One benefit from working at NFL.com: I see the columns written by guys like Daniel Jeremiah, Albert Breer and Michael Lombardi before they go online.
Brooks: No. 1 pick in 2013?
Who'll be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft? Bucky Brooks thinks it'll be Matt Barkley, provided he improves in three areas. **More ...**
(OK, so it's not on par with the pension plan here or the in-house eatery pagnottella sandwich, but I'll take it.)
Jeremiah, a former scout with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, has weighed in with 10 observations after attending the Manning Passing Academy outside of New Orleans. He seconded previous reports that Peyton was very accurate and his velocity was solid, although there was a sense Peyton never fully "let it rip."
"(Manning) didn't have to strain to get the ball out there, but you could tell he was being a little cautious at this point in time," Jeremiah writes.
There are great notes on all the top collegiate passers who were in attendance -- draftniks need to read this column -- but Jeremiah's observation about USC quarterback Matt Barkley stuck out.
"I've seen Matt play live several times during his college career, and there was one noticeable difference after watching him this week: His arm has gotten much stronger," Jeremiah writes. "He was able to drive the ball with more authority than he has in the past three years."
Improved arm strength will only boost Barkley's considerable draft stock. It might be the biggest hurdle he faces. If Barkley's improved arm shows up in the fall, his decision to stay at USC could pay off.