QB Stock Watch: Big Day For Barkley; Geno Update

The primary concern for NFL teams when it comes to Matt Barkley is arm strength. The 6-2, 230-pound signal-caller can help assuage some of those fears with a strong showing at USC’s pro day on Wednesday.

His trainer — IMG Academy Director Chris Weinke — believes Barkley is going to surprise some people.

“His arm strength is even better than I anticipated,” said the former Heisman winner, who is also working with Geno SmithTyler Wilson and Zac Dysert in front of the draft. “There will be a buzz about him after his pro day. On March 27 he is going to answer a lot of questions.”

Barkley separated his shoulder this past season. Still in the midst of the rehab process, he opted not to throw at the Combine last month. He was in attendance, though, and met with several teams, including the Eagles. Asked how Barkley came across in that sit-down, a team source who was part of the meeting responded: “Very smart. Impressive. Mature.”

Some project Barkley as a top-10 pick, others have him falling out of the first round. There should be more clarity after today.

“The race starts after March 27,” said Weinke.

Reid targeting the next McNabb?

‘Tis the season of misdirection, and the Chiefs seem to be in the spirit.

First, Andy Reid told us at the owners meetings that Geno Smith is still in play for the Chiefs at No. 1 overall despite the Alex Smith acquisition. And now, Smith is being linked to none other than Reid’s favorite QB, Donovan McNabb.

With plenty of teams in need of quarterback help, including the three picking directly behind them (Jaguars, Raiders, Eagles), the Chiefs are smart to create the impression that Smith could be the first player off the board. However, the following quote makes it tough to believe that their interest in Smith is real.

“There is no quarterback where personnel guys can definitely say, ‘He’s a first-round pick,’ ” said Chiefs general manager John Dorsey last month, per the Kansas City Star. “There were so many inconsistencies in the collective group. There was not one guy that stood up and said, ‘I’m the guy in the position this year.’ There really wasn’t one clear-cut guy.

“There are too many technical flaws, scheme flaws. There are so many different variables that there are a lot of people all over the place on naming the top four or five guys and who those guys would be.”

Kansas City went out and traded for Alex Smith less than two weeks after Dorsey went on record with his opinion of the QB crop.

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