Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 7/17/12

After throwing for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions last season, USC quarterback Matt Barkley would have been a very high pick in the 2012 draft had he not chosen stay in school for his senior season. If he can duplicate that production again this season, Barkley should be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. There’s a good chance one of the reasons he chose to return to USC this season is that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were already expected to be the first two quarterbacks selected. While Barkley admits that Luck likely would have been taken ahead of him, he’s not convinced the same can be said of RG3.

“I had confidence that I was going to go high, it wasn’t really a question of that as to why I came back,” Barkley said on the Dan Patrick Show Tuesday. “I think it was a sure bet that Andrew was going to go No. 1.”

Patrick then asked Barkley if he thought he would have been the second quarterback selected and he gave the following response.

“I had confidence in that — I think I could have been.”

With the way Washington pursued RG3, it’s probably safe to say they were in love with him long before Barkley even decided to return to USC for his senior season. Barkley almost certainly would have been taken ahead of Ryan Tannehill, which is why the Dolphins were the big losers when he decided not to leave school early.

I’m not knocking Barkley for being confident, but there were some NFL scouts who even liked Griffin more than Luck. Whether he believes he would have been taken ahead of the Baylor star or not, he made the right decision in waiting until 2013 to enter the draft.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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