USC quarterback Matt Barkley will announce his decision on whether he’s turning pro at 1pm today. Early speculation suggests he will be staying with the Trojans for his senior year. Tony Pauline at SI.com is also reporting that Robert Griffin III and Landry Jones could alsoopt to remain in college – three decisions that would completely change the complexion of the 2012 draft.
For starters, will an unexpected player declare sensing an opportunity with so few quarterbacks available? Could a guy like Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia) jump ship with so many teams in need of a quarterback? Will this benefit second and third tier prospects like Ryan Tannehill and Austin Davis? Where does it leave the list of teams searching for a franchise quarterback, including the Seahawks?
Barkley will announce his intentions at 9pm, but our sources have revealed he didn’t receive a favorable review from the draft committee. Although he was told he would be a high pick, the committee highlighted areas to work on. His skill grade wasn’t particularly high.
There’s no doubt that Barkley would’ve been a high first round pick, but it appears a combination of factors could’ve led him to a decision to stay at USC. The Trojans will be Bowl eligible next year, Barkley will be among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy and he’ll have a realistic shot at being the #1 pick in 2013.