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 season and other news from around the league.
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 (12:05 PM)
We're getting Gary!
Gary Horton (12:08 PM)
This becomes a very important week for NFL teams, as most of the personal workouts are done and now in most cases, the scouts are at the facility and they're going through their last 10 days of meetings, setting their final draft board. These next 10 days really solidify what a team's going to do in the draft. What is almost comical is that all the rumors now start to fly, as everybody tries to be secretive and send people in different directions on who they're going to take.
brett (louisville) [via mobile]
What are the bengals going for in the draft? i think they need help in the secondary and on the def line, any chance they go that route?
Gary Horton (12:11 PM)
I think both of those are needs. I think they could use another edge pass rusher. I think they're vulnerable at safety because neither one of their guys are good in coverage. But I think their No. 1 need is on offense at either TE or WR. This is a 3-WR offense and with the tragic death of Chris Henry they have not had the third WR or pass catching TE to give them all of their options. They have two WRs and that's it for targets.
Santonio Holmes for a 5th-rounder...ummmm, why????
Gary Horton (12:13 PM)
The Pittsburgh Steelers can't wait to part ways with him. That's not a lot of compensation for a pretty good player. I think the Steelers are sick and tired of these offseason problems. This may be a statement for their players. For the Jets, it could be a great pick up, in terms of not costing them a lot, but the Jets also continue to flirt with high-risk, high-reward players (not necessarily all personal issues). As we said a week ago, LT is a big name, but is there anything left in the tank? Cromartie is a talented CB, but he has all sorts of issues. Brodney Pool has real injury problems. The Jets could come out of this really smart or not looking very thorough.
gary (sylvania oh)
Would the Rams be better off taking Suh 1st, then trading for Jason Campbell(WASH) and picking a OL 2nd.
Gary Horton (12:16 PM)
Your question has a lot of merit. When you're a team like the Rams, with a lot of needs, you could really add some draft picks by possibly either moving down or moving around in the draft. I think if the Rams did anything they would probably trade out of the first pick and get other picks that cost less. However, right now, with their fan base, I don't think they can afford to pass on Bradford. He's clearly the best player and he fills a big need. I think they would lose a big number of their season ticket holders if they drafted a DT. To me, it's clear they need to start over with a franchise QB. Anything less just wouldn't be acceptable. But I'm sure they are at least discussing it.
QPD (Pomona, CA)
How do you personally feel about QB Tim Tebow and his likelyhood of succeeding in the NFL as a QB. In my opinion Tim is a winner, he has won at every level so far, why should now be any different. If he is drafted by the right program, say the Seahawks, and is given time to learn, mature and develope behind a proven vetern QB Tebow can end up being the best QB in the draft. Don't you aree?
Gary Horton (12:19 PM)
I am in absolute agreement with you. The hardest thing about Tim Tebow is you're so in love with the tangibles that it's easy to overrate the skills. However, I think his attitude, work ethic and pride are so good that he will will himself into being whatever he needs to be for NFL teams. I know if I'm in the league, this is a guy I want on my team. In my opinion, he could be a great Wildcat type QB in his first year, while he's really learning how to play the position. In Year 2 or 3, I think he could really compete as a real QB. I would love to see him play for a guy like Bill Belichick in New England, who would find some ways to use him. However, I think he'll be a lot more than just an H-back or a Wildcat QB. Over time, I think he'll be better than that.
Buffalo NY [via mobile]
What position and who will the Bills draft 9th overall?
Gary Horton (12:21 PM)
Here's another team with a lot of needs. They can go in various directions. Their first challenge would be if they pick another QB or not. That would be Jimmy Clausen. Their biggest need is at OT. This was the worst front five in the league a year ago. They also have needs on defense at OLB and NT if they switch to the 3-4. And they really need a WR to take some pressure off Lee Evans. The smart pick is probably at OT. The intriguing pick would be the QB, Clausen. Or, do they wait and find a QB in the second? In my opinion, they could come out of the first two rounds with a QB and OT.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
With Santonio Holmes out in Pittsburgh, do you think Ben Roethlisberger is next? The Rooney family always puts character before winning.
Gary Horton (12:23 PM)
I don't think so. Holmes is a little different than your QB. I think if Big Ben is cleared today of the charges in Georgia, like we've heard, that's good for him, but I still think from the organization's standpoint, the disappointment continues in the fact that he puts himself into these situations. My guess is that the front office will make it very clear to Big Ben to clean up his act. I believe that he will. I think we'll get past this with him.
The Punisher (SF)
Who do you see the Niners taking at 13 and 17? I would prefer someone with my ability to punish D lineman, and use superior hammer strength. Good luck. Oy Vey.
Gary Horton (12:27 PM)
They could use a 3-4 edge rusher. They have a lot of guys, but they don't have that perfect guy that can play outside LB in a 3-4 or a DE in a 4-3. However, they also need help at OT. They need help at CB. They are really looking for a return specialist in this draft to give them good field position. This is a good team, but they need more dramatic playmakers. They're close to being able to almost go for the best athlete available. It would not surprise me if they used these two picks to move around and get more guys. Some people, me not included, think they could be a candidate for Jimmy Clausen. But I'm not sure they're looking at QB.
Gary Horton (12:28 PM)
When we talk next Monday, the rumors will be flying as we get three days away from the draft. I think we're going to have a lot of drama this year. It's going to be a fun three days. With this three-day draft, I think more than ever, we're going to have potential deals made during the draft, because these teams have so much time to think about it with this thing spread out over three days. They'll be able to think about the players they want. So, there could be a lot of drama during the draft, especially over the first two days. That's something to really watch.
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