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Matt Barkley's USC pro day draws mixed reviews

Multiple NFL executives predicted to NFL.com's Albert Breer earlier this month that USC's Matt Barkley could catch West Virginia's Geno Smith as the top quarterback leading up to the 2013 NFL draft.

After sitting out of passing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, Barkley had an opportunity to dispel concerns about his arm strength at the Trojans' pro day Wednesday.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock would have liked to have seen a tighter spiral on throws that fluttered a bit against the wind, but noted that Barkley's deep-ball accuracy was a strong part of the workout.

Everything underneath and between the hashes looked "great" Mayock said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." Mayock timed Barkley at 4.95 seconds and 4.97 in the 40-yard dash.

"There's no knock (against him)," Mayock added. "His arm strength is what I thought it was. It's good. It's just not elite."


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NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, wasn't as sold on Barkley's arm talent. "You just want to see a little more giddy up to use a baseball term," Jeremiah said. "You want to see a little more life on his fastball.

"There was a widespread belief that, even with his intangibles and rare football IQ, Barkley would need a great pro day to put himself in position to be the first quarterback off the board next month."

Although NFL Network analyst Charles Davis thought Barkley "did a good job," it was not enough to "knock Geno Smith off his pedestal."

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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