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Huard: Barkley should, will be first QB off the board

By staff

710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard is a regular contributor on In his latest column, he makes the case for USC’s Matt Barkley being the first quarterback taken in the upcoming NFL draft. Here is an excerpt:

Matt Barkley and his USC Trojans entered the 2012 season with huge expectations, but a Week 3 loss to Stanford derailed their national championship hopes, and a 1-5 stretch to end the season made them one of the biggest disappointments in college football. One of the byproducts was that Barkley’s NFL draft stock dropped from that of a likely top-five pick in 2012 to outside the first-round range in 2013.

While there are plenty of reasons for the Trojans’ fall, including depth and injury issues and defensive gaffes and meltdowns, Barkley can’t make excuses. So I’ll make them for him, and explain why I think that after his pro day workout at USC on Wednesday, NFL teams will begin to agree with what I already believe to be the case: Barkley should be the first quarterback selected in this year’s draft.

The entire piece can be read here (available via subscription only).