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NFL Draft Rumors: Jets Have Matt Barkley Ahead of Ryan Nassib

Steve Dykes

Here's a rumor sure to make a great many people unhappy.

Barkley is hugely unpopular in many quarters after a senior season in which he fell from the possible top pick to at least the second night of the Draft. Barkley is also considered radioactive in many quarters of Jets fandom because he replaced Mark Sanchez as USC's starting quarterback in 2009 when Sanchez came to the Jets. USC quarterbacks are not very loved in New York these days.

I think people have gotten so low on Barkley that he has become a bit underrated as a prospect. He's smart, accurate, and a seasoned four year starter with excellent mechanics. Had he come out a year ago, he probably would have been the third pick behind only Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. His senior year was a bit of a disappointment, but he was a top tier quarterback as a junior. There are questions with Barkley about various things such as arm strength, playing in a system more simplistic than would would expect under a former NFL head coach in Lane Kiffin, and how much of his success was due to great talent at skill positions.

He's another guy who I wouldn't touch in the first round due to all of the questions. In the second round? I'd prefer Geno Smith, but I don't think taking Barkley would be as terrible as people make it out to be.