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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Barkley Continues Slow Steady Rise Up Draft Boards

Andrew Luck will go as the first overall selection and quarterback off of NFL Draft boards. After that, anything is possible. The rise of Robert Griffin III has many questioning whether or not Matt Barkley, the star quarterback out of USC, will be the second one taken anymore. Yet Mel Kiper of ESPN believes that Barkley’s draft stock is still rising and has Barkley five spots ahead of Griffin from Baylor.

Kiper writes that Barkley “faces a tough decision. Has closed remarkably well. Accurate and showing growth year-to-year. To me, he’s throwing a better ball and throws it really well on the move. Good, not great, arm. Pro-style skills are valued, even as offenses change.”

Barkley certainly has the pedigree and he’s won some big games this year. On the season, he has 308 completions in 446 passing attempts for a 69 percent completion rate. He’s also thrown 39 touchdowns compared to 7 interceptions. Perhaps the best news is that he’s still only 21-years-old, so he’s likely to continue to improve by a fairly measurable amount.