USC has announced that today at 3:00PM QB Matt Barkley will formally announce his decision on whether to skip his senior season at USC and leave for the NFL or return to USC. Now there are many factors and angles on this decision and here is a quick look at them.
Why Barkley stays?
Barkley has grown up a Trojan, coming out of HS there was never any doubt that he was going to USC and this is his program. If he returns for next season he has the opportunity to lead his university back to glory from the brink of disaster that he inherited it in. That kind of story will be told in living rooms all over the state of California and Barkley could go down as one of the great Trojan QB’s of all time. For a kid who grew up wanting to be a Trojan that’s asking an awful lot of him to just walk away now.
There is also a second point and again it pulls on Barkley growing up as a Trojan. QB’s don’t leave USC early, looks at guys like Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Rob Johnson. We had Mark Sanchez most recently buck that trend and what happened to him? His coach came out and openly disapproved of the decision. Now Kiffin isn’t Carroll but don’t think for a second that tradition won’t weigh heavily on Barkley’s mind.
Why Barkley goes?
This is the NFL we are talking about, to put it another way, this is the big boy sand box and you bring your A game when you step in here. You don’t just snub your nose at it, especially when you’re a top ten lock like Barkley is. Can he get better? Yes without Andrew Luck next year he has a great shot at being the top QB and top pick in the 2013 draft. However there is also a fella named Robert Griffin III who may not leave school and we already rank RGIII ahead of Barkley. To stay in school at this point is to take on a ton of risk with minimal (if any) monetary reward.
Who Else Does This Effect?
Robert Griffin III- Widely considered the 2b to Barkley’s 2a, if Barkley stays Griffin becomes the unquestioned 2nd QB in this draft and stands to make more money and capitalize on a Heisman winning season. He would be the most positively effected QB and it could force his hand and make him declare.
Landry Jones- The junior at Oklahoma had a down year in terms of NFL evaluation and many think he will be staying in school. With Barkley back at USC the market will need more QB’s and Jones could have teams overlook his poorer throws in an effort to convince themselves he’s a 1st rounder. It’s happened before and it will happen again.
Ryan Tannehill- No matter what Tannehill is in this draft but without Barkley his stock takes a considerable bump and he rises up onto more sound footing in the first round. Right now we see Tannehill as a 1st-2nd Round pick but without Barkley we’d move him into Round 1.
Indianapolis Colts- Right now the Colts sit at #1 overall and are locked into Andrew Luck, but if Barkley stays that pick becomes even more coveted due to the shortness in the market supply. Think back to Economics 101 with the basic supply and demand chart. The demand in the NFL for franchise QB’s is never changing, but the supply is and that’s where Indianapolis could see a huge opening.
Washington Redskins- They have to be worried right now because they need a QB and were sitting in good position to get one if everything went as planned and Barkley and RGIII came out. However everything may not be going as planned and the team that had the most draft picks last season may need to make a deal to move up to even have a shot at a QB this season.
Cleveland Browns- The Browns are still ok, they aren’t officially declaring the Colt McCoy strategy dead but the medical examiner has been called and as long as RGIII declares they have the best shot at him. Barkley could cause Cleveland to explore the cost of moving up 1-2 spots just to stop Washington from jumping them. Again that’s only if they decide McCoy isn’t going to work out, they could decide they want Trent Richardson work out a trade down and grab a surplus of picks.
Miami Dolphins- If I told you in the preseason that Matt Moore would ruin the Dolphins season you would of believed it. However if I told you he ruined it by winning too much you would of looked at me like I was nuts. Right now Miami is on the outside looking in and without Barkley it may be too expensive for a new regime to make a deal and move up for a QB. They could look at a Tannehill or Jones though.
Buffalo Bills- The Bills have committed a good chunk of money and years to Ryan Fitzpatrick but that’s all voidable after this season if they want. I think if Barkley stays it makes the decision easy and Bills fan will have Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter in 2012 for better or worse.
So what happens?
Here are my pure guesses as to what will happen this afternoon and projecting forward;
Barkley-Stays in School
RGIII-Declares for the Draft
Jones-Stays in School
Tannehill-Becomes a Top 20 pick
UPDATE: QB Matt Barkley has officially decided to stay at USC and play one more year at USC.