Matt Barkley's Contract with Eagles Highlights Unpredictability of Draft Process

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJune 13, 2013

Photo courtesy of Matt Barkley's Instagram account
Photo courtesy of Matt Barkley's Instagram account

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Matt Barkley to a four-year contract that barely pales in comparison to what he would have gotten a year ago. 

The Eagles Insider Twitter account had the news:

Barkley went on to confirm by tweeting his excitement, while the organization welcomed him with an Instagram picture captioned, "Signed, sealed, delivered, he's ours."

So, yeah. It's official. Barkley is a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Although this is far from shocking news, it should serve as an encouraging day for the organization. Barkley certainly has his flaws, but there are also plenty of tantalizing traits to his game that suggest he could immediately compete for a starting job.

But more than anything else, this highlights how unpredictable the entire draft process can be. 

Flash back to last spring. 

Barkley was coming off a spectacular junior season. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were 1 and 1A when it came to quarterback prospects, but Barkley wasn't far behind. 

Most assumed, at worst, he was a top-10 pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

Nevertheless, Barkley took his name out of the draft hat and headed back to Los Angeles to finish some uncompleted business.  

What resulted was likely worse than any of his most terrible nightmares. The Trojans entered the season as the No. 1 team in America but finished unranked with a record of 7-6, while Barkley completed a lower percentage of his passes for less yards, less touchdowns and more interceptions than his junior year. 

His stock plummeted, and he fell to the Eagles in the fourth round of this year's draft. 

Former agent and current contributor to The National Football Post Joel Corry put a horrifying price on Barkley's senior season:

Now, there's something to be said for completing your college education. It will benefit Barkley in the long run of his life, and it's a decision that no one can ever criticize justly. 

But for a near top-10 lock to drop all the way to the fourth round after gaining a year of college experience only proves how erratic—and uncertain—draft stock can be.