By Zac Ellis
It's no secret that former USC quarterback Matt Barkley saw his NFL draft stock drop like an anvil after the Trojans' forgettable season in 2012. Now, it's gotten to the point that least one Southern California writer thinks Barkley won't even hear his name called in the first round.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times writes it's a "distinct possibility" that Barkley won't be picked in the first round of this month's draft. In fact, Farmer projects only one quarterback will go in the first 32 picks: West Virginia's Geno Smith, to the Eagles at No. 4.
It's interesting to see Barkley fall so far in the eyes of an L.A.-based writer, but that's not to say he's wrong. In fact, SI.com's own Don Banks left the former USC passer out of the first round of his latest mock as well.
It's worth looking back at Barkley's numbers from his junior season -- after which he was pegged as a top-five pick had he declared -- and comparing them to the totals from his senior season, when Barkley's stock plummeted:
• 2011 (12 games): 308-of-446 passing (69.1 percent), 3528 yards, 39 touchdowns, seven INTs, 161.2 rating
• 2012 (11 games): 246-of-387 passing (63.6 percent), 3273 yards, 36 touchdowns, 15 INTs, 157.6 rating
If you adjust Barkley's numbers based on games played, his production actually didn't drop off. He threw for 297.5 yards and 3.27 touchdowns per game in 2012, while averaging 294 yards and 3.25 touchdowns per game in 2011. The kicker is likely that Barkley threw twice as many interceptions in 2012, and his accuracy also dropped. USC's record didn't help, either: The Barkley-led Trojans dropped from 10-2 to 7-6 after being tabbed as the preseason No. 1 team in the country.
In a draft class that's not quarterback-heavy, it will be interesting to see how far Barkley falls, especially given his status heading into last season. MANDEL: Lane Kiffin hoping to finally turn the corner at USC