Eagles Rookie QB Matt Barkley is High on Confidence, Low on Odds | Eagles Addict
Matt Barkley

Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

Philadelphia Eagles QB Matt Barkley is the rookie getting the most attention as mini-camps have begun.  That’s the way it is for now, though, since quarterbacks usually garner the most publicity and he’s the newest bird in the nest at this position.

To his credit, Barkley has handled everything extremely well since the day he was drafted.  Right after learning he was an Eagle, his first tweet was “I’m an Eagle!! Time to fly baby“.

Of course, after being drafted he gained all kinds of followers on Twitter and interacted with some of them by re-tweeting their tweets to him.  The ones he chose to re-tweet seem to indicate good things about his personality…

“play with a chip on your shoulder. We love you up here in Philly and all that motivation will carry you a long way! #Bleedgreen

“you will love it in Philly, we have the best fans in the world, but you don’t want to get on the wrong side of them lol.”

“that philly crowd is tough man, but as long as u play to your abilities, be an awesome teammate & lean on God, you’ll be fine”

“If you play hard and with heart, we’ll love you no matter what. Welcome to Philly”

And this is my personal favorite…

Philly loves ditch diggers, not ballet dancers. Work hard, be professional & Philly will love you. Anything less won’t do.”

Barkley responded to that tweet with a picture of him in Nigeria in 2010 that showed him, well, digging a ditch!  Good stuff from Matt there.

The fact he chose to re-tweet these types of statements tells me a lot about his personality.  He seems like a guy that truly understands what he needs to do to not only make it in the NFL, but to make it in Philadelphia.

Barkley has handled the media like a pro as well.  He carries himself well, speaks well, and shows his confidence without coming across as cocky or arrogant.  Here are a few recent quotes, most of which you’ve probably heard by now (courtesy of Les Bowen on Philly.com)…

Barkley said Michael Vick and Nick Foles are “outstanding men,” who “have both done great things,” but “you come in knowing that you have a job. They’re trying to take that job as well. It’s competition. That’s what competing is all about.”

Asked to revisit the disappointing drama of sliding in the draft, Barkley said, “The fact is that I’m here, and I have a shot to play on the field this year.”

“You come in as a teammate to them, not as a fan,” Barkley said. “You come in as someone who is ready to compete against them, at the same time . . . It’s going to be good competition for all of us, competing against each other, just making each other better.”

When asked about the offense:

“I love it. It’s a new challenge,” said Barkley.

“You have to act quickly. You have to be a sharp decision-maker. I think that’s what coach is looking for at the quarterback position,” Barkley said, when asked about the offense. “You’ll see some similar things” to Oregon’s offense. “It’s coach Kelly . . . We have other ideas and schemes fused in. It’s going to be exciting.”

Asked whether he fits the offense – Barkley is perceived as a fast thinker, but not a particularly fast or elusive runner – Barkley said: “I’ll make it fit. It doesn’t matter [what type of offense], I’m going to find a way to help this team out.”

Since the draft, Barkley has gotten mostly positive analysis from the media and NFL analysts.  He’s been compared to Eli Manning and Drew Brees and some feel he will fit extremely well with Chip Kelly’s offensive philosophy.

I’m not too sure about those comparisons, but hey, if he ends up being anywhere close to as good as one of those guys then the Eagles got the steal of the 2013 draft.  I do, however, feel that Barkley is Chip’s kind of player.

He appears to have every intangible quality that Chip prefers in his QB, with the lone exception of being a threat to run with the ball.

With all of these good feelings and optimism around Barkley, we have to remember that he is, after all, a fourth round draft pick.

We all know the story now…if he declared for the draft last year he would have likely been a top-10 pick.  He decided to return for his senior season but USC, along with Barkley’s performance, had a down-year as compared to the previous season.

So, which Barkley are we getting?  The one whom everyone thinks was a sure-fire top-10 pick in 2012 or the guy that every team in a QB-starved NFL passed on for three full rounds in the 2013 draft?

Obviously, time will tell us the answer to that.  But, for now, the only thing we can really go on is past history.  What does past history tell us about quarterbacks who were drafted in the fourth round or later?

Nothing good, that’s for sure.

According to my highly unscientific research, Barkley has about a 10% chance of becoming a QB who will be a starter for multiple games in more than just one or two seasons.

Starting with the 2011 draft, I looked back at the last 25 years to see all of the quarterbacks who were taken in Round 4 or later.  Then, based mostly on my opinion and whether or not any of them were either solid starters, or at least started multiple games in multiple seasons, I created a list.

