While this draft was not talent-heavy, it contained a great lesson. This draft ended once and for all the argument about staying for one more year of school -- proven by Matt Barkley.
Barkley didn't just drop. He fell off a cliff only to be hit in the head by an Acme anvil. Like many others, Barkley was told if he stayed in school, he still would be a high first-round pick. He went in the fourth.
Had Barkley declared after his junior season, he likely would have been a top-five pick. A shoulder injury and slump during his senior season destroyed his stock.
The NFL's rookie wage scale dictates that Barkley will earn approximately a four-year contract worth about $2.5 million for its duration, with a $500,000 signing bonus. A top-10 pick, which he would have been in the 2012 draft, earns about $10 million guaranteed. At least.
~ from Barkley's Big Accomplishment? Ending the Stay-in-School Argument by Mike Freeman ~
No, this post is not going to be an analysis of the recent National Football League (NFL) draft! While I certainly understand the financial point that Freeman makes here, he acts as if money is the ONLY criteria. Though I haven't followed all the storylines of this particular athlete, he may have had other reasons for staying in school.
It is probably not likely, but maybe Barkley wanted to continue his college education. You know, that's why a lot of people go to college in the first place! Sure, a pro football career can be very lucrative, but once that career is over and done with, it is good to have a college degree to fall back on.
Maybe Barkley simply wanted to finish out the college experience. Besides the educational component, there is the social angle. It could be that he wanted one more year of being a "kid" before taking on the responsibility of being a full-time grownup (though many college students, depending on their situations, have to "grow up" very quickly).
And maybe Barkley thought he needed one more year to mature. There are enough stories of young men and women athletes who, when showered with instant money, status and fame at a young age, basically implode. They simply lack the maturity to handle it well or at all. Maybe Barkley didn't think HE was ready to handle it last year.
Yes, money is important, but it shouldn't be the sole consideration in life. As The Beatles sang, money can't buy you love. Or happiness. Or self-respect.