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Geno Smith, Matt Barkley will not play in Senior Bowl

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This year's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., will be played without two high-profile college quarterbacks.

Liz Mullen of SBJ.com reported Wednesday that West Virginia's Geno Smith and USC's Matt Barkley will not take part in the annual all-star game that doubles as a pre-draft showcase for top college talent, per the game's executive director, Phil Savage.

It suggests the quarterbacks don't view the game -- even if they were to play well -- as a lever to hike their draft stock before April. A bad performance, however, might sink them in eyes of scouts, so staying away isn't a terrible strategy.


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Their absence puts QB-hungry teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, in a tough position, because Smith and Barkley won't take part in the week of practices leading up to the game, where plenty of evaluation takes place.

This year's quarterback class doesn't come close to the outstanding field we saw a year ago. Barkley, especially, once was seen as a possible top overall pick, but he watched his stock drop during an uneven senior season at USC.

He obviously doesn't view the Senior Bowl as a way to improve those perceptions.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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