Cosell sees Barkley as a fourth-round talent


So much for that post-Pro Day lift.

A day after USC quarterback Matt Barkley completed 56 of 62 passes against the Kukua defense, the buzz isn’t entirely positive.  Greg Cosell of NFL Films characterized Barkley as a fourth-round talent on The Dan Patrick Show.

“In the NFL, you’ve got to be able to make throws,” Cosell said.  “Often in difficult situations against very challenging defenses.”

Cosell said that Barkley has an average arm at best, and that he’s not particularly athletic in and around the pocket.  While Cosell acknowledged that Barkley could still be a first-round pick, Cosell said, “I think there are too many limitations.”

But what about the fact (as Dan mentioned during the segment and as Ross Tucker said on last night’s edition of Pro Football Talk) that Barkley was viewed as a consensus top-five or top-10 talent if he had come out in 2012?

“Consensus by whom?” Cosell said.  “That was essentially media talk.  We don’t know because how NFL teams would have evaluated him.”

All it takes is one team to evaluate Barkley as a first-round pick to make him a first-round pick.  Perhaps more accurately, all it takes is one owner to insist on taking Barkley in the first round to make him a first-round pick.

We’ll find out in four weeks whether any team or owner feels that way about the next possibly not-so-great USC quarterback.

66 responses to “Cosell sees Barkley as a fourth-round talent

  1. Everyone and their mother knows that he is going in the first round. It is what it is. We all had these SAME talks with Locker and Ponder….how did that go? Some QB needy team will pull the trigger and 3-4 teams will select a QB in the first.

  2. Gee, Florio. I thought he would jump ahead of Geno as the top rated QB after his pro day? Maybe now you’ll stop making predictions and just give us the news. Remove your snarky comments in every piece and I may eventually think of you as a good writer instead of the hack you are.

  3. Ponder? You mean the guy who led his to 4 straight victories and into the playoffs in his first full season as a starter with absolutely nothing at WR? I wouldn’t say that’s gone terrible yet.

  4. If he would have come out last year he would have been exposed during the draft process like he was this year. Only fools think he would have been a top 5 pick last year…it was all just media speculation. People had Tyler Bray in the top five last year for this draft and now the guys a mid-round pick. It happens all the time.

  5. EVERY year there is a player that the media & “experts” tear down so that he falls in the draft and a player that comes out of no where to undeservedly shoot into the 1st round.

    Perfect example:

    Ryan Mallett goes from being talked about as a 1st rounder in 2010 to being labeled a drug user and dropping into the 3rd

    But Blaine Gabbert gets the media hype train and ends up in the 1st round.

    There’s no way Barkley falls to the 4th

  6. I don’t know who Cosell is at all, but he sounds like a smart man.

    Like you said a couple days ago, every QB has a good Pro Day. The fact that his Pro Day wasn’t more than average should scream warnings ot any team thinking he will be 1st or 2nd round talent.

  7. Given the success (mostly failures) of the previous 5 USC quarterbacks, I am surprised any NFL team would draft a quarterback from USC.
    I am not being negative, those USC quarterbacks have just not produced much compared to the hype they had coming into the NFL.
    The last successful USC quarterback in the NFL was………………………………………..Rodney Peete.
    Just keeping it in prespective.

  8. This guy is bettwr than Christian ponder, Jake locker, coming out of college. I’m not saying he’s a first round talent but if locker and ponder were both top 10 anything possible. I remember when the vikings picked ponder me and my cousin looked at each other and laughed for like 5 mins.

  9. Barkley is a first round talent. You don’t succeed as he did at a top tier university, without having great skill set. It comes down to his match, with the selected team. Too many are asking players to perform excellent, outside the best framework for them. Most need to review how Pittsburgh, New England, Green Bay, and Baltimore draft. These teams never reach, and stay within what skills sets FIT their team. Stop drafting for the name and overall talent, and get guys that would perform well with you.

  10. Players like this – or more precisely, teams that pick players like this – are what allow teams at the back end of the draft round to get unexpectedly good players.

  11. Heard this interview and it was great! About time somebody actually studied Barkley and Teo and spoke out that they are not 1st round talent! Why does the media continue to over value USC and ND players?

    Barkley is the next Jimmy Clausen, and Teo is a slow undersized ILB… Bums!

