NFL Draft 2012: Could USC's Matt Barkley Become Next Matt Leinart?

There's a lot to like about Matt Barkley. There was also a lot to like about former USC Trojan and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart. And the comparison doesn't do Matt Barkley any favors concerning his NFL prospects. That said, Barkley will still likely go high -- very high -- in the upcoming NFL Draft should he declare, but the quality of his supporting cast is that has some -- like NFL.com's Bucky Brooks -- wondering just how good Barkley will be at the next level.

"Even though the buzz suggests that Barkley is gaining ground on Luck as the top quarterback prospect in the 2012 draft class (if they both forego their senior seasons), several scouts I've spoken with recently dismiss that notion," writes Brooks. "They point to Barkley's impressive supporting cast as the catalyst to his strong performance over the past month and used former Trojans QB Matt Leinart as an example of why Barkley's increased production should be kept in perspective. Much like Leinart, Barkley is surrounding by a set of playmakers who should be early-round selections some day, and scouts wonder if he will succeed as a pro with lesser players. Their doubts have led most to rank him significantly behind Luck."

Barkley will likely be the second quarterback drafted off of the board with perhaps Robert Griffin III from Baylor vaulting him through draft workouts and the like. If Jake Locker and Christian Ponder are both top 12 picks in last year's draft, you can believe that Barkley will hear his name called before then.

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