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NFL Combine 2013: Matt Barkley says he has the right stuff

February 22, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Matt Barkley answers a question during a news conference at the NFL combine Friday.
Matt Barkley answers a question during a news conference at the NFL combine… (Michael Conroy / Associated…)

INDIANAPOLIS — Matt Barkley said Friday that although he’s no Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson, he’s got the wheels to present problems to NFL defenses.

“Yeah, I’m the traditional drop-back quarterback,” the former USC signalcaller said. “At the same time, I believe I have the quickness, the pocket mobility to ... get out of the pocket. I think my throwing on the run is great and I have complete confidence in that. I’m not going to be running a 4.3[-second] 40 or anything like that, but how many starting quarterbacks in the league can?”

By his thinking, the position comes down to passing.

“I think in the NFL you’re always going to have to be a passer; it’s a passing game, and as much as the read option is successful, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback is similar to how I play,” he said, referring to Baltimore’s Joe Flacco. “And that style, that tradition, I don’t think that will ever fade.”

Barkley said he “definitely” believes he’s the best quarterback in this draft class, and elaborated on his decision not to work out for scouts at the combine, instead waiting to do so at USC’s pro day on March 27. He said the choice to wait was based on the rehabilitation of the right shoulder separation he suffered at the end of a loss to UCLA in November.

“I’m 100% on track with my rehab program,” he said, when asked if his shoulder is 100%. “It’s been a slow process. I’ve had to be very patient at times with the rehab I’ve been doing. By March 27 on my pro day, I should be perfect to throw.”

Asked about the persistent label that he doesn’t have the arm to be an NFL starter, he said: “I would disagree; watch the tape, you can watch the tape [where] I made throws in tight windows, I can make every NFL throw that you need, so I would disagree.”

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