The Arizona Cardinals tried and failed drafting a quarterback from USC. Matt Leinart didn't work out for the Cardinals. They might have a chance to try it again with the seventh pick in the NFL draft with Matt Barkley. The four-year starter at USC was in New Orleans and was a guest on XTRA 910's Bickley and MJ show. If you sense one thing, he oozes with confidence.
He talked about his strengths and he certainly know what to say. He discussed how his system at USC, which was a West Coast/spread mix, is a lot like what a lot of NFL teams now run.
He knows that a quarterback is not only the field general but also the one with the responsibility, and he is excited for it. "I really can't wait," he said. "I think the systems that I've been in are going to (make for) the perfect transition. The transition is going to be smooth in regards to being the face of a franchise."
How confident is he and how high are his expectations?
"My goal is to go number one," he said. He expects to be in the Top 10 and wants to be the first QB picked at least. He wants to go to a team that needs a quarterback and he wants to be able to go in and grab reins.
"I want to be that guy," he said.
He also wants to be out on the field from Day 1. he said he knows he could learn behind a veteran guy, but he wants to play and grow.
I personally have had my doubts about him, but only from watching him play against Arizona State. I was never impressed. And truthfully he reminds me a lot of Matt Leinart in what he says. That worries me and it also excites me. It excites me because under Bruce Arians, if Barkley were drafted by Arizona, he would end up starting and would have the support of the coaching staff.
I always felt that had Leinart been given the same situation he would have grown into the position. Barkley would get that opportunity.
But I am torn. The similarities are uncanny, but it sounds like he is going to have a batter work ethic than Leinart did to start off his career.
As for his shoulder injury, and the Combine, he says it is good, but that they are taking their time to protect it. He is not sure if he will do all the workouts at the NFL Combine, but will be there for all the interviews. How much he does will be determined as the date gets closer.
After listening to him, do you have a different opinion? He knows how to shift protections and read defenses. He has had experience at audibling out of plays. He has the makeup of a franchise quarterback.
He isn't going to be rattled in big moments. He has already done that. We will know more about the measurables and he has a good enough arm.
Dan Bickley is sold on him. I have gone back and forth. I am at the point that I wouldn't hate the pick if the Cardinals drafted him. That's not very decisive, I know, but that's all that I can muster out of what I think about him as of today.
So...how does Matt Barkley to the Cardinals sound?
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