2013 NFL Draft: Matt Barkley pro day highlights make-or-break week

Jeff Gross

It's a big week for Matt Barkley of USC, who will throw in front of scouts at his pro day on March 27 coming off of a shoulder injury.

As speculation continues to build that the Buffalo Bills will use the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft on a quarterback, it's worth noting that no prospect in this year's draft class has a bigger week ahead of him than Matt Barkley of USC.

That's because Barkley will be throwing in front of NFL talent evaluators for the first time in the pre-draft process on Wednesday, during USC's pro day. Barkley did not throw at February's combine in Indianapolis, instead choosing to keep his stock static while he continued rehab from a shoulder injury that ended his senior season in 2012. With questions about his arm strength lingering even before that shoulder issue, Barkley will need to prove, at minimum, that his shoulder is healthy and his arm is as zippy as it's ever been to keep his stock worthy of the top half of the first round.

Barkley, who will turn 23 this fall, was a four-year starter for the Trojans, throwing for 12,327 yards, 116 touchdowns and 48 interceptions in 47 career games. As we draw closer to day one of this year's draft (it happens to be one calendar month from today, and 31 days if you're counting down), you're bound to see Barkley's name projected to the Bills more and more, with Geno Smith of West Virginia the other likely candidate if he happens to fall to No. 8.

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