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NFL Draft 2012: Matt Barkley Likely To Declare, Leave USC

The NFL is a quarterbacks league. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

The recent scramble for the Denver Broncos spare parts tells you all you need to know about the state of the NFL and the desperation of teams to try to solidify the quarterback position. As the Broncos released Kyle Orton, the Chiefs, Cowboys and Bears all put in claims on the QB. The Texans should have, and you can actually make the case for several others (Seattle, Washington, Arizona, St. Louis). Simply put, each team should be two-deep at the position at least and several teams are struggling to even find one worthy starter.

That means that young, dynamic quarterbacks have a prime chance to be among the top picks in the NFL Draft if they so choose. Andrew Luck is the assumed first overall selection in the draft if he declares. Matt Barkley can be another top pick as well. That's one reason why Barkley will likely declare, according to Pedro Mauro of ESPN. He writes:

The pieces are all in place for his departure. He's said over and over he wanted to end his college career with a "big bang." It doesn't get much bigger than a 50-0 win over UCLA seven days after a gigantic upset at Oregon.

The reason so many Trojans fans are clamoring to have Barkley back next year -- USC's late-season success -- is the same reason he's so likely to leave. He's boosted his stock so much it would be a bad economic decision to return for a fourth season.

The truth is that while Barkley may say he's 50-50 on deciding and hasn't thought about it yet and all that, he surely has. How can he not have at least broached the topic in his own mind and with his parents at some point over the past three years, or even before?

On the season, Barkley has completed nearly 70 percent of this throws and set USC and Pac-12 records with 39 touchdowns. He also has seven interceptions.