Shutdown Corner

Matt Barkley’s surprising drop is the most unexpected storyline from Day 2 of NFL draft

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

On Thursday, quarterback Geno Smith left Radio City Music Hall without being drafted in the first round, and that was one of the biggest stories of the day.

On Friday, it was quarterback Matt Barkley's turn. His free fall was the biggest curiosity as the second day of the draft wrapped up.

Barkley, at one point, was projected to go early in the first round of a loaded 2012 NFL draft, maybe in the top 10. He decided to come back to USC for his senior year. Now, three rounds have been completed in a quarterback-weak 2013 NFL draft, and Barkley is still on the board.

[Related: Is Matt Barkley a cautionary tale for Johnny Manziel?]

Barkley's draft stock dropped after a disappointing senior season, which ended with a shoulder injury, but it's shocking that he will have to wait for the third day of the draft to hear his name called.

Jacksonville might be the NFL team with the most dire need of a quarterback, and it has the first pick on Saturday when the draft resumes. That could be Barkley's landing spot, but other good quarterbacks remain, like Syracuse's Ryan Nassib and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson. E.J. Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round on Thursday, and Smith and Mike Glennon were the only quarterbacks selected on Friday.

The rest of the second and third rounds on Day 2 of the NFL draft were heavy on skill position talent, which was a departure from Thursday's lineman-filled first round.

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WR Marquise Goodwin, who was drafted by Buffalo on Friday (USA Today Sports Images)

Three receivers went in the second round and five went in the third round. The Bills, who took Manuel in the first round, double dipped with USC's Robert Woods and Texas speedster Marquise Goodwin to give some life to an offense that hasn't had much the past couple years.

The Cowboys also added to their passing game with receiver Terrance Williams and tight end Gavin Escobar. That will help quarterback Tony Romo. The Rams also finished Day 2 with a pair of new receivers. St. Louis took West Virginia's Tavon Austin in the first round, and then took Austin's college teammate Stedman Bailey in the third round.

No running backs were taken in the first round, the first time since 1963 that has happened, but five went in the second round and one was picked in the third. The Bengals selected Giovani Bernard as the first running back off the board. Bernard and first-round pick tight end Tyler Eifert combine with receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton to give a team that made the playoffs each of the past two years a lot of potential on offense.

Pittsburgh (Le'Veon Bell), Denver (Montee Ball), Green Bay (Eddie Lacy), Seattle (Christine Michael) got running backs in the second round, while Knile Davis was the lone back taken in the third, by Kansas City.

Other teams stuck with defensive needs. The Super Bowl champion Ravens, who took safety Matt Elam in the first round to replace future hall of famer Ed Reed, took linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round to replace future hall of famer Ray Lewis. Baltimore also selected defensive tackle Brandon Williams late in the third round to further help the defense.

The 49ers, who lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl, took defensive linemen "Tank" Carradine and Corey Lemonier on Day 2 of the draft. San Francisco took safety Eric Reid in the first round. A team with one of the best defenses in the NFL invested heavily on that side of the ball in the first three rounds. The Giants, who never seem to lack quality defensive linemen, also took two linemen on Friday, grabbing Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins in the second round and Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore in the third round.

There are still four rounds of the draft left on Saturday, as teams try to fill any remaining needs with mid- or late-round surprises. If a team still needs a quarterback, there are a surprising amount of them still available.

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