On Matt Barkley's decision to stay at USC

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
5:17
PM ET
The Seattle Seahawks and other NFL teams in the market for college quarterbacks will have to wait another year before taking a shot at Matt Barkley.

USC's record-setting quarterback will stay at USC.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who famously disagreed with Mark Sanchez's decision to leave USC when Carroll was the Trojans' head coach, might have been in position to benefit had Barkley made a similar decision. But with the Seahawks improving to 7-7 with a shot at reaching 9-7, Carroll probably won't be drafting early enough to consider drafting one of the top-rated quarterbacks -- at least without trading up.

Todd McShay projected Barkely going to the Miami Dolphins at No. 8 in his first mock draft for 2012. Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III were already gone at that point. He had Landry Jones going to Seattle at No. 16 as the fourth and final quarterback drafted in the first round.

No one knows how each team will value specific quarterbacks, but with one fewer projected first-rounder available, teams in the market for a quarterback face diminished options.

Seattle's situation is particularly intriguing. The team is pleased with Tarvaris Jackson's play this season, especially recently. Carroll wants to build the offense around Marshawn Lynch and the running game. The Seahawks are going to draft later than once anticipated. Subtracting Barkley from the mix makes it less likely Seattle will find a quarterback it values enough to draft in the first round.

What once seemed unthinkable -- Seattle waiting another year before drafting a quarterback early -- is starting to look more plausible. Should be an interesting draft.

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