2013 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Barkley to AZ in SB Nation's latest prediction

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Selecting a USC quarterback in the first round has never come back to bite the Cardinals in the ass, right?

With the first 20 picks now set in stone, SB Nation released their latest mock draft Monday and predicted the Cardinals to choose USC QB Matt Barkley with the seventh-overall selection.

Here's what NFL Draft Editor Dan Kadar had to say about the possible pairing:

"Much like Smith probably isn't worth the top pick, this is high for Barkley. When there is a team in need, quarterbacks get overvalued dramatically, and that's the case here. The Cardinals need to take a chance on a first-round quarterback after passing over top signal callers the past two years. The Cardinals unsuccessfully gambled on Matt Leinart in 2006, but it's time to gamble on a USC quarterback again. Don't be surprised if Tyler Wilson of Arkansas gets a long look here as well."

Seventh overall does seem a bit high for Barkley, considering he saw his completion percentage and touchdown output decrease and turnovers increase in his senior season. And when you factor in that the Cardinals have had a tendency to go talent over need in the past couple of drafts, it does seem pretty unlikely that they'd be willing to risk such a high selection.

Then again, it's pretty clear that the Cardinals are desperate for a franchise signal caller and their draft philosophy could be changing with the likelihood that GM Rod Graves will be fired or reassigned.

So here's to hoping Barkley's career doesn't play out like the last couple of quarterbacks to come out of USC if this really is the direction they go.

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