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Matt Scott undrafted, an unexpected fate

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If former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott going undrafted taught us anything, it’s to not listen to all the predraft discussions, projections, rankings and mock drafts.

The general consensus seemed to be that, after a solid season, Scouting Combine and Pro Day, Scott was a prospect on the rise.

At best, he was considered a third rounder, at worst a sixth.

Instead, he signed with the Jackonsville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent.

“I was a little surprised,” said former Wildcats center Kyle Quinn, who signed with the Eagles. “I was thinking Jacksonville was going to draft him, but it was the year of the offensive lineman, not the year of the quarterback. They call it the meat and potatoes draft, so unfortunately Matt took the fall, but he’s going make up for it. He’s going make a name for himself.”

Both Scott and Frank Scelfo, quarterback coach for the Jaguars, did not return calls to the Daily Wildcat.

Going undrafted won’t be the death of Scott’s pro career by any means, he’ll just have to work harder now to find his place in the league.

The UA’s best undrafted NFL success story probably came from former Wildcat linebacker Antonio Pierce, who played at the UA from 1998-2000. He went undrafted because he was considered undersized at the linebacker position.

But, Pierce still went on to play nine years in the NFL with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, won a Super Bowl with New York and was a Pro Bowler.

At the quarterback position, some notable success stories include Jeff Garcia, who carved out a solid, Pro Bowl career; and Tony Romo, who’s started for the Dallas Cowboys for the last seven years and recently signed a $108 million contract.

“The Jaguars might be one of the best fits,” said NFL Draft Countdown’s Shane Hallam. “Definitely possible to make this roster and make some noise. [Jags offensive coordinator] Jedd Fisch’s offense can definitely utilize his skill set too.”

Jaguars quaterback Blaine Gabbert hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with his performance in two seasons (25 games) — he has 3,876 yards (or 155 per game), 21 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, nine fumbles and a 53.8 completion percentage. Plus the Jaguars are 7-25 in the last two years, and the coaching regime that drafted Gabbert in the first round has been replaced with fresh, new faces.

Having Scelfo will help Scott’s cause.

The other quarterbacks on the Jaguars’ roster include 6-year vet Chad Henne and Jordan Rodgers, the undrafted brother of Green Bay Packers’ star Aaron Rodgers.

Now, Scott probably isn’t ready to play right away. If he was, he wouldn’t have gone undrafted.

His size (he’s listed as a generous 6-foot-2), inexperience (2012 was his only full season as a starter), possible concussion concerns (he had at least one confirmed concussion in his UA career) and some poor play against top competition (zero touchdowns, three interceptions in 49-0 and 66-10 blowouts against UCLA and Oregon) are possible reasons for Scott’s fall.

Shane Hallam, NFL Draft Countdown, as told to the Daily Wildcat:

“I can’t say for certain why Scott didn’t get drafted, especially due to some buzz around him, but it is possible that his size and poor play versus top competition was a big factor. With the quarterback position in general falling in this draft, teams just didn’t seem thrilled with the class as a whole. For Scott, being of smaller stature definitely did not help. Teams opted for a bit more upside in that department with Landry Jones, Brad Sorensen, etc. Also, when I try to guess what games teams may have picked out to watch, they generally go for an early game (likely vs. Oregon), mid-year game (UCLA or USC), rivalry (Arizona State) and Bowl Game (Nevada). All of those games were under 60 percent completion or under, often numerous interceptions and Matt Scott not stepping up against top competition. Heck, think of who could have taken him Day 3, a team like the Eagles with Chip Kelly? One of Scott’s worst games was against Kelly.”

Doug Farrar, Yahoo Sports:

“Mobile quarterback with some pretty serious mechanical fixes ahead of him, but he really intrigues as an athlete and thrower. Not just a guy who runs around in the pocket — has the speed to threaten upfield. Could be a long-term NFL backup and spot starter in the Seneca Wallace mold, and perhaps more than that with a team willing to take the shot on developing him over time.”

— Zack Rosenblatt is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @ZackBlatt.


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