Former Arizona Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott played to mixed reviews during practices this week for the East-West Shrine Game.
Scott was — and is — considered the top quarterback prospect in the game, but he apparently didn’t zoom up draft boards in advance of Saturday’s game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“It wasn’t an overwhelmingly great week,” said NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler, who observed practice all week.
“It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. It was average. He has a quick delivery. He’s also tough, physical, but he showed some things he needs to work on — too often making throws flat-footed, some mechanical issues.
“His accuracy was very up and down. I think it goes back issues from his mechanics; his touch and ball placement was slightly off this week.
“I don’t think it’s going to hurt him too much. He was the best quarterback here this week.”
It is a somewhat uninspiring group of quarterbacks in the 2013 Draft, lacking the buzz created by talents such as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton. Still, about nine quarterbacks could go in the first three rounds.
Scott likely will be taken on the third and final day of the draft, when the NFL holds rounds four through seven. NFLDraftScout.com/CBSSports.com rates him as the 10th-best quarterback.
At the Shrine Game practices, Scott was able to show a strong arm, and his athleticism has always been considered a plus. At times, Brugler said, Scott struggled to handle snaps from under center. That’s part of the adjustment coming from an all-the-time read-option shotgun offense.
Arizona listed Scott at 6-3, 197 pounds as a senior. He measured 6-1 3/4 and 202 pounds at the Shrine Game. NFL scouts like to see the extra weight, Brugler said.
The other former Arizona player at the Shrine Game is receiver Dan Buckner. The ankle injury that bothered him near the end of the regular season and into the bowl game resurfaced, wiping out most of his practice time.
The NFL Network will carry the East-West Shrine Game, starting at 2 p.m. Tucson time. A pair of ex-Cats — center Kyle Quinn and fullback Taimi Tutogi — will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
OTHER OPINIONS ON SCOTT
Draftinsider.net: “Strongest arm of any quarterback at both Shrine practices. Passes display nice zip and relatively accurate. Has nice height. Wed- Strong arm but the problem is you don’t know where the passes will end up.”
OptimumScouting.com: “Matt Scott clearly had the most upside of any quarterback this week thanks to his athleticism and arm strength upside. But he lacked consistent ball placement downfield, his accuracy on timing routes on the edge were very erratic, and he didn’t get a chance to showcase his nimble-ness as a runner. Scott still intrigues, but no longer is a draft-pick lock.”
Scouts Inc/ESPN.com (after the first day of practice): “Arizona QB Mat Scott showed some interesting flashes, with a quick release and the ability to get the ball out in a hurry. Scott does need to learn to control the pace of his underneath throws, though, and his ball placement was off early on. Scott forced receivers to make some tough catches, but to his credit he took coaching well midway through the session and did a better job keeping the ball up from that point on.”