Quarterback Matt Scott took another step toward being drafted Thursday afternoon after throwing at Arizona’s Pro Day in front of around 25 NFL scouts. While the Wildcats’ signal caller is projected to be a mid-to-late round pick, he continued to impress after a great performance at the NFL combine.
And, this time he did it with his arm.
Scott attempted roughly 85 passes Thursday, even with his No. 1 option Dan Buckner limited by a tweaked hamstring, something that’s unheard of on a Pro Day, according to George Whitfield Jr., Scott’s personal trainer. Quarterbacks usually throw around 60-65 balls, but Arizona’s leader last season went well beyond that amount.
“When you go past that threshold [of 65 throws], you’re really putting yourself out there in front of the world to see,” Whitfield said.
Scott’s ability to continue passing after the usual stopping point showed his stamina, accuracy, and most importantly, his competitive nature, Whitfield added.
During the NFL combine, Scott was a workout star. He finished top four among quarterbacks in every event he participated in and finished with the best time for his position during the 3-cone drill. The Corona, Calif., native even set a positional record with a 3.99 20-yard shuttle time.
After his combine success, Scott decided to show off his passing this time. With everyone watching at the Pro Day, Scott tried to show off his improving mechanics.
“Everyone was talking about how my footwork was bad and stuff like that,” Scott said. “Although you don’t really see it until you watch the film, it was pretty bad at times. I feel like that’s one thing I’ve tried to correct over this whole process and I feel like I have.”
While Scott still has a ways to go with his footwork, teams are starting to gain interest in the QB. He has a visit to Philadelphia Eagles scheduled on Monday and a workout with them coming later in the month. Scott has also met with six other teams, most notably the Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jacksonville, Fla. presents an interesting option because the Jaguars just hired Frank Scelfo as their quarterbacks coach. Scelfo worked with Scott for two seasons at Arizona and helped him prepare for the East-West Shrine Game before going to Jacksonville. Whitfield said Scott was like an 8-year-old before Christmas when he heard Scelfo was hired.
The Eagles also present an interesting case.
Not only is former Wildcat Nick Foles already there, Scott’s predecessor and the only quarterback in Arizona history to be drafted, but new head coach Chip Kelly actually recruited Scott when he was back at Oregon. He never really considered the offer, though, since he was already committed to Arizona, Scott said.
Question marks still remain with Scott, specifically about his size. He was measured at 6’2″, which is typically undersized for an NFL quarterback. His weight, which has gone up to 212 pounds, is also a concern for teams.
“I feel like it’s kind of irrelevant, but teams look at it as a big question mark when it comes to durability in games,” Scott said. “It’s pretty big just putting the weight on.”
With the success of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson last season— a smaller player in his own right— Scott has a chance to still make a dent in the NFL. UA head coach Rich Rodriguez, who’s coached in more than 215 collegiate games, said Scott has one of the strongest arms that he’s ever coached or competed against.
According to Buckner, that ability was on display at the Pro Day. Buckner said his former quarterback looked better than ever and that his passes were “whistling like a NERF ball.”
In Scott’s only full season with Arizona he threw for 3,620 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 60.3 percent completion percentage. He led the Wildcats to an 8-5 record and a Gildan New Mexico Bowl victory over Nevada.
With everything put together, Scott has a chance to be a steal in the upcoming draft, Whitfield said.
“He’s not going to be the front-runner, headline guy,” he said. “But, some team is going to have a toast after they get him.”
•This story was courtesy of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.