  12. I’m sure all the haters just got a hard on from cosells statement. But the fact is, I’ve been a usc for a long time, I’ve seen every single game Matt Barkley played in, and I can tell u strait up that he is more talented than both leinart and Sanchez. He is a better leader than both of them, and he handles himself better than both of them. Please, please stop comparing old Trojan quarterbacks to the current. Matt Barkley is a good qb, he may not be a pro bowler, but he will be a starter on a good nfl team for a good amount of time. Obviously cossell is a better judge for talent than I am cuz it’s his job, but as a usc fan I honestly have no problem saying if Barkley isn’t worthy of a first round pick, but I do think he is. No way geno is a better pro qb prospect than Barkley. If ur fav team drafts him, u should feel good about the pick.

  13. I’m no expert, but I was not all that impressed watching Barkley yesterday either. (Not to mention he also started about 90 minutes late.) That said, it would not surprise me to see some desperate team overreach to get him. (Jacksonville brought half their coaching staff to watch him.)

  14. It’s funny, this is roughly what I felt about fellow USC alum Mark Sanchez coming out of college. Average arm, mediocre athleticism, very raw ability to read the field and defenses…I never understood the buzz about Sanchez going into the draft (he seemed to me to be solid, decent upside, a guy you could take in the late 1st or 2nd round and give time to develop and maybe you’ll hit on something), and I still saw those same limitations as “he” won games in first two seasons. Once the team stopped winning, people started to finally realize how limited a talent Sanchez is.

    I’m glad the evaluators are more on the ball with Barkley. Doesn’t mean he’s destined to fail, but you need to see him for his skills.

  15. The purple made the playoffs despite Ponder and because of AP.

    Barkley being from USC means nothing. The same BS was said about Aaron Rodgers being from Cal and being coached by Tedford.

    Barkley’s school means nothing. What matters is he isn’t that good.

  16. I don’t see the comparisons with Ponder folks.

    Ponder is WAY more athletic, in fact he is QUITE fast and has very good escapability, allowing him to extend plays and get rid of the ball in a lot of cirsumstances that would have been a sack.

    This dude looks like he would potentially be a SACK machine unless he pulls the trigger fast.

    Better comparison to Blane Gabbert or Jake Locker than Christian Ponder.

    BTW.. I think it’s a MYTH that Ponder has poor arm strength. He has plenty, just never throws it deep.

  17. Cosell may be right, but who the hell is he and where does his expertise come from? When and where did he play qb?Or, any other position for that matter. Like his namesake, he must have had a good view of the football games from the piccolo section of the band. That is the worst part of tv and especially radio commentators…the networks should make them all state their qualifications for the job they’re attempting to do!

  18. He doesn’t compare to Clausen. He was horrible at ND, and got the NFL shot, due to the school he came from. He had an average college career, and based on family pedigree alone, should not have been selected. Claussen was known not to study, a locker room jerk, and never bonded with teammates. Barkley won’t have the same issues and will be a better pro.

  19. So you graded him 4th round talent but i promise you he won’t get anywhere near it. Look at Ponder, Tebow, Gabbert, ect ect. Teams will take A chance cause of desperation.

  20. lionsgonewild says:Mar 28, 2013 10:09 AM

    “some say he is the first q.b. taken in the draft….
    who is cosell?”

    Cosell is pretty much the foremost authority on NFL films, and studies them more than anyone. Who are you?

  21. I think I would rather have my team give Vince Young another shot before going and drafting a QB like Barkley. I’m sorry, but if you are not on target while wearing shorts and basically playing catch with no Defense, your not going to be very accurate when you are in full gear, the pressure is on, your Receiver is well defended and you have 4-6 guys bearing down on you with the look of predation. Buddy Nix, please pass on Barkley, sincerely, The Buffalo Fan base.

  22. iamjimmyjack,

    As an obviously biased USC fan, if you don’t even see him as a pro Bowl caliber QB, you’re kind of making Cosell’s point.

    If you expect a QB to lead your team, he’d better be Pro Bowl caliber, or you’re just spinning your wheels with another placeholder like the Ryan Fitzpatricks, Andy Daltons, and (hate to bring up another USC QB) Mark Sanchezes of the world.

  23. 2ruefan

    I just think ponder is always going to be a game manager. Your team is all Adrian Peterson, teams showed ponder zero respect stacking the box to stop Peterson and he still couldn’t pass with any consistently. He single handedly is the reason Percy harvin decided to leave Minnesota. He wasn’t even consistent in college at Florida state. And a strong arm doesn’t mean a long ball, all NFL qbs can sling a 60 yard bomb, but can he throw a deep slant or out to the hashes on a frozen rope? No and that’s what people mean by no arm strength, not actually how far you can throw it.

