If you're a regular reader of Field Gulls and/or Seahawks Draft Blog you've noticed that Matt Barkley has been a topic of discussion lately, and Rob Staton has done a good job of scouting him in detail. The Hawks have yet to draft their QBOTF and many people assume their first pick next season will be used to invest in that QB. Of course, a lot depends on their draft position and who ends up declaring for next year's Draft, but a Barkley is a name that has been commonly linked to Seattle.
When I caught up with Rob last week, he had this to say about Matt Barkley, "There's very little between (Andrew) Luck and Barkley. Both have incredible poise in the pocket, they're very accurate quarterbacks and good decision makers. Luck is a grade ahead in terms of athleticism and making plays with his legs, but Barkley is surprisingly shifty and capable of running for first downs. Neither has the kind of physical tools that Cam Newton or Jake Locker had as the top two quarterbacks drafted this year, but they do have ideal mechanics that'll need only minor tweaks. Both will be able to start quickly in their NFL careers and barring injury or circumstance they should become top-10 quarterbacks.
Focusing on Barkley in particular, his progress in two years having been a true-freshman starter is remarkable. He's had to deal with a change of coaching staff in that time and also the loss of some key playmakers to the NFL. To go from high school to his level of play in two seasons learning on the run is incomparable. If he was physically dominant you might understand because Cam Newton was just better than every opponent he faced last year and adjusting to college pace from the JUCO ranks was relatively easy for him. Barkley doesn't have that physical brilliance, so when you see him making 2-3 reads, putting accurate touch on his passes, showing pro-instincts and leading by example you can't help but be impressed."
You can find a great breakdown of Matt Barkley vs Virginia at SDB that lists some of the skills and strengths he possesses that lead Rob to believe he could challenge Andrew Luck as the top QB in next year's draft. I wanted to add another video here that you can take a look at as well.