Matt Barkley is Returning for Senior Season at USC

Brace yourselves Miami Dolphins fans and fans of other QB hungry teams, the Draft in April is about to get a little less exciting.  One of the Dolphins QB options is officially  ‘off the board’.  In his 4pm press conference, Matt Barkley confirmed what we heard rumors of earlier today…..He will be returning to USC for his senior season and will not enter the NFL Draft.  (Dolphins fans weep).   Barkley has been reportedly telling his USC teammates all day that he will be back next year:

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Barkley, is apparently willing to put off the NFL for one more season and will return to USC .  USC was ineligible for a bowl game this season, due to NCAA violations, but will be eligible next season. Barkley will also have a better chance at winning the Heisman trophy next year and, barring an injury, will probably only help his draft positioning.  If he were to come out this season, Barkley would probably be the 2nd or 3rd QB taken in the draft.  Andrew Luck is the unquestioned #1 QB, but Barkley and Robert Griffin III are said to be the next best options.  There is debate as to which is better, but Barkley appears set to leave that debate for another day.

As we said earlier, there are rumors circulating that Barkley, RGIII, and Landry Jones could ALL return to school in 2012.  This would leave a bigger gap between Andrew Luck and the next best QB (Brandon Weeden).  So where does this leave the Dolphins?  It’s still way to early to know what the Dolphins will do in the draft since 1. We don’t know who the Dolphins head coach is going to be, 2. We don’t know what the Dolphins will do in free agency, leading up to the draft.

Yesterday, Todd McShay of ESPN posted his mock draft and had Barkley going to the Dolphins at #10.  Might have to rewrite that mock now Todd.  I was hopeful that Barkley would declare for the draft because it gives the Dolphins another option for a young QB.  Now, with these 3 junior QBs, likely staying in school, it decreases their options.  There will now be more QB needy teams (cough, Dolphins, cough) than QBs available. What that will do is increase the cost (via trade) for a team to move up and take the QB they want.  If you’re a Dolphins fan looking for a young QB, the value might just not be there in the 1st round, outside of Andrew Luck.  It’s a disappointing announcement, sure.  BUT, there is still a lot of time and there are a lot of things that could happen before the NFL draft at the end of April.

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