Yeah, I don't really know what to tell you. Barkley is not the same person as Lienart, Palmer, John David Booty or Sanchez. Sure that's a poor list of NFL QBs from USC, but you can't evaluate a guy on things that have nothing to do with him. If you want to say that everyone might be underestimating Barkley simply because his headcoach is a moron, or everyone could be overrating him due to poor competition, great pass protection, or his top notch WRs, I can understand that. But don't fault the guy just because of the school he came from.
I like Barkley as a steal this draft. I think he could be there at #27 and is worthy of a trade up if necessary. Barkley was hurt this past season and that has affected his draft stock immensely. There's a lot to like about him:
- Excellent high school resume. His coach loved him and let him call plays at the LOS on his own back then.
- Four year starter at USC, first true freshman QB to start the first game of the season at USC.
- He has a good arm with a range of 55-60 yards in the air
- He played in a pro-style offense at USC and took a lot of snaps under center
- I think he has good footwork, but others around here are better suited at evaluating that
- I like watching him go through progressions on longer plays. He at least does a decent job of this, but I do see a lot of one read throws. Might be the play calling, not sure.
- I have seen him roll out on play action naked bootlegs many times and make the plays down field or even tuck the ball and run for positive yards
- He looks good at evading tackles, not Vick or RG3-like, but Tony Romo evasiveness. That's a huge upgrade from Schaub, and it allows him to extend plays.
- I have seen him directing receivers on broken plays where he rolled out and found an open man to hit while extending the play and keeping his eyes downfield. I really like seeing that.
- I love his touch passes to the sidelines. Something the Texans sorely lack with Matt Schaub is that he does not have a clue how to drop a pass on a WR's outside shoulder down the sideline or in the corner of the end zone. Barkley seems to have knack for hitting the outside shoulder of the receiver on short and mid range routes, which makes it more difficult to intercept his throws.
- He was the starting QB of a big school, which put a lot of pressure on him and will make him more ready for the scrutiny of an NFL QB position.
- Is above average (at least) at throwing on the run, which he does quite a bit on bootlegs. That fits well with the Texans' offense.
- He can run if needed, he ran a few QB draws or playaction fakes that lead to him rolling out and running with the ball to get a first down or at least a few yards.
- Good pump fake
- Pretty good about getting rid of the ball when under a lot of pressure.
- Clean character, devout Christian and lots of charity work. Kind of a Tebow-lite in this aspect, but not as in-your-face about it, nor as creepy.
Lots of passes in the USC offense are short routes and screens. He's good at getting them the ball, but they don't always go very far. A few too many checkdowns for my liking.
2012 was clearly a worse year than his 2011 performance. He may have regressed a bit, but I'm not sure why. Had pretty poor o-line protection in 2012, so I think that may be the big difference. Matt Kalil drafted last year, and their replacement LT doesn't look anywhere near as good. His center and guards were pretty poor in a few games. I hope nobody mocks any of the USC o-line to us...
Injuries - Missed 4 games out of 51 potential starts in his four year career. Has had some shoulder injuries prior to the one his senior year.
Height 6'1 1/2 - Some sites list him as 6'2. I wouldn't be worried about it.
Date of birth: September 8, 1990 (age 22) - Still kind of young, but he has been starting at QB since high school.