1/12/13: Barkley had a rough senior season that has caused his stock to decline. He never had an elite physical skill set, but the decision-making problems are the most worrisome. In Barkley's defense, his offensive line was horrible. He was under heat all season as USC really missed Matt Kalil.
Barkley completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,273 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2012. The senior didn't play well against Stanford or Washington, and was just average against California. He had underwhelming games versus UCLA and Arizona, too. Barkley injured his shoulder against the Bruins and was unable to play against Notre Dame or Georgia Tech.
8/16/12: Barkley proved himself to be a safe prospect during the 2011 season. He laid claim to the Trojans' starting quarterback position as a freshman and completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,735 yards and 15 touchdowns, but also threw 14 interceptions. In 12 games in 2010, the 6-foot-2, 220 pounder improved his production by completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 2,791 yards with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Barkley had many prolific passing games as a junior in 2011, including throwing for six touchdown passes against UCLA and Colorado. He also led USC to a signature road win over Oregon. Barkley completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
The senior's improved decision making is exactly the kind of progress NFL scouts will be pleased to see, plus he comes from a pro-style offense and has good intangibles. Barkley has mastered the West Coast offense and is well-prepared for the NFL.
Alex Smith will be better than Geno or Cassel, Alex Smith will be better than Geno or Cassel, Alex Smith will be better than Geno or Cassel, Alex Smith will be better than Geno or Cassel...