Philadelphia Eagles third-string QB Matt Barkley was a star for the USC Trojans and enjoyed a spectacular junior campaign, but his senior year caused his draft stock to tumble. The Eagles picked up the accurate, intangibles-filled signal-caller, and they haven’t looked back. He’s expected to be the quarterback of the future once Michael Vick leaves, if all goes well, and that expectation hasn’t seem to changed. A major reason why Barkley’s draft stock fell is due to a perceived weak arm, and this was picked apart during the pre-draft process. Barkley stated that the shoulder injury didn’t affect him, but he is now saying that it did indeed affect him negatively.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, “It wasn’t 100 percent,” Barkley said, “I’ll admit that.”
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly backed that up, “We’ve seen him get stronger and stronger as he’s been there. His arm is a lot stronger than when he first got here, but we could tell that.”
That’s definitely great news, as Barkley was also criticized during the offseason by beat writer for showing off a weak arm, thus leading to further criticism from a few people. But he seemed to bounce back in training camp, and there is no doubting his accuracy. Personally, I never saw any glaring arm strength issues from Barkley as a junior, and the fact that the Eagles are saying that he is throwing the ball with more “zip” now that he’s healthy is enough for me to believe that Barkley’s arm strength is not a serious concern.