  24. Another case of the media trying to make the story about him. Lets be as extreme as possible and see if he can get some pub. Barkley is a 1st round pick….period. This notion that 4th round talent gets picked in the 1st round is moot point…if relevant…what was Jake Locker?, Christian Ponder? and on and on…all mediocre college guys w/ suspect resumes. At least Barkley has a solid resumes w/ 4 years of good tape,

  25. Cosell is the same guy who was foaming at the mouth over Vince Young and VY was a terrible pro QB.

    He is just another scout with an opinion, that’s all.

    I hope Barkley succeeds b/c I want to see a young white QB succeed. I’m tried of the over-hyped black QBs get all this love from the press but no criticism.

    Go Barkley!

  26. stoolerz says:
    Mar 28, 2013 11:53 AM
    The only cred Cosell has comes from his old man.
    His old man was not Howard Cosell.

  27. With the way the rules have changed, slanted in favor of offenses, I’m shocked that ALL incoming, rookie quarterbacks aren’t slotted for the third, fourth or fifth round.
    Every season, a new wave of rookie QBs infiltrate the league with great success. All this instant success has devalued the position.
    Quarterback is the most overrated position in the Ultimate Team Sport.
    The Jets reached the playoffs twice with Mark Sanchez, the Broncos reached the playoffs with Tim Tebow, and the Ravens reached the playoffs three times with Joe Flacco, long before he went from being a liability to an above-average asset.
    The Steelers have won two Super Bowls with Ben Roethlisberger, who has saved some of his worst moments for Super Bowls. The Giants have won two Super Bowls with Eli Manning, whose success is not measured in seasons but in two outstanding plays.
    The last thing I’d want to do as a GM would be mortgage my organization’s future with a high-priced, first-round QB.

  28. I sense Barkley is destined to become the next USC QB to bomb at the next level. Each year time the starting QB comes out he appears to be less talented than the QB who came before him. Palmer to Leinart to Sanchez to Barkley. It is a drastic decline in talent at USC and Lane Kiffin has done nothing to help Barkley improve.

    With that being said, Tom Brady was a 6th round pick who was not highly regarded at an elite prospect. So I am keeping a barely open mind.

  29. Well that settles it. Barkley is a bust because some second tier sports guy proclaims it.

    It’s a 100 percent foolproof process. That’s why future HOFer Kurt Warner was packing bags in a grocery store and former AFC defensive player of the year James Harrison both went undrafted.


  30. “some say he is the first q.b. taken in the draft….
    who is cosell?”

    One of the NFL’s top draft and pro analysts….so it’s understandable that you wouldn’t know him.

    He absolutely will not be the first qb taken, and everyone and their mother do not know he is going in the first, nor do we know he would have been a first rounder last year.

    Ponder was used as an example, but Ponder was a later riser. Barkley has been tumbling down draft boards as teams and evaluators have begun watching tape.

  31. “Well that settles it. Barkley is a bust because some second tier sports guy proclaims it.”

    Second tier? Who is the top tier? Let me guess….Kiper.

  32. Even if Cosell were second tier, which he isn’t, that would put him a couple rungs above some teams’ personnel staffs. Raiders and Jets come to mind.

  33. To those saying he should have come out last year are missing the point. The pressure would have been much higher as a top 10 draft pick and he would have failed even more. He was always an average QB surrounded by NFL talent (like Tebow), so his play was covered up by great teammates like Lee and Woods with an NFL offensive line. He did himself and teams a favor by staying.

  34. For all you Ponder haters, here’s the deal. He went 4-0 in the month of December, had the 2nd best QB rating in the month of December, pushed his team into the playoffs. I am not sure if you know this, but Ponder wasn’t in positions to succeed. It’s not like he was in 3rd and 3’s, he was in 3rd and 7’s and more. If you don’t believe, go back and watch the Vikes vs Green Bay game in week 17. Yea….Ponder did that with Jerome Simpson, who was hurt and Michael Jenkins, who probably won’t be in the NFL this year, except if MN brings him back.
    Oh yea…he’s got Greg Jennings to throw to this year, so you’re going to see a different CP back there, especially now that he’s in his 2nd year as a starter.
    If you don’t agree, please let me hear it!!!

  35. Why do we listen to this cosell guy? He played college basketball and has no history in football other then watching the games. These so call media “experts” no nothing and there is a reason why they’re not working for an nfl team.

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