Former Arizona Wildcats QB Matt Scott is an interesting option in the middle rounds of the NFL draft. I currently have a third round grade on him, and I highly doubt he makes it past day two without being drafted. Scott doesn't have a lot of college starts under his belt, but he has shown flashes of big time ability during his time under center at Arizona. The 49ers are still in search of a quarterback to back up Colin Kaepernick. Could Matt Scott be the man for the job?
40 Time: 4.69
Broad Jump: 9'10"
Do Your Homework:
Watch film of Scott taking on Stanford, USC, and Nevada (featured below):
- Can run read option: Scott has good speed for a quarterback, which makes him a dual threat at the position. Arizona ran the read option, and Scott showed he could run it well. He accounted for 506 yards rushing last season.
- Strong Arm: Scott possesses all the arm strength you would want in a quarterback.
- Goes through reads quickly: Scott does a fine job of going through his progressions and deciding when to go to read two, read three, and so forth. This bodes well for his chances of adjusting to the faster game speed that awaits him in the NFL.
- Pinpoint throws: When Scott is "on", he's on. There are some throws he makes twenty-plus yards down the field that can wow you. Whether it is a back shoulder throw, a fade route, or a comeback pattern, Scott makes some throws through small windows for completions. Despite some inconsistency in this area of his game, the potential is there for Scott to make all the throws on an NFL field.
- Tough: This isn't a quarterback who folds his hand when pressure comes. Scott has no problem keeping his eyes down field and taking a big hit if need be; it doesn't rattle him. Scott showed on several occasions at Arizona his willingness to absorb serious punishment as a consequence of making a play. He shows the courage to take a risk in order to help his team win. At the next level, he will have to pick his spots and know when to slide feet first.
- Footwork: He needs a lot of fine-tuning in this department. Too often Scott throws off his back foot and off balance. If he were to throw with more accuracy while doing so, it wouldn't be as severe of a problem. However, I would not classify Scott as an accurate passer.
- Rushes throws: There are times when the Arizona offensive line would give Scott a lot of time to throw. Instead of taking an extra couple tenths of a second (which can be a lot in the NFL) to make sure he has good footing and delivers a ball on the money, he rushes his throwing motion and shows poor footwork. It's good that he can get rid of the ball fast, but Scott will have to relax a little bit and make sure his fundamentals are sound on every throw. Another aspect of rushing throws is that Scott resorts to check-downs too early at times. The pocket will be fine and instead of continuing to look down the field, he will dump it to the running back.
- Poor play on Turf surfaces: For what it's worth, Scott completed less than fifty percent of his passes in two game on turf this season, throwing for one touchdown and four interceptions.
- Experience: 17 starts at quarterback in his time at Arizona.
Why He Might Fit The 49ers:
The basic fit is the fact the 49ers need a backup quarterback. Compound that with Scott's skill set, and he appears to be an option that could flourish in Jim Harbaugh's offensive scheme. While a backup for the 49ers doesn't need to be able to run the read option, it certainly wouldn't hurt. If Kaep were to go down, wouldn't you prefer some continuity? Opposed to changing the game plan, reverting back to the power run and short yardage throws? I know I would prefer continuity. This can be very important when a team is in a groove, which the 49ers usually find themselves in.
Another reason Scott could be a fit is the intangibles he possesses. Jim Harbaugh could get Scott to realize his full potential, and help him improve on the areas that need work. A diamond in the rough is a diamond nonetheless.
Why He Might Not Fit The 49ers:
The 49ers could find Scott to be too raw right now to legitimately warrant a backup job. This is something I find to be a less likely, but possible scenario. The Baalke-Harbaugh era is one that has not been afraid to draft players that need work, or "polish". He may also prove not to be a fit if the 49ers prefer to use a third round selection on other positions of need, or they favor other quarterbacks over Scott.
What They Are Saying:
One other QB note-- I'll be surprised if Arizona QB Matt Scott makes it out of the 3rd round. He has several teams interested.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 28, 2013
@saras_tweets I like Matt Scott ARZ. Can do much of what Kap does. Not quite as big + not as strong an arm but overall similar skill set.— Greg Cosell (@gregcosell) March 14, 2013
- Check out his stats at cfbstats.com
I am all for drafting Matt Scott. Yes, I do think the 49ers should use a third round pick on a quarterback. The Redskins had no problem going with a fourth round pick on Kirk Cousins, and the Patriots used a third a couple years ago when they drafted Ryan Mallett. Sure, other positions need depth, but the quarterback position must be addressed in the draft either in round three or four. The late round prospects aren't all that intriguing, while Scott is. The 49ers would be drafting a player with a ton of potential, and I have no doubt this 49ers coaching staff can turn him into a winner quickly.