Arizona Football

Will Matt Scott become one of few undrafted QBs to excel or one of many to exit NFL unheralded?

Two of the better quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era — Warren Moon and Kurt Warner — went undrafted.

Other accomplished quarterbacks such as David Krieg and Jim Hart did not get a call during the NFL draft. And that was an era in which the draft lasted 12 rounds.

Matt Scott's relationship with Jacksonville quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo helped land him a spot with the Jaguars

Matt Scott’s relationship with Jacksonville quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo helped land him a spot with the Jaguars

Moon, a Hall of Famer, played parts of 16 seasons in the NFL and passed for a total of 49,325 yards. Warner won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams and took the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl. Krieg played parts of 18 seasons and completed 58.5 percent of his passes. Hart played 19 seasons in the NFL, mostly for the St. Louis Cardinals, and recorded 20 fourth-quarter comebacks and 23 game-winning drives.

That’s the encouraging news for former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, who surprisingly did not get drafted by an NFL team in the seven rounds of selections.

Most undrafted quarterbacks do not make the cut because teams invest their money and time on players their general managers and scouts deemed worthy to draft or acquire in a trade.

“Got a chip on my shoulder I’m coming for someone’s spot,” Scott wrote on his Twitter account after signing as an undrafted free agent with Jacksonville.

Heading into fall camp, Jacksonville will have Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Scott and fellow undrafted quarterback Jordan Rodgers (Aaron’s brother) of Vanderbilt competing for the top two or three spots. Jacksonville also selected in the fifth round Michigan quarterback Dernard Robinson but as a running back.

Jacksonville is a good fit for Scott because Gabbert and Henne are not premier NFL quarterbacks, and the Jaguars hired former UA quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo to work in the same capacity. Scelfo helped develop Nick Foles and Scott at Arizona.

Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union wrote about the possibility of a Scott-Scelfo reunion on March 9. This seems scripted.

Scelfo told The Arizona Daily Star’s Greg Hansen in November that he considered Scott the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. That was before Scott suffered from concussion-like symptoms against USC.

“I was thinking Matt should be the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year,” Scelfo told Hansen. “Think about it: Who else would it be? I was thinking it would be a tragedy if he went down now.”

Scott suffered a concussion the following week at UCLA and missed the Colorado game the week after. He had subpar performances against Utah and ASU before coming back to life in the second half of the UA’s win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl.

Concussion concerns and Scott’s size (6-3 and 205) probably precluded him from being drafted although many draft experts had him going in the middle rounds.

Warner signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in 1994 but was cut in the preseason. He played three years in the Arena Football League from 1995-1997. Two years after that, he was the Super Bowl MVP.

According to Sports Illustrated, Warner got his chance with the Rams in 1998 because former personnel director Charley Armey and assistant coach Mike White liked his potential.

Warner became something out of nothing.

Scott: You’re up.

Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner


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