NFL scouts are cold, bottom line men. You need to be to do that job. And the assessment of two longtime scouts reflects just that -- both called USC quarterback Matt Barkley's decision to stay, well, not very smart.
"A foolish business decision," said one scout.
"This is Matt Leinart dumb," said another.
Well, okay then.
It should be noted that past quarterbacks who were injured after returning for their senior season still went high in the draft. One of the more notable names was Sam Bradford who missed time his senior season at college because of an injured knee and then later missed most of the season because of shoulder surgery. Yet he still went first overall in the draft to the Rams.
Yet despite proof that a player can stay for his senior season and still go high in the NFL draft it is Leinart who remains one of the great cationary tales among scouts in professional football about the dangers of forgoing the draft when eligible. Leinart also returned for his senior season and after his career went 10th overall instead of first overall (which he would have done had he entered his junior year). That decision cost him millions of dollars.
Thus the phrase "Matt Leinart dumb."
Two scouts say Barkley is a top ten pick right now. Easy.
"There's a chance he could come back his senior season and be the first or second pick in the draft," said a scout, "but it's a total crapshoot. You never know."
Is Barkley "Matt Leinart dumb?"