As it turned out, there were a total of 181 quarterbacks taken in Round 4 or later in the drafts between 1987 and 2011.  Of those 181 quarterbacks, I found only 18 worth mentioning as noted below (player, year they were drafted, round they were drafted in)…

Kyle Orton 2005 4th
Matt Cassel 2005 7th
Ryan Fitzpatrick 2005 7th
Tony Romo 2003 Undrafted
David Garrard 2002 4th
Marc Bulger 2000 6th
Tom Brady 2000 6th
Matt Hasselbeck 1998 6th
Gus Frerotte 1994 7th
Mark Brunell 1993 5th
Elvis Grbac 1993 8th
Trent Green 1993 8th
Jeff Blake 1992 6th
Brad Johnson 1992 9th
Rodney Peete 1989 6th
Stan Humphries 1988 6th
Rich Gannon 1987 4th
Steve Beuerlein 1987 4th

Of those 18 quarterbacks, five led their team to a Super Bowl (Humphries, Gannon, Hasselbeck, Brady and Johnson) with two of them winning it (Brady, Johnson).

However, with the exception of Brady and Romo, none of those guys were ever really considered “franchise quarterbacks.”

And for the most part, that list elicits a “meh” reaction from me when thinking strictly about the play of those quarterbacks.  Okay, but nothing special (aside from Brady).

Therefore, Barkley has to beat some odds that are heavily stacked against him of becoming a long-term successful NFL QB.

This is not to say he can’t or won’t do it, it just says to not get your hopes up too high if you think he’s going to become a franchise kind-of player in Philly.  There’s plenty to like about this kid right now, but ultimately we need to see him on the field in an NFL game.

I would describe my current feelings on Barkley as cautiously optimistic while keeping one foot firmly planted in the reality that the odds are stacked against him actually becoming what we all want: the QB of our future.


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9 Responses to Eagles Rookie QB Matt Barkley is High on Confidence, Low on Odds

  1. tval says:

    eli beat awesome gator team among other sec powers. brees was in rose bowl in good big ten era. barkley was letdown as leader overrated as qb since day 1. nice vintage qb list dave! i thnk gus frerotte is barkley sr. he wont surpass any on ur list as far as career achievement, imo. and if he thnks hes in competition for anythng more than emergency qb this season, hes delusional.

  2. tval says:

    i like foles as future id take flacco big ben type before manning or brees. suits philly imo! brees is total system. payton is their franchise. eli is just lucky. wth his .500 record and 2 super bowls. hes awful or hot as fire. mr mercurial but not as special as coughlin’s d-lines for those teams, imho

  3. tval says:

    dave, i really thnk philly will give mike 2 years at least, how much of a chance is yr 1 under completely new scheme and coaching staff? i still thnk we are even or ahead of ny and wsh talent wise. then, after year 2 under chip & vick target current fsu qb and stanford target jameis winston. the best qb prospect the next 5 years!

    • The only way Vick gets 2 years is if he wins the starting job, stays healthy, and plays well. He may win the starting job, but the other two things are very much up in the air. What I think we might see is Vick getting first crack, but his play will be mediocre and then he’ll get injured. Then, Barkley will be the guy next off the bench.

      Chip will want a chance to see Barkley in action to know whether or not he needs to consider another QB in 2014… *cough* Taj Boyd *cough*

  4. tval says:

    lol! i believe chip will do much bettr job protecting mike, wth playcalling, formations, etc. andy cldnt keep a jv high school d off balance. i dont think taj boyd will be the top prospect, or player, he seems he’ll be at this time. that being said hes much bettr than barkley. he would hav run similar offense, 3 years ago tx h.s. fball coach-chad morris runs clemson not dabo, and fit better. but i thnk foles beats out barkley easily. i watched mike glennon dissect fsu defense. taj just made 1 crucial error after another. hes pretty short and stocky too

    • Hell, if Barkley ends up playing at some point this year, we might not have to talk about any QB’s in next year’s draft! That’s wishful thinking though.

      It’s going to be interesting to see how Vick does in this offense. Besides the running ability, he seems to be the opposite kind of QB Kelly likes.

      • tval says:

        i alwayzzz wanna talk qbs dave! lol! i thnk he may be exactly what chip wants. explosive arm that can put the ball on chips designed mismatch quicky. thats what mike needs quick read/release pass game then let ertz and celek take the punishment 10 20 yds downfield. if u thnk about it none of chips qbs have been precision pocket qbs. rollouts qb sprints bootlegs nakeds. diff every single time, thats what made oregon great.

      • tval says:

        id temper my expectations of barkley, usc has great theater/drama dept. great actors! lol. and i dont thnk mike wldve beaten out kolb wout hitting his playbook hard post prison term. we cant say how succesful kevin wldve been had he stayed in same system wth andy. in othr words mike before and after is apples/oranges. he wldnt hav been brady’s best statistical season from a comeback player/mvp award in same season! crazx

  5. tval says:

    i think michigan’s davin gardner will be the sleeper qb of this upcoming class! if he doesnt take cfb by storm, which he may manziel style. ive seen nearly every game of gardner and at least 7 of boyds- gardner has small sample but way higher ceiling, imo. fsu cldve won natl. championship with him at qb last year, so yeah, i thnk hes way better than e.j. today! just as big, faster, no e.j. injury history and way tougher. played wideout some and very well when denard was still starter for some reason-which i questioned bigtime before last season


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