Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/9/13

Matt Barkley would have been the third quarterback taken in the 2012 Draft had he come out as a junior.The Southern Cal passer took a step back from his season last year and now has teams scratching their heads whether he is the next great player to come out of California or will he become another Tim Couch.Barkley has a place in the NFL based on his football acumen and his maturity.But there are intangibles that make him a risk. Remember the names Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez. Need I say more?I believe in the next 19 days, Barkley may become the hottest name on draft boards and sports social media sites.Time will tell if he does hear his name called in the first round of the Draft, or will he slide to the second round where a team may get a steal?As CBSsportsline.com said in its assessment of Barkley, “Some will knock his size, average arm strength or the fact that he has never faced SEC competition. While Barkley is a touch shorter than scouts would prefer, I've had numerous sources who saw him in person at the Manning Passing Academy tell me he showed greater zip than expected, though I'd like to see him improve his accuracy on the deep ball.”Here are five places Barkley could wind up.1. Arizona - I do not think the team trading for Carson Palmer is finished with making quarterback moves. Palmer is not the answer for this team in the future.New head coach Bruce Arians spent time in Indianapolis with Andrew Luck and knows a thing or two about quarterbacks (he also was a mentor to Ben Roethlisberger). This could be a great landing spot for Barkley and the Cardinals could trade down in the first round, still pick up draft picks and get their passer of the future.2. Dallas - You know Jerry Jones loves controversy. This would certainly do that. He just signed Tony Romo to a $100 million contract and asked backup Kyle Orton to restructure his contract to make that happen. While Romo is set to be the Cowboys' quarterback for the short future, don’t be shocked if the team takes a swipe at a passer and Barkley could be the name Jones is after.3. Oakland - If the team takes Sharrif Floyd at No. 3, then they may seek a quarterback in the second round or trade back into the first round to get one. Matt Flynn was a nice pickup from Seattle via trade. The question remains is he Brett Favre-lite or is he the next coming of Rob Johnson? And what does this team do with Terrelle Pryor?4. New England - This may be the best place for Barkley. The Patriots are a team that still has Tom Brady. But if you have not noticed, Brady signed a huge contract and is 35 years old and will not play forever. Barkley could be the backup and get mop-up duty while learning the Patriots’ offense. This could be a huge pick by Bill Belichick.5. Buffalo - Somehow, I think team general manager Buddy Nix has Barkley on his radar. But at the eighth pick, this team is slated by some teams to take Geno Smith. I don’t see that happening. If he is available in the second round, I could see the Bills trading with the Jaguars for pick No. 33.(Surprise Pick) Pittsburgh - Don’t count this out for several reasons. Ben Roethlisberger is the most battered quarterback in the league. He is also the toughest and that means he takes a beating and keeps on ticking.But injuries have kept him out of the lineup last season and players like Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich are just journeymen. This team should at least think about the future and have a solid passer to be there.... just in case.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tom Brady threw 'incredibly well' during practice Friday

Pacific Notes: Flames looking for winger, Nugent-Hopkins' injury won't change Oilers' plan

Knicks hesitant to go after Kemba Walker

Rays still engaged in Archer trade talks

Details emerge on Brady's injury: 'Right thumb bent back badly'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roy Halladay autopsy shows he had mix of drugs in system

Report: Indians, Orioles had discussed Manny Machado trade

Report: Jets WR threatened to sexually assault cop's wife

Report: Cavs seeking trades for DeAndre Jordan, George Hill

Tom Brady has 'just a cut' near knuckle, needed stitches

NFL determines Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Top 10 X-factors for Conference Championship Games

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

15 underrated NBA players having tremendous seasons

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

The 'Baby I'm a (All-)Star' quiz

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker