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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Good news, Dolphins: Barkley thinking NFL

By James Walker

The college regular season is over and USC quarterback Matt Barkley is thinking about the NFL.

That is good news for the Miami Dolphins.

Barkley filed paperwork this week to the NFL draft advisory board to determine his pro stock. Although Barkley says he's "50-50," this is a hint that he's strongly considering skipping his senior season at USC.

The decision probably will have a lot to do with what Barkley hears from the advisory board. Most early projections have Barkley rated in the top 10, which will be tough to pass up.

This all works in favor of the Dolphins (3-8), who will search for their quarterback of the future in the offseason. They are out of the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes but will consider other quarterback options such as Barkley and Landry Jones of Oklahoma.

If the season ended today, Miami would hold the No. 5 overall pick. Career backup Matt Moore has played well in recent weeks, but he isn't the long-term solution. Miami must add another quarterback next offseason to at least compete with Moore in 2012 or groom for the future.

Here is the 2012 NFL draft order as of Week 13:
  1. Indianapolis Colts (0-11)
  2. St. Louis Rams (2-9)
  3. Minnesota Vikings (2-9)
  4. Carolina Panthers (3-8)
  5. Miami Dolphins (3-8)