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Matt Barkley: I'll remember NFL draft for a 'long time'

Ninety-seven players found NFL homes before Matt Barkley's name was called by the Philadelphia Eagles. The quarterback out of USC says the rest of the league will live to regret it.

"I'm going to remember this weekend for a long time and so are the teams that didn't draft me," Barkley told Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News on Saturday, after being selected in the fourth round (at No. 98).

Barkley sunk like a stone through the first three rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft. Concerns over everything from his injured shoulder, to his sub-laser arm, to his Southern California upbringing were tossed around as issues in the pre-draft season. Eagles coach Chip Kelly faced Barkley firsthand while at Oregon and didn't need scouts to convince him this young passer had an NFL future.

Barkley now finds himself in a crowded quarterback room in Philly, where he'll compete for snaps with Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne.

"As long as it's somewhere -- that works for me," Barkley told NFL Network on Saturday, acknowledging that he thought more than once about the draft-day narratives of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers as teams passed him by.

"A lot of emotions were going through my head, in our household, but today was a big sigh of relief," Barkley said. "And to get that phone call from the Eagles, asking, 'Are you ready to be an Eagle?' I jumped on it and was so excited."


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Barkley couldn't confirm who he first spoke to when the Eagles finally called.

"I believe it was (general manager Howie) Roseman," Barkley said. "I got the call and was almost too excited to hear anything but 'Eagles.' "

Barkley, of course, isn't the only quarterback in this draft with a monumental chip on his shoulder (see: Geno Smith, Florham Park), but he leads a group of young passers determined to upend the critics.

"It will spur me on to compete and to challenge myself just to be a better quarterback, every day," Barkley said. "You visualize all the picks that went in front of you -- especially the other quarterbacks that were taken. But at the same time, I really feel a great fit with Philadelphia ... and I'm excited to see where it goes."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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