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Arizona Pro Day: Matt Scott airs it out, preps for interview with Eagles

Matt Scott

Matt Scott’s stock is headed up. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Scott let his arm do the talking at Arizona’s Pro Day.

The former Arizona Wildcats quarterback didn’t need to re-do all the testing he did at the NFL Combine — it was impressive enough to just let it ride — but he attempted 85 throws in front of about 25 scouts at the team’s practice field Thursday.

The workout was closed to the media, but Scott’s quarterback coach, George Whitfield Jr., talked about it afterward.

“I have never seen, let alone heard of, a workout that consisted of 85 throws,” Whitfield said.

“Usually guys stay in the 60, 65 range. When you go past that threshold, you’re putting yourself out there for all the world to see. Now, you’re going to show your stamina, your strength, in that extra 20 throws. Can my mechanics hold up? Is my focus there? Is my accuracy going to be consistent enough?

“He showed that. So, one, he is competitive enough to go that distance, and two, he went out there and gutted it out after losing his No. 1 guy.”

Whitfield said the script called for 95 passes, but the top receiver at the workout, Dan Buckner, tweaked a hamstring and was unable to catch passes from Scott.

“Matt looked great,” Buckner said.

“I have been working with Matt since he got back earlier this week. His footwork is great. His ball is coming out whistling like a Nerf ball, a pretty spiral. You can tell Matt has improved greatly. He was a great quarterback before and now he’s even better.”

This was the latest step in the process for Scott, who has helped himself at the East-West Shrine Game, with his explosiveness at the Combine and now, apparently, at the Pro Day.

His next major event: Flying out to Philadelphia on Monday to meet with the Eagles. He said the team will come to him late in the month to work him out in San Diego, where he has been training with Whitfield.

(The Eagles could be interesting, huh? Scott and Nick Foles competing on the depth chart again, just like in 2009 at UA. Scott’s dual-threat ability is a way more natural fit, though, for Chip Kelly’s offense.)

Scott said he didn’t really know Kelly, although the former Oregon coach did offer him a scholarship after he had already committed to Arizona.

“I didn’t really have any interest at that time in changing my decision,” Scott said.

The Arizona Cardinals, certainly in need of help at quarterback, have been among the other teams most interested so far, Scott said. The list also includes Seattle, Washington, Buffalo, Jacksonsville and San Diego.

(The Jags could be interesting, huh? It would be a reunion with Scott’s old quarterbacks coach at Arizona, Frank Scelfo, who is the new position coach in Jacksonville.)

Scott smartly denied having any favorite destination in mind, but smiled Thursday when the subject of Jacksonville came up. The Jags have been recently rumored to have interest.

“We were in San Diego when we heard that,” Whitfield said. “He was like an 8-year-old a couple of days before Christmas. He could not stop smiling. … The possibility of a reunion like that would make anyone excited.”

Whitfield said the area in which Scott has made the biggest strides in the past couple of months is footwork. After starting in Rich Rodriguez’s full-time shotgun spread, Scott has to show scouts rhythm and timing and power in his steps while coming out from behind center.

Scott agreed with the assessment of footwork being his greatest improvement.

“Everyone was talking about how my footwork was bad,” Scott said. “It was pretty bad at times. I feel that is one thing I had to correct over this process, and I think I have.”

Another positive has been Scott adding a needed 16, 17 pounds to his lanky 6-2 frame. He’s up to about 212 and is looking for a few more pounds as he prepares for more workouts, erasing some of the doubts of him being an injury risk or not being durable enough for the rigors of the NFL.

“It was big,” Whitfield said of the weight gain.

“I told him, your skill set is going to say one thing, your resume is going to say another, but teams have to have the confidence that you have enough to survive a 16-, 17-, 18-game season.”

At its last update, CBSSports.com projects Scott as a fifth-round pick, but the general thought is Scott is a rising and intriguing prospect. Draft analyst Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net tweeted that scouts are talking about Scott as having third-round potential.

The QB class is led by West Virginia’s Geno Smith and USC’s Matt Barkley.

“I don’t know, there might be one, maybe two, more guys in this draft class with his kind of arm talent,” Whitfield said of Scott.

“He’s not going to be the front-runner, headline kind of guy. But some team is going to have a toast after the draft after they got him, and they probably stole him.”


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Matt Scott

Matt Scott’s running skills are an important part of his overall skill set. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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