Our exclusive peek into the Insider file of Scouts Inc.’s Gary Horton running through team-by-team needs:
Horton says: Corner, receiver, defensive end.
On corner: “Johnathan Joseph was a terrific shutdown corner for the Texans in 2011 and a big part of their defensive resurgence. Kareem Jackson is OK on the other side, but he lacks elite speed and ball skills and rotated with Jason Allen, who might leave in free agency. Brice McCain shows some promise as a nickel corner, but, in this blitz-oriented defense, turn-and-run cover corners are critical.”
Kuharsky: I’d like to see them upgrade. It’s time for a more honest assessment of Jackson. But they did draft Brandon Harris last season in the second round and they surely hope he’s ready to push for playing time in his second season.
Horton says: Quarterback, center/guard, cornerback.
On center/guard: “The left tackle position is decent on this line, but there are all sorts of problems on the interior and at right tackle. Offensive guard was a revolving door in 2011, and center Jeff Saturday is near the end of a terrific career. With not much behind the current starters, there is a lot of work to be done with this unit. Center Carl Nicks might be too expensive for New Orleans, and he would be a huge get.”
Kuharsky: I don’t know how the new regime’s philosophy will be about big-money free agents, but odds are the team won’t be able to afford a guy the quality of Nicks.
Horton says: Wide receiver, defensive end, cornerback.
On receivers: “This offense has lacked a go-to guy in the passing game for years, and it is by far the weakest position on this team. The Jaguars' only dependable guy, Mike Thomas, is ideally suited for the slot, and that means the team could use two starters on the outside. The depth in this unit is nonexistent. If they leave in free agency, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson and Steve Johnson might be attractive guys. If Jacksonville goes the college route, Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon would be great.”
Kuharsky: They’ve got money to spend and have indicated they’ll use it. There is no reason they should not land a premier receiver in free agency.
Horton says: Cornerback, safety, center/guard.
On center/guard: “The Titans like their bookend tackles, but the interior of this offensive line needs an influx of veteran depth and talent to boost a run game that underachieved in 2011.”
Kuharsky: I think Horton underrates what the Titans have at corner even without Cortland Finnegan. They’ll make a move on the inside of their line, but how big a move?