Matt Scott Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Arizona QB

Ryan Lownes@@ryanlownesFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2013

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  quarterback Matt Scott #10 of the Arizona Wildcats hands off the football to running back Ka'Deem Carey #25 during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Arizona Stadium on November 23, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats 41-34.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona’s Matt Scott is a hot prospect who has drawn wildly optimistic comparisons to Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson from some evaluators.

Though he possesses some intriguing tools, such as athleticism, a quick release and above average arm strength, the one-year starter at Arizona has not accomplished enough to warrant such high praise. 

Is Scott destined to be the next athletic quarterback to achieve NFL success with the zone read? Or are teams and draft analysts alike overrating him based on recent trends in the league?

Strengths Weaknesses
+ Mobile and athletic, a scrambling threat - Inconsistent accuracy, ball placement
+ Good velocity on intermediate passes - Does not look comfortable in the pocket
+ Throws accurately on the move - Struggles to read defenses
+ Shows a competitive streak
- Passes often batted down at the line


At 6’2”, 213 pounds, Scott has adequate size for the type of player he is.

Though far from a Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III, he is athletic and light on his feet. His speed was on display at the NFL Scouting Combine as he ran a very solid 4.69 40-yard dash.

Standing out as one of the most impressive quarterbacks athletically, Scott helped make a name for himself in Indianapolis. He showed off quickness to rival cornerbacks, turning in surprisingly low times in the three-cone drill (6.69) and short shuttle (3.99). For a quarterback, his 31” vertical jump and 9’10” broad jump also were well above average.


This year, Scott finally got the opportunity to step out of Nick Foles’ shadow and start at quarterback for Arizona. In anticipation of starting in 2012, he redshirted his true senior season. He appears to be very competitive, possessing leadership qualities.

He suffered from head injuries late in the 2012 season but never sat out a full game.



During his only full season as the starter at Arizona, Scott achieved success in Rich Rodriguez’s gimmicky spread option offense. That system took advantage of his natural athleticism, but he may have been even more successful had the Wildcats moved the pocket more often. Since he operated primarily from the gun in 2012, he is relatively inexperienced taking snaps from under center.

Arm Strength

Do not let average size deceive you; Scott is equipped with a strong enough arm to make every NFL throw. With a quick flick of the wrist, he throws a good spiral. He displays impressive velocity on intermediate passes and can challenge tight windows. Although he flashes the capability to throw a nice deep ball, his placement is far too inconsistent. Even on the move, he can zip passes in downfield.


While Scott flashes precision and timing, inconsistent ball placement hurts him. He displays very little anticipation, throwing to predetermined locations regardless of teammates or opponents.

His deep accuracy is very spotty, often overshooting his target. He throws out of bounds too often, giving his receiver no chance to make a play.

Oddly, his accuracy may be better when he's on the move than when he's throwing from a stationary position.



Scott has a long way to go before he can be considered a pocket passer.

His footwork is extremely raw, as he rarely played under center in college. Due to arm strength, he was able to get away with throwing off his back foot at times.

With a compact delivery and quick release, his throwing mechanics are fairly impressive.

A low release point, though, leads to passes being batted down at the line of scrimmage.


Pocket Presence

At this point, Scott seems to lack a great understanding of the pocket. He takes too many bad sacks, occasionally freezing under pressure. Lacking much of a feel for the pocket, he shows little in terms of presence. He flashes escapability from time to time but is still very unrefined in this area. While in the pocket, inefficient footwork limits his maneuverability. 



An athletic quarterback who is a threat to scramble for yardage, Scott displays burst and vision. He is not overly elusive in the open field but demonstrates good straight-line speed. While mobile enough to effectively run zone-read plays, he is not much of a threat to hit the home run.

He often looks to be at his best operating with a moving pocket.

How Does He Attack Defenses?

Possessing athleticism, a quick release and the arm strength to push the ball downfield, Scott is capable of attacking defenses in a variety of ways. He is most effective on the move, where he appears to see the field and evade pressure more naturally.

Considering he was not asked to go through progressions often in Rich Rodriguez’s system, teams may be concerned about his ability to read defenses.

Scott stares down his receivers and does not see the field particularly well. When asked to improvise, he frequently struggles. Too often, he throws to a predetermined spot without accounting for coverage or his receiver.

Interestingly, however, he seems to rise to the occasion. He does some of his best work on third down and in the fourth quarter.

Future Role/Scheme Versatility

With NFL offenses successfully integrating zone-read concepts in recent years, Scott looks to be an option for teams that want to stay on the cutting edge. He may be able to develop into a starting quarterback in the right offense but will more likely be a backup at the next level. Schematically, he would fit best in a pistol offense that emphasizes moving the pocket and misdirection.

Draft Projection: late third to early fifth round


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