Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the upcoming NFL draft. He has been studying up on team needs.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at noon ET!
Buzzmaster (11:52 AM)
Gary Horton will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions on the NFL draft! He's been spending his time looking into team needs.
Buzzmaster (12:00 PM)
We've got Gary!
Gary Horton (12:02 PM)
I've been doing a big document over the last two weeks for online use. It's really allowed me to study free agency and the different approaches that teams take regarding veteran players and the draft. It really makes for a fascinating offseason.
Rick (Hilton Head)
Gary, what are the Panthers largest needs and concerns this off season?
Gary Horton (12:03 PM)
I think their first two team needs are on offense at WR and at QB. If they don't solve that, it doesn't matter what they need on defense, which is significant. They have no real weapon other than Steve Smith. They have Matt Moore with limited experience and nothing behind him. For a usually very stable franchise, this is a huge roll of the dice heading into the 2010 season.
Who do you see the Redskins drafting, QB or OL?
Gary Horton (12:06 PM)
As glamorous as it would be to go with the QB position, their biggest needs are probably at OT. Chris Daniels is gone on the left side and Stephon Heyor is the guy on the right side. They could acutally replace both tackles. Can they get by with Jason Campbell while they rebuild other areas? Or do they pull the trigger on the QB now with nobody to block for him? Interesting decision?
Scott Eustace (Syracuse)
Who will McNabb be playing for this year?
Gary Horton (12:09 PM)
Well, it sounds to me like the Eagles have decided that Kevin Kolb is ready to take over. If they have that much confidence in him, because of his youth, McNabb is the odd guy out. He can still command good compensation even at this stage of his career. I think the problem that most of us have is that we don't have the faith in Kolb that the coaches do. It's hard to imagine McNabb playing elsewhere. The perfect spot would be Minnesota, because he could step in to a Super Bowl ready team and he could give them 3-4 more years that they wouldn't get from Brett Favre. That makes all of the sense in the world, plue he knows Brad Childress. I think the McNabb-Favre stare down scenario could be fascinating in the next few weeks. I don't see another team that McNabb fits even closely.
Gary, the panthers don't have a 1st round pick and only one second round pick. They have lots of holes now that they have gotten rid of the veterans. Is it reasonable to think that they will be able to successfully rebuild in the draft?
Gary Horton (12:12 PM)
I think actually the Panthers made a little bit of a gutsy move on getting rid of so many veteran guys in a year where the front office probably needs to win. But they have really cleaned out this roster. It almost looks like they're starting over. They have so many questions at so many key spots. I don't know how they're going to stay competitive. They can not get help early in the draft without that first round pick, which would at least allow them to trade down and acquire extra picks. Don't expect them to be a lot better a month from now than they are right now.
matthew Shear (montreal)
whats the deal with the dolphins? they have needed a safety and reciever for two years now, and it doesnt seem like they intend to fix the problem. does any analyst think that ted ginn is anything more then a track star?
Gary Horton (12:14 PM)
I think their goal in this offseason is to rebuild their defense. Bill Parcells has a philosophy that you build from the inside out. That's why I think they will concentrate early on the NT. They need better play at FS to solidify the middle of the field. And they could use an inside linebacker.
Gary Horton (12:14 PM)
But, Dansby really helps them in that area.
Ryan (San Diego)
Chargers problems. What do you address in the first two picks of the draft?
Gary Horton (12:16 PM)
I think first and foremost, they probably need help at the RB position. They did not want to franchise Sproles, but they had no choice with LT gone. They still lack that every down back that can eat up yards and carries. They also have more needs than you think on defense. At NT and CB and maybe DE. In a year from now, they're going to have a lot of challenges from a contract stand point. This is a really good roster that has more to get done now than they have in recent years.
Do you think Oakland should give up a 2nd or 3rd round pick for McNabb or the rumored deal of Asomoghua for McNabb/Samuels? Is this draft too good and too deep for Oakland to trade so many draft picks?
Gary Horton (12:18 PM)
I don't think that would be a good move for Oakland or anybody, including McNabb. As tempting as it would sound, the Raiders are not close to being a playoff team, which then makes no sense for the move by either party. Secondly, they still have a lot invested in Russell to give up on that now, which is not the Al Davis way. It just makes no sense to me that either party would be excited about that, unless Al Davis is convinced that he's a lot closer to being a playoff team than we are.
Sean (Washington DC)
What's your take on what the Jets are going to do in the draft and is there any chance we might still get Marshall? Edwards drops are killing us...
Gary Horton (12:21 PM)
Obviously, Brandon Marshall is a great player and certainly if they could get consistency out of Edwards, they could have a dynamic receiving core. I think their offseason, while it looks good has a little bit of risk. Does LT have any gas left in the tank? Why didn't they keep Thomas Jones instead? Can Cromartie return to his cover skills of 2008 to give them a dynamic duo of him and Revis? Or does his off the field baggage become a big problem? Can Brodney Pool replace a once good player Kerry Rhodes? This offseason could be a feast or famine for the Jets. It will tell us how smart they really are in personnel matters.
Marshall Burns (Texas)
What do you think of the Houston Texans and their draft picks this year ? who will they pick ? what are they looking for ?
Gary Horton (12:23 PM)
First of all, Houston's not a very active team in free agency. They concentrate more on the draft. Their biggest goal was to re-sign WR Kevin Walter, which they did. But they also lost their best CB in Robinson. The good news is they don't have a lot of major needs, although you will probably see them really concentrating in the draft on finding an every down RB, replacing Robinson at CB and then adding defensive help. They could come back after the draft and fill some holes with free agents that they didn't get.
kin (hong kong)
hi gary! with the addition of d. anderson, who do u see as the starting qb for AZ? with dansby gone, where is the pass rush coming from this year? what do you think AZ would use his first round pick on? thanks!
Gary Horton (12:26 PM)
Oh, I think it's Matt Leinart all the way. I don't believe in Derek Anderson as much as some people do. I think Matt Leinart has worked harder than most people realize. But this will be a different looking offense. I think the coaches will welcome a run first approach, with Leinart throwing a lot more check down and medium passes than Warner did. We won't see a lot of those exotic sets, so he won't have to be Warner. Because of that, he will be in a system that will give him pretty good success. But, Anderson certainly can push him. It will be interesting to watch the McNabb scenario play out. I don't think they would do it, but could the Cardinals make a run at him? He lives in Phoenix in the offseason and he loves the city.
What's your take on the Detroit Lions Draft. Defense or Offense with the 2nd overall pick?
Gary Horton (12:30 PM)
I love the enthusiasm that Detroit's shown in the offseason. They're not afraid to make trades or acquire players as they're turning over this roster. They're active in re-signing their own guys if they want them. They have big needs on the offensive line, to get protection for Matthew Stafford, but I also think they desperately need an every down RB that can give them quality carries and production. Their need at DT is legitimate to go along with a quality free agent DE Kyle Van Den Bosch, which would make sense, because the two best players available at the top are DT Suh and McCoy. However, everything that I hear is that Detroit would like to move out of the No. 2 spot and acquire additional draft picks, which would lead you to believe that they see their needs a little differently than DT at the top. They will be an active trade partner leading up to the draft.
Gary Horton (12:32 PM)
I think what we're seeing now is that most of these organizations are in full draft concentration mode and I don't think we'll see a lot of movement over the next 3-4 weeks in free agency. But after the draft, we could see a flurry of signings to fill some of those holes. But they won't likely be a lot of big names.
Buzzmaster (12:32 PM)
Thanks for chatting Gary!