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Matt Barkley impresses Arizona Cardinals at combine

USC quarterback Matt Barkley's shoulder separation kept him from throwing at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, but he's found another way to impress NFL teams.

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah passes along a combine rumor from several different sources that the Arizona Cardinals are very interested in Barkley, who was "extremely impressive" in his interview with the team.

Jeremiah isn't alone. Sources from three teams told Fox Sports' Peter Schrager that Barkley was impressive enough to merit first-round draft status.

While there now is talk that Barkley will not make it past the Cardinals at No. 7 overall, we would take that speculation with a grain of salt. Plugged-in Cardinals beat writers Darren Urban and Kent Somers have both said they would be "very surprised" if the team reached for Barkley in the first round.

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Moreover, Barkley's skill set screams "West Coast offense." Former NFL general managers Scott Pioli and Charley Casserly opined on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" that arm strength is a concern for Barkley entering the NFL.

That doesn't mesh with new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, a noted devotee of the vertical offense that aggressively attacks secondaries down the field. "You put him on a team that's stretch the field, downfield throwing and he can't do that," one scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He may be Kevin Kolb, those kind of guys."

This latest Barkley buzz has the feel of an agent doing his best to pump up his client's value behind the scenes. It doesn't pass the smell test.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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