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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals eyeing Matt Barkley in the first round?

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Arizona had the worst quarterback situation in 2012. Will a USC grad help solve their issues?

Steve Dykes

"With the seventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select ... anyone other than John Skelton or Ryan Lindley."

This is what I expect most Cardinals fans want to hear in this year's upcoming draft. Skelton beat out Kevin Kolb for the starting position in the preseason but was replaced by Kolb after an injury in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. It was back to Skelton after Kolb suffered a shoulder injury, but then head coach Ken Whisenhunt kept shuffling Skelton and Lindley because neither one was able to move the football when given an opportunity. It got so bad that even Brian Hoyer was signed late in the year and made a start.

It seems as though Arizona is the most likely team to draft a quarterback this season.

Rob Rang of CBS Sports currently thinks that Matt Barkley of USC is the guy that the Cardinals will select with the seventh overall pick:

Barkley has fallen in the eyes of many scouts but we all know how the value of the position rises as the draft approaches. Barkley may not be universally viewed as a first round player any more but that may not matter come draft day.

Barkley could have been a lock to go this high in last year's draft, but decided to return to school with the hopes of winning a national title. That did not happen for USC and Barkley's draft stock fell after he stagnated from his junior year performance.

There are a slew of quarterbacks projected to go in the first few rounds of the draft this year, but none of them stands out anything like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III did last year. That might not matter for Arizona, they just need anyone competent.