Matt Barkley's Return To USC Makes Quarterback Class For NFL Draft Very Thin After Andrew Luck

Last year, several teams took a quarterback at the top of the first round starting with Cam Newton and lasting through names like Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert. That’s not likely to happen again after Andrew Luck at the No. 1 spot in the 2012 NFL Draft — not with the reported intentions of Matt Barkley heading back to USC. It’s likely to stop only with one more name announced: Robert Griffin III.

The Baylor product is likely to be the only top quarterback selected within the first several picks after Luck likely heads to the Indianapolis Colts. For the Kansas City Chiefs, who will likely have an upper-mid selection around No. 12 (which they would have right now if the season ended), the team won’t have the right value — at least at this point — at the quarterback position to pull the trigger.

It’s possible a player like Ryan Tannehill rockets up draft boards in the pre-draft workout season, since it happens every year. However, the buzz hasn’t been there for anyone to believe it will trump some other positions of need for teams. If anything, this likely cements a direction toward the offensive line rather than reach for a quarterback who doesn’t deserve it. Without Barkley, there’s no likelihood that a decent quarterback will fall.

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