Three weeks ago, I mocked University of Arizona quarterback Matt Scott to the Arizona Cardinals in my Cardinals Mock Draft 2.0, where they went with a pass rusher early in the draft. When I started my draft series here at ArizonaSports.com, the first thing I did was give you my quarterback rankings, which had Scott as the 10th best quarterback in the class.
In that piece I closed my quick synopsis on Matt Scott with this little summation:
There isn’t a ton of film on Scott, but he shows flashes of starter ability, and even when mixed with his bad streaks, it shows he is more than just draftable — it shows a guy that could mature into something down the line.
That was before Scott hit the post-all-star game circuit and became the internet community’s quarterback darling — outside of Florida State’s EJ Manuel.
In my eyes, Scott is a better prospect than fellow University of Arizona alum Nick Foles because he offered similar arm talent, but combines that with an ability to move in and out of the pocket.
What I saw on Scott that made me think he could be a Cardinals’ target weeks ago is his ability to push the ball down the field in the intermediate and deep passing game.
When people talk about making “all the throws” at the NFL level, they aren’t just talking about being able to throw the deep out from the far hash mark — a staple in Bruce Arians’ offense. Nor are they talking about throwing the ball 40-plus yards down the field — although Arians is on record saying they have six home run plays a game and they won’t leave any in the bag. But it is being able to make those throws with different trajectories, different velocities, and doing it in small windows with a pass rusher bearing down on you.
While Scott wasn’t asked to do that much at Arizona — only slightly over 37 percent of his throws traveled over 10 yards in the air. I don’t blame him for that. Rich Rodriguez’s offense was designed to get the ball out quickly and get his playmakers into space, not show off his quarterback’s arm strength.
When Scott did throw “Arians passes” as I like to call them, I took notice.
While he won’t compare to Tennessee’s Tyler Bray or N.C. State’s Mike Glennon when it comes to pure arm strength, he isn’t far off when it comes to functional arm strength.
What I mean: