm sure.
He should have come out as a JR, though I'm happy he stayed as a USC fan because he was easily the best guy there still. But he relied too much on lofting it up to Lee and doing the bubble screens for me to want him.
As a Jags fan I want Wilson, and Barkley scares me a bit, but Wilson will go first round easy, maybe top 10 while we could maybe *steal* Matt early in the 2nd. One thing that makes me feel better is Blackmon and Shorts should hopefully function like Woods and Lee did for him in LA. For all our failings, our receiving core is actually fairly solid for the first time in a while. Add in a healthy Marcedes and maybe even Robinson and he'll have the weapons to succeed.
Alright, here's why I think Barkley is a better prospect than Geno Smith.
Barkley makes a lot harder reads and throws. Geno plays in the spread, and while there is nothing that prevents a spread qb from being good, playing the spread in college is simply about finding the right matchups.
Offense is about spacing. In the spread you get one on one defenses...a lot. This means that the job of the quarterback is to understand who will be covering who, and where the mismatch is. In the spread you want to create isolation, so you can get guys one on one with a defender. A spread qb drops back, reads what the coverage is and throws to the player that the coverage dictates will have a mismatch. Its a generally easy scheme. this is what the wvu offense is all about. Spread you out, find the mismatch.
Matt Barkley runs a pretty hard wco. This is much like what happened with Jake locker. Why did Barkley have success last year and not this? The trojans were running the simplified wco last season. What do I mean by this? You can break down the pro routes into simplified pairs that require a very simple read on one player.
An example of this is a slant/swing. The qb's only job is to read who will cover the flat before the snap. if the guy in the flat sits and doesn't follow the wr on the slant, you throw the slant, if he follows the wr on the slant, you throw the swing to the back. This was a play run to death by USC last year, and by the bucs with Michael Pittman and Keyshawn Johnson. the cover two is particularly efficient at stopping this play, and I suspect one of the reasons it was created. Anyway...
The offense I see USC running right now is pretty hard. They don't run a lot of simple route patterns, its a lot of downfield and crossing routes. Actually, I think that the USC play calling is pretty hard on Barkley, it is a lot of hard throws, and they don't appear to have a lot of check with me concepts in the offense, although they audible a lot.
Barkley is being asked to read the defense, the leverage, and make a hard throw. He's being asked to work the safeties almost every play, and make tough throws down the field. I know everyone is criticizing him for throwing it up to his guys outside a lot, but he's continually finding single coverage down the field and putting the ball in good spots. Throwing down the field is harder than throwing short in the wco. In the spread you can find a lot of mismatches and constraint plays down the field so its not as difficult.
Barkley is a good prospect. He runs a tough offense. Just having production isn't everything, look at mark Sanchez. He wasn't NFL ready, he was running the simplified wco I described earlier. There's a reason he can't make reads down the field, its because he didn't have proper development. If he had played his senior season at USC he would be a better player because he would have experience running an offense a lot like the one Barkley runs now.
the best USC qb prospect since palmer, I would take him first overall, but I know many disagree.
To be fair to Barkley, It's not like Sanchez and Leinart were world beater prospects. i didnt think either of them would be good enough to be starting qb's and they havent been. Barkley is much better than both of them, but still wouldnt take him in the top 10.
I think if/when we do the mock this year we should start after the combine and only go 5 rounds tops, probably 4. The past couple of years we started like mid-January and a lot of prospects value rose/dropped a good amount.
Outside a trade or something crazy happening, I'm predicting the Lions take him at #5
Yeah that's what I see too.
Which sucks because next to Fairley and Suh, he's going to get a fair amount of sacks. Great prospect, one of my favorites in the draft.
On another note, this is turning out to be a surprisingly good LT class. It might not have a lot of 'instant' starters, but the amount of good development prospects that could be LT's in this class is a fair bit. I'm impressed. I'm hoping the Saints take one in the first 3 rounds.