Some will say that former USC quarterback Matt Barkley already has failed the biggest test of his life, before it even began. The reality could be that he already believes he has passed it.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Barkley won’t throw at this week’s Scouting Combine. Per Schefter, Barkley “might” run. Which means, of course, that he “might” not.
It’s a stark contrast to Barkley’s own words from a week ago, in which he said his injured shoulder had healed sufficiently to allow him to throw.
“This is probably the biggest test of my life coming up,” Barkley said. “This is like the SAT times thousands. I hear the whole couple days is a grind. But I am looking forward to that challenge. I am excited about it.”
Scouts will grumble, perhaps even more loudly than they would have if he’d never claimed he would throw in the first place. But the agent-driven decision apparently reflects a conclusion that Barkley has nothing to gain and plenty to lose by throwing passes to receivers he doesn’t know in an unfamiliar setting. The top quarterbacks often defer throwing to their Pro Day workouts, which are tightly-scripted games of pitch and catch with their college teammates at their college practice facilities. Barkley, based on Schefter’s report, plans to follow that path.
The deeper message here is that, regardless of the ratings and rankings and assessments of Barkley by folks in the media who act like they know but in reality don’t actually know what teams are truly thinking, Barkley’s agents apparently have collected information suggesting to them that the player doesn’t need to risk harming his actual draft stock by throwing this week.
Or maybe it’s a ruse aimed at convincing teams to think that at least one team has Barkley pegged for a top-10 pick.
Either way, Barkley’s name can be taken off the list for the latest installment of the Underwear Olympiad.