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Sunday at the combine and Barkley chatter

Posted by Darren Urban on February 24, 2013 – 9:04 am

Sunday morning in Indianapolis. The media room is still sparsely filled, after a Saturday night when many were out — late — in a city populated with coaches and scouts at local establishments. It’s a fruitful time for little bits of info to be spread of the “I’m hearing …” variety and then for it to pick up a little steam, regardless of what it is. So then the tweet came down from @nfldraftscout: “Text I received from a scout this morning: Matt Barkley will not get past the Arizona #Cardinals at No. 7 overall.” Then SI’s Peter King retweeted it and it floats out there for everyone’s consumption.

Let’s get past the idea of whether Barkley could actually be the pick there for a moment (although I don’t see it happening, not that high. Maybe the second round, but GM Steve Keim wants a difference-maker at 7 and I don’t see how Barkley is going to grade higher than all but six or seven of these guys available in the draft.)

Instead, think these things: Why would one of the Cardinals’ scouts tell @NFLdraftscout (his name is Matt Miller) this? If it comes from another team’s scout, how would that scout know? Most importantly, how could this even be decided yet? The Cardinals haven’t even evaluated the quarterbacks yet. They haven’t done any draft grades, or have had any of the draft meetings for anyone higher than the fringe back part of the draft. If none of the grades are known, it’s impossible to know how the Cards will build their board. In short, it’s fruitless to guess where the Cards are leaning with that top pick — QB or otherwise — because they aren’t yet.

It is easy to play connect the dots with the Cardinals and a quarterback. Maybe Barkley impressed in the interview. The interview doesn’t show if he can throw a 15-yard out to Larry Fitzgerald, though. I do think the Cards will draft a quarterback. I do think there is a good chance it will happen in the first couple days of the draft. But I’d be stunned if that plan has already been finalized to the point of a definite player already.

I asked Cardinals coach Bruce Arians the other day about how all the coaches and scouts get together at Indy, guys they know, and what they talk about. He chuckled when I suggested info might bounce around. If info is discussed, what’s it really worth?

“I think any information you get, throw it out the window,” he said. “They’re lying to you. It’s all secretive.”

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