The selection of Matt Barkley by the Philadelphia Eagles with pick 98 in the 4th round has caused quite a stir over the past two weeks.
Many were questioning how Barkley who would have been a first round pick in 2012 could have fallen so far. Others were interested in trying to figure out how Barkley would fit in Chip Kelly’s spread option offense.
Kelly for his part insisted he’d build his offense around his quarterbacks strengths, and that Barkley didn’t have to be fleet of foot to be successful.
Plenty of pundits have their questions about how Barkley will fit into Kelly’s system, but one person who happens to be a former NFL quarterback, excellent analyst, and a person familiar with Barkley, thinks he gonna be a stud in the league.
Former NFL quarterback, and ESPN analyst, Trent Dilfer, says he believes the 22-year old Barkley will be the Eagles starting quarterback for up to a decade after taking a season or two learn Kelly’s offense.
“I thought he was a first round talent,” Dilfer said. “But when you look at his film, I was really intrigued because of what he does as a player, are really graduate level things. Line of scrimmage control, controlling the run game, Pre-snap reads, adjustments, anticipating blitz packages and it really reminded me of Eli Manning. I took out Eli’s tape from Ole Miss and it was amazing the comparisons between the two. The more tools you give them to control the game at the line of scrimmage to help their teams, where they can use their cognitive skills and talents as well as their physical talents, that’s where you really see the wholeness of them as a quarterback come out.”
“There is not a lot of difference between Matt Barkley and Eli Manning in their senior film,” said Dilfer. “In fact, I would argue that Matt’s college film is slightly better than Eli’s film.”
What Dilfer said shouldn’t be a complete shocker. Matt Barkley has been a high level since he was in 8th grade. Barkley finished his career at USC with a 63 percent completion percentage and was a four-year starter for the Trojans in a pro-style offense, holding almost every significant Pac-12 and Trojans passing record.
Dilfer continued on talking about Barkley, and said he expects the motivated quarterback to give Michael Vick a run for his spot from day 1.
“I think his skill set matches very well with what I believe Philly is going to do offensively — being a quick decision-making offense in the passing game,” said Dilfer. “They are going to put the keys in the quarterback’s hands and will ask him to do a lot, to make quick decisions, move the chains and get into the end zone.”
“I think if Chip Kelly is true to his word, which I know him to be, it will truly be a competition day in and day out, and if that’s the case, then Michael Vick is up for a very hard fight with Matt Barkley.”
“I think Matt Barkley will thrive in this system right away because it’s perfectly built for him and it’s something his football pedigree has prepared him for. Michael is a clear-minded guy and I think he will thrive in it too, but it will be a fierce competition. If Michael doesn’t grasp it and thrive in the quick-decision passing game early on, then Matt Barkley will get some opportunities to get some snaps.”