Arizona Cardinals: Why Matt Barkley Should Be a Cardinal in 2013

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Correspondent IIOctober 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Quarterback Matt Barkely #7 of the USC Trojans throws a pass against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 20,2012  in Los Angeles, California. USC won 50-6.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Yes, I know, there are still nine games to be played in the 2013 season and the Cardinals still have a winning record at 4-3. But even if they are able to turn around their three-game losing streak, the Cardinals still have an issue at the quarterback position, one that is not going to get any better.

There is a reason head coach Ken Whisenhunt waited so long to name a starter this's because he hated his options.

Even if Kevin Kolb has had some decent games, he is still injury prone. In his time as a member of the Cardinals, Kolb missed the last seven games last year, got hurt in the preseason opener this season and is on the shelf again after relieving John Skelton, who won the starting job, mostly by default, before the season started.

Neither of these men are going to take the Cardinals anywhere near the Super Bowl like Kurt Warner did. Regardless of how the Cardinals season ends this year, finding a quarterback for the future must be addressed.

Now, most Cardinals fans are going to say they need offensive linemen just as much, if not more, than a quarterback. They definitely need help on the O-Line, but even if they get it, Skelton nor Kolb will be the answer.

Matt Barkley, a senior at the University of Southern California, is currently projected to be a very high first round pick, if not No. 1 overall. He would be a great fit for the Cardinals.

At USC, he has completed 64 percent of his passes while throwing for 102 touchdown passes with much of his senior season still to play.

Barkley has been well prepared for the NFL, running Lane Kiffin's pro-style West Coast offense at USC. He reads defenses very well and knows exactly where to go with the football. Barkley would also be able to get the most out of all the weapons Arizona has. Aside from Larry Fitzgerald, Barkley would be able to make guys like Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and Rob Housler much more effective.

And how bad is the offensive line? Can they just not protect the passer? Or is it because there isn't much threat of a running game and opposing defenses are just teeing off on the quarterback? Skelton is almost immobile in the pocket and is very prone to mistakes.

The Cardinals have never been a team to splurge on big name players and in order to get Barkley, they'd have to. Their 4-0 start probably eliminated them from the No. 1 overall pick sweepstakes but Barkley will be a top-five pick. That means the Cardinals are going to have to trade up to get him, but that's something they need to do.

Many people criticized Washington for giving up too much to move up and select Robert Griffin III, but he has been worth every pick so far. Point is, if there's a guy out there that is worth it, you pull the trigger.

Great franchise quarterbacks don't come around often and USC's Barkley will be one of them. Besides, how long does the team want to toil in mediocrity with guys like Kolb and Skelton?