Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the 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 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:59 PM)
Gary will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Gary Horton (4:02 PM)
Thank goodness we have a draft, so it will at least give us some football the next few weeks to concentrate on, while it looks like everything is in the court system now. Litigation is taking the place of negotiation, so who knows how that will go.
What position do u think the Vikings would draft? If so who.
Gary Horton (4:05 PM)
I think the Vikings are in a vewy tough situation, because they obviously need a QB. I get the feeling that they think they're still a talented enough team that they would like to plug in a veteran and get a couple of more years before they turn over their roster to a young QB. That's their question, do they go young or old at QB. Beyond that, they need a lot of help on defense, safety, OLB, and they're really starting to age on the DL. And OL. They've really fallen off on protection. WR could become an area of need, even though we've thought of that as a really solid position. Sidney Rice could leave. Berrian could leave. And Harvin has problems staying on the field with his migraines.
Who do you think the Cleveland Browns will select in the first round of the NFL draft?
Gary Horton (4:07 PM)
Early, I think they could go either defensive end or wide receiver and both are significant needs. This team has no pass rush and needs some big plays off the edge. They also lack a dynamic WR for Colt McCoy. They could also use help at CB. They could use a RB to go with Hillis. In a perfect world, they could use a OLB to go with that pass rushing DE.
If the Cowboys add Tyron Smith at 9 as a RT, does that offense have the makings of an elite one? Could that propel them to a deep run in the playoffs?
Gary Horton (4:09 PM)
There's no question that OT is their biggest need. Marc Columbo is near the end, along with RG Leonard Davis. The freedom they have is with Doug Free at LOT, he might be a better fit at ROT. I think if they can find the best available OT, they could possibly move Free if necessary. But that's a huge need to fill at OL. I don't know how they can be an elite team without that line protection.
could Bowers or Quinns health concerns cause either of them to have a significant fall in the draft? Perhaps they fall into the 13-18 pick range
Gary Horton (4:11 PM)
A couple of things happen with guys who have health issues. All of the medical reports will be gone back through before the draft and re-checked. Also, if a team really likes the player but has concerns, they'll bring him in themselves to get more comfortable. If there continues to be those concerns, a player can drop on a team's board and some times even taken off. A team's doctor can have more power than you might think. That's one of the biggest things they do at Indy at the combine is the physical. They still follow it up extensively.
Gary Horton (4:12 PM)
The reason the teams do so much of their own work on guys that they like is that there are some organizations that will actually leak negative information. It has been done in the past to scare teams away from potential injury problems. I don't know anybody that doesn't do their own work, rather than listen to their own people.
Toby (Lost in Idaho)
Gary, as always appreciate your insight. Some Rumors floating around today about Kolb to Seattle. Seems like a good fit, but he is injury prone and the Seahawks line is like swiss cheese. How do you see it?
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
To be honest, Kolb would be a good fit at almost any place, because he's so talented. His market will be very high. What's interesting to me is that I think the Seahawks feel that they can get another year or two out of Matt Hasselbeck and that might to encourage them to draft a young guy rather than a guy like Kolb who could come in and play right now. You're right, though, they don't have a very stable OL. They need help. Their LOT Russell Okung is the only real fixture and he must stay healthy. They desperately need help at RT. This is a group that used 11 different OL combinations.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What do you think about the NFL Suspending Players for Illegal Hits in the Head & Neck Area?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
I think a lot of people complained. As the season wore on, even though it had growing pains, players became more comfortable with how the plays were going to be called. I thought at the end of the season that there was real improvement of the understanding of what they could and couldn't do. It's good for the game when players are not getting those devastating hits. Even though it was costly, I think the players are in a much better player now.
Jamal Hall (Pittsburgh,PA)
Do you expect the NFL to be back in Los Angeles after the NFL Lockout if their is one hopefully not but it's hard to believe that the second city in america has no NFL team correct?
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I don't think the lockout will have anything to do with it, but I think the organizational people in LA are much closer now to getting a stadium deal than they have been in several years. If that happens, they're going to have their choice of probably 3-4 teams that might be willing to move with the enticement of a new stadium. But I don't think anything gets done until they can commit to that. I think they're looking at San Diego, Jacksonville, Minnesota as starters. Some people might even mention Buffalo, but I can't imagine them leaving.
mike (new jersey)
how long do you think it will tke the steelers and the steelers fans to put the loss behind them?
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
It varies from team to team, but depending on their maturity and past success. I think the Steelers are such a strong organization with so many veteran players that they can re-focus and realize that they'll always be close to competing for a Super Bowl. They're always a good team on the field and they're ready to get back out there, knowing what they're capable of. They're a mature team and not every team has that. We say it a lot, but only one team finishes the year as a winner.
Jon Thorn (Canton, MI)
Do you think that the Lions will have a chance to make the playoffs with offseason moves (considering the lockout is over) at the DB positions?
Gary Horton (4:23 PM)
You're right, their needs are on defense. I think they really need help in the secondary at CB and safety. They just don't make enough big plays. Their biggest need may be getting a better pass rush and bigger plays on the edge. They might need two pass rushers, not one. This is an improving team, but they need more game changers on defense to move to the next level.
What do you make of Denver looking at Lockert and Gabbert? For real or a smoke screen?
Gary Horton (4:26 PM)
I have not heard that rumor, nor do I believe that to be true. Although, I will say that I don't think that they're totally sold on Tim Tebow as the future. I think right now, it would make no sense for them to invest a lot of money on another QB before they really know what they have in Tebow, who you know will work as hard as he can to improve. They also have a quality guy in Orton that can get them through the next couple of years. This team has so many needs that I don't think they can be frivolous with the QB position. Defensively, they need help on all three levels. They need pass rushers. They need cover guys. They need to be stronger versus the run, which would probably necessitate an ILB. This is a team that doesn't have a lot of difference makers. I don't see how they can avoid drafting by need.
Reece (South Carolina)
do you think with another Rex Ryan guarentee do you think the Jets can win the Super Bowl?
Gary Horton (4:28 PM)
I'm not a personal friend of Rex Ryan's, but I have friends that know him well and they say he's a great guy and believes in everything he says. I just don't understand why you need that rhetoric in March. Nobody cares right now. There is no reason to bring it up. He may believe it. He may tell his players, but why do the Jets always have to be on Page 1? Why not just go about your business? There is nothing wrong with believing you can win it, but why tell me and everyone else in America? Especially when we won't have football for at least 6 months.
Can Atlanta become a real contender next year with some added weapons?
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
Atlanta doesn't have a lot of glaring needs. Things they're looking for are on defense, DE and OLB. I don't think they have enough playmakers and depth on the edges. With the exception of DE John Abraham, they don't get much of a pass rush. I know that they love last year's pick, Sean Weatherspoon, if he can stay healthy. But getting another guy that can come off the edge, but also drop back into coverage would be helpful. They need a guy that can eventually replace Tony Gonzalez and a WR that can help White.
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
As we mentioned at the beginning of the chat, we're fortunate that we have the draft to fill our need for football. But can you imagine if we still have a lockout on May 1, with no mini-camp, no free agency movement and not looking forward to training camp? That might be when depression sets in. Along with the draft, we also have the Final Four right now, so that will keep us busy. It would be nice in May to be looking at football again.
Buzzmaster (4:32 PM)