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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Cardinals tab Matt Barkley as franchise quarterback?

Will Arizona go back to the Trojan well for a quarterback of the future?

Steve Dykes

The Arizona Cardinals are in a familiar position and they know that it didn't work out so well last time. Matt Leinart was a highly regarded USC Trojans quarterback when the Cardinals picked him 10th overall in the 2006 draft. Leinart was eased into duty thanks to veteran Kurt Warner, but Warner surprisingly ended up grabbing the job for good by year two and Leinart made only six starts for Arizona after his rookie season.

They don't want to make that mistake again, even if they lucked out with Warner. Don't expect the same outcome with recent free-agent addition Drew Stanton.

For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds

Now here we are again, seven years later, and Arizona is in dire need of hope at the quarterback position. Kevin Kolb was a costly failure. John Skelton has been a much cheaper failure. Ryan Lindley was somehow worse than John Skelton. Stanton is now in the fold, but if Arizona doesn't make another move at the position they could find themselves perpetually looking for answers again. Another USC quarterback could be in their sights and this time it is Matt Barkley. Would Arizona take a chance on him with the seventh overall pick? Rob Rang of CBS Sports thinks so:

The knock on Barkley is, of course, that he relied upon terrific receivers while at USC. He'd be able to do the same with Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. Furthermore, his mobility, intelligence and underrated arm make him a nice fit in Arian's offense.

Barkley might not be given a chance to sit immediately and could be the starter in Week 1 if the Cards did decide to draft him. Arians spent last year with a rookie starting all 16 games for the Colts, so Barkley would likely be given a chance to do the same. But could he be nearly as successful as Andrew Luck?

Or at least better than Leinart?

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