Raiders Rumors: Matt Barkley Would Be High-Upside Selection in Second Round

The Oakland Raiders continued their tradition of surprise picks in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday evening, and we may see yet another in the early going on Day 2.

According to Bill Williamson of ESPN, the Raiders are rumored to be interested in selecting USC signal-caller Matt Barkley in the early second round Friday. Williamson tweeted:

As Williamson noted, general manager Reggie McKenzie was in attendance at USC’s pro day on March 27, presumably to get a closer look at none other than the Trojans’ top-shelf quarterback in his first throwing session of the offseason for NFL personnel.

Barkley injured his throwing shoulder November 17 in the team’s regular-season game against rival UCLA, a game the Trojans went on to lose 38-28. The 22-year-old would go on to miss USC’s final regular-season game and his final collegiate contest in the Hyundai Sun Bowl December 31.

The shoulder separation Barkley suffered in that November contest kept him from attending the Under Armour Senior Bowl in January and limited his throwing ability until March when he would first throw for NFL team.’s Gil Brandt broke down Barkley’s performance at USC’s pro day—a performance Brandt believed would be a huge boost for the signal-caller. Brandt wrote:

Two things were especially encouraging to me about his pro day: He ran the 40-yard dash and he ran it faster (in 4.89 and 4.92 seconds) than I thought he might. The fact that he was willing to throw into the wind was a good sign. Folks I talked to compared his arm strength to that of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. His feet were quicker and better than people thought they would be. Barkley's a great example of somebody who was the subject of apprehension but turned things around at his pro day. Everyone was waiting for this one, and it helped him a great de...

About the Author