Since players are interviewing and working out at the NFL Scouting Combine, one thing that happens almost every single year is that word gets out that a team is really impressed with a specific player. It especially is true about quarterbacks. This time it is about the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Matt Barkley.
Bleacher Report draft writer Matt Miller tweeted this Sunday morning:
Text I received from a scout this morning: Matt Barkley will not get past the Arizona #Cardinals at No. 7 overall.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2013
But it was not just Miller. Fox Sports' Pete Schrager followed up Miller's tweet with this:
Can "confirm" @nfldraftscout 's positive chatter on Matt Barkley. Multiple teams were left very impressed in their meetings with him.— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) February 24, 2013
That is much different than saying Barkley is a lock for the Cardinals at number seven, but it at least mildly confirms the team's interest.
Now, here is what NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah had to say:
"This week in Indy always spawns several rumors. One such rumor has the Cardinals being very interested in Barkley. I've been told this exact same piece of information from a few different sources. According to one source, the Cardinals were extremely impressed with the USC quarterback during his interview this week."
The Cardinals' VP of Media Relations was quick to temper the original tweet.
Buyer beware on these types of "reports": "@nfldraftscout: Text I received from a scout this AM: Matt Barkley will not get past AZ at #7."— MarkDalton (@CardsMarkD) February 24, 2013
What is important to remember is that Dalton also was quick to temper the reports of the 95 percent done deal that Andy Reid was going to be the next coach for the Arizona Cardinals. We should also remember how sure all the media outlets were that the Cardinals were completely sold on Blaine Gabbert, including that team president Michael Bidwill personally flew his plane out to visit with him/see him work out.
Now, getting back to the original tweet. Do the Cardinals know yet who they are drafting? Nope. Darren Urban has said that the team has not even put draft grades together. This "text" that Miller got could have been from anyone. What is believable is that Barkley has impressed people. If you listen to him, he is very polished. He handles himself very well with the media. He has some really good game tape. His measurables were what you want to see.
There's no doubt that the Cardinals could have been impressed.
At the same time, Brock Osweiler impressed a lot of teams a year ago. Matt Leinart also impressed years ago. It doesn't guarantee a spot at the top of the first round.
In a nutshell, I'm sure that the Cardinals like what they saw and heard from Barkley. They may even be impressed. But to say that he's the guy in the first round for the Cards is completely crazy right now. That doesn't mean he won't be the pick either. Quarterbacks always are overdrafted, except for rare exceptions.
But before we start penciling Barkley in as the 2013 starter for the Cards, let's take a step back and just take the information in as just part of the storyline, rather than the conclusion.
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