Even though USC quarterback Matt Barkley was used as the yardstick for what a team could potentially get at his position in the next year if it decided to forego taking a first-round QB this year, I made the case earlier this week that Barkley might be extremely overrated as a pro prospect.
Wilson is clearly lighter on his feet than Barkley. He's more mobile outside of the pocket, and he shows more elusiveness in the pocket than Barkley.
Wilson is listed at 6'3", only one inch taller than Barkley's listed 6'2". Maybe it's just constantly having the towering frame of Matt Kalil in Barkley's vicinity, but Wilson looks more than one inch taller than Barkley.
Quite simply, when Wilson throws, the ball comes out of his hand much hotter than it does out of Barkley's. Velocity isn't an absolute must in the NFL, but stick throws are. Wilson has demonstrated much better ability to do that consistently than Barkley has.
Wilson's weight transfer and release are nearly effortless, and they generate that snap on the throw that Barkley lacks. Wilson also has a smoother, lower arc on his deep ball, and though it's only zip-code accuracy at times, he doesn't miss deep as often as Barkley does.
Wilson also doesn't seem to aim like Barkley does. He sees the receiver and trusts his mechanics to deliver the ball to the spot on time.
Diversity of Throws/Reads
Wilson uses the entire field better than Barkley does. He attacks the middle of the field with more success.
In general, Wilson looks to throw downfield more than Barkley, who is often making short throws by design. Wilson will settle for dump-offs, but usually after exhausting downfield reads.
Obviously, this year's film will matter more for Wilson and Barkley's draft stock than anything they have done before 2012.
Barkley has improved every year of his career and could show us a lot of progress in his problem areas. Wilson lost his top three receivers to the NFL, and Barkley returns one of the most talented pairs of wide receivers in college football.
I won't be surprised if these factors close the gap, but right now in my mind, there is a gap between Wilson and Barkley, and Barkley is the one with ground to make up.
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