Matt Barkley Returning to USC: Why He's a Lock for No. 1 Pick in 2013 NFL Draft

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans throws a pass against the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With Matt Barkley opting to stay in Los Angeles and finish his degree, the 2012 NFL Draft has become incredibly chaotic, especially if Robert Griffin III and Landry Jones decide to stay for their senior years as well.

But what has been made much less crazy is the 2013 draft, namely who will be taken first in it.

As of right now, no one really looks like they have a shot at challenging Barkley for it.

Tennessee’s Tyler Bray and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson are the only two quarterbacks who could really compete for the top spot. The other main guy to look for is Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson.

Running backs Michael Dyer and Marcus Lattimore could both contend for the first pick, but the value of a running back has seriously dropped in recent years. The NFL is a quarterback's league now, and it would be highly unlikely that anyone who isn’t directly involved in the passing game goes above a quarterback.

USC’s own Robert Woods could potentially be the top wide receiver taken, but teams typically don’t use the first overall pick on one.

Defensively, no one really stands out from the crowd for 2013, assuming the big-name juniors all leave now.

Xavier Rhodes, cornerback for Florida State, could emerge as the top cornerback of the draft, but the only defensive back to be taken first overall was in 1956. North Carolina’s Kareem Martin could develop into a superb defensive end, but he will have to have a season like Whitney Mercilus did this year to truly be a threat.

Any way you slice it, barring injury of course, Matt Barkley will be the top selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.