Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the completed NFL draft 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 (12:03 PM)
We've got Gary!
Buzzmaster (12:09 PM)
I spoke too soon. Gary's gotten tied up with something. Hang on folks.
Buzzmaster (12:12 PM)
Now Gary's here!
Gary Horton (12:12 PM)
I thought the new format this year was terrific with the first round in primetime. There was a real electric atmosphere in Radio City Music Hall. I think that really brought a new excitement to the draft.
Who do you think has had the best draft so far?
Gary Horton (12:14 PM)
I thought Seattle seemed to have a great plan and a feel where players are slotted. Not only in the draft, but also in the ability to acquire two veteran backs in the draft. Pete Carroll's recent knowledge of these college players really helped them pick guys that he was comfortable with. You just had a feeling that their preparation for this draft was outstanding.
The Rams could have gotten Clausen in the 2nd round and Suh in the 1st they kicking them selves now?
Gary Horton (12:16 PM)
No, I think there was no question that Bradford was their guy. There was a consensus in the building that that was the way to go. They felt that there was a lot of separation between Bradford at the other QBs. And, obviously, most of the other teams felt the same way. If you feel that way, you just can't pass on a franchise QB, because he has the chance to be the face of this franchise for the next 10 years. But your observation is certainly something that they thought about, I'm sure.
Gary Horton (12:16 PM)
And let me add one thing, teams are always looking at the first and second rounds to get two players they really like. You're always trying to figure what position you like first and get the other position in the second round.
Gary Horton (12:17 PM)
I'm sure those scenarios played out.
Gary, what's your opinion on drafting to fit your system over the best player available? I'm happy the Skins drafted a tackle with the 4th pick, but I'm not convinced that Williams was a better pick than Okung. Everything I heard about Okung is that you could put him in @ LT on day 1, but he didn't fit Shanahan's system. Williams fit's Shanahan's system, but struggled @ LT last season after spending three years @ RT so it will take him longer to adjust to the move.
Gary Horton (12:18 PM)
Williams probably got the nod over Okung because he will be a little better pass blocker in their zone system that requires some reach blocks. He is a perfect example of a guy that did fit the system, even though Okung is really a good football players.
Gary Horton (12:19 PM)
That's a great question, though, because I've seen a lot of great coaches draft for their system but then they're gone three years later and they have a bunch of players who are no longer in the right system. I'm a big believer in drafting the best available player.
Is Bradford strong enough mentally and emotionally to deal with the beat down he will get from other teams until the Rams improve thier team?
Gary Horton (12:20 PM)
Well, I think it's how they use him that will be very important. A lot of people think they should bring him along slowly. But as bad as they are, especially at QB, he may be thrown into the mix quickly. The only problem with Bradford is that he will need a lot of work in calling plays and making audibles. At Oklahoma, he looked a lot to the sideline where they gave him the plays and he didn't always have to be creative. Those things will come, because he's a smart guy and he will study, but it won't happen overnight.
Sylvester Taylor Augusta,GA [via mobile]
Why are we questioning Tim Tebow's ability at quaterback. Hasnt he won two national championships,a heisman, been to the national title game three times, and change his throwing motion in two month for his pro day. And also didnt he throw for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns. Like i said pass for 20 touchdowns.
Gary Horton (12:22 PM)
I think that now Josh McDaniels' coaching career in Denver is directly tied to Tebow's success. We know that he can develop QBs. There's a lot of work to be done with mechanics, the ability to drop back and accuracy. But Tebow is so competitve that you just get the feeling that he will not allow himself to fail. As mentioned, McDaniels' future is based on this pick, so you have two motivated guys to make this work. And I think it will.
brodie (iowa) [via mobile]
how did the bears end up doing? is wright going to start?
Gary Horton (12:24 PM)
Well, first of all, they approach the draft like everyone else, even though they didn't have a lot of picks. They were all in the room. They were probably looking at possible trades. I think when you're picking late like the Bears, they were just trying to fill needs and bolster their roster, knowing that they weren't probably going to get a lot of impact players. Their draft will have to be judged in a couple of years to see if they got lucky on some of these guys.
Hey who else noticed that Colt Mccoy did not look happy AT ALL after being drafted by the browns?
Gary Horton (12:25 PM)
It's a great situation for him, because Mike Holmgren really liked him and they have a patchwork QB position right now, which means that as soon as McCoy is ready, he has a real chance to step in and be the guy. My guess is that the Browns will almost red-shirt McCoy as a rookie with Jake Delhomme there. I think after an offseason between years one and two, he has a real chance to take over this franchise. I don't know about his happiness, but this is a perfect position to be in.
six (albnay ny)
Do you think Dez Bryant is the biggest steal of the draft? i think he is going to be the best offensive player from the draft by far.
Gary Horton (12:27 PM)
It was a brilliant move, because Baltimore coveted Bryant with the next pick and the Cowboys knew it. I have been told that he's not necessarily a bad kid, but he has some flaws that can be corrected. If his character is not a problem, he has a chance to be outstanding for Dallas. Physically, he could be the steal of the draft.
any moves stick out to you as bad ones?
Gary Horton (12:29 PM)
Well, I thought in the first round, Oakland and Jacksonville both took players that they didn't have to take that high. Whether you like them or not isn't the case. Especially in Jacksonville's case. They could have traded down and still gotten the same guy. It's always surprising to me that some teams say that if they like a guy, they'll draft him, rather than knowing the draft and working it. To me, take whatever guy you like, but at the right spot is very important, because you can garner extra picks by knowing the draft. No one's better at it than the Patriots. That really stood out to me.
Could you see Teddy Thompson going after Adalius Thomas now that he was released? The Pack didn't draft a pass rushing OLB. Could Thomas put them over the top with an incentive-laden deal?
Gary Horton (12:30 PM)
Oh, I don't think there's any question that he will be a guy that teams will like. He really fits that 3-4 rush LB slot, which I think would make him attractive to Green Bay. I think he's still a good player. He just wore out his welcome in New England. That was a marriage that didn't have a chance to last.
Gary Horton (12:32 PM)
There's almost a letdown when the draft is over, because you've been so focused on it for so long. It won't be long before the process starts all over again, as we start to look at next year's guys, which truly makes the NFL a year round sport.