Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's NFL "Caveman" himself, Gary Horton, stops in to talk some football and other news from around the league.
Horton, from Scouts Inc., works year-round on ESPN's NFL-related shows, including NFL32, where he breaks down film, earning him his Caveman nickname.
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!
Gary Horton (4:04 PM)
I'm just seeing the reports of the explosions at the Boston Marathon. It probably seems like a chat about football is that not important. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Boston that were hurt.
Where do the Pats go for WR help now that they lost out on Sanders?
Gary Horton (4:06 PM)
I think they'll probably look to the draft. I think they're looking for an outside guy with some speed. Belichick does a great job of digging guys out in the draft. I don't think Pittsburgh had the option to letting Sanders go, so I think the Pats are back to the drawing board. As I look at this New England passing game, I think there are some potential things to be worried about. Is Gronk healthy? Can Hernandez play a full 16 games? Can Amendola replace Welker's slot production? Who is their deep threat on the outside? It could all come together, but I think there is a little bit of concern right now unless they get a WR in the draft.
How can the Jets think about dealing Revis?
Gary Horton (4:08 PM)
I think it's a move they have to make. When you evaluate this roster, it has an amazing number of holes and weaknesses. As great a player as Revis is, there is no way he can carry this defense. I think they're looking at the fact that they'll have to almost start over and rebuild. By the time they become a contender again, Revis will be at the end of his career. It's hard to trade a guy who is such a difference maker, but in this situation, it makes sense.
Chicago [via mobile]
Who is the best fit for bears in round one
Gary Horton (4:10 PM)
There are lots of reports about Te'o to the Bears. I think a guy like Te'o fits best in a 4-3 defense. I'm not sure he's the most natural fit for the Bears. He needs to be protected by DTs who play a two-gap technique and keep blockers off of him. The Bears have a lot of one-gap schemes where the DLs penetrate. It would be a popular pick, because of the proximity to Notre Dame and the positional need for the Bears. The fit seems to make sense.
from what you see on tape - who do you expect to have bigger year - Luck, Wilson or Kapernick and why
Gary Horton (4:13 PM)
I think all three of them will pick up where they left off. I don't think any of them will have a sophomore slump. Wilson has a great new target in Harvin who gives them a deep threat. Kaepernick has Boldin, who is a great third down receiver. Luck has his former Stanford teammate at TE. All of these guys have great guys around them. The guy we're not talking about is RGIII. Obviously, we'll have to wait and see how he comes back from his injury and how his playing style changes. Unlike the other three guys, his passing weapons probably aren't as explosive. We're really lucky to have these young guys be the faces of this league in the future years.
Josh maltry loves brittany alligood [via mobile]
How good are denvers chances of signing Amhad Bradshaw? If not good, who shall they draft
Gary Horton (4:15 PM)
He runs hard between the tackles. He'd probably give them some toughness. Denver seems to get by with veteran backs. Maybe that's all they really need from the run game. They may need it to be just good enough to keep defenses honest, but they're going to win with Peyton Manning's passes. Maybe Bradshaw could be a short term fix.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Hi Gary - could you see a team with few holes and extra picks to spare - I'm thinking 49ers - have an out of the box approach to this year's draft where they stock up on a specific position in order to use in trades with that position needy teams to accumulate future picks?
Gary Horton (4:17 PM)
A lot of times when a team has multiple picks and not a lot of needs, which is how you'd classify the 49ers, what they might try to do is acquire future picks to trade for future picks. New England has done that successfully in previous years. I could see the 49ers building their future draft as they go through this year's draft. It's hard for me to see them using all of their picks on a team that already has great depth. The other thing you could see is for them to package picks to move up in the draft if they have a player they really like. They have a lot of ammunition to do that. That is something they could look at.
Do you think the Bears should take Eifert if available, or should they focus on the OL. Thanks
Gary Horton (4:19 PM)
I thought it was a huge position of need for them, until they acquired Martelus Bennett from the Giants. Having said that, new head coach Marc Trestman will really use the TEs with a lot of movement. He might use multiple TEs, like New England, to create matchups. So it could be a possibility. But when I look at that roster, they have tremendous needs on the OL as well at LB. They might feel they can get a TE later in the draft. Bennett could be their go-to TE. But we are in the world of multiple TE sets.
Hi Gary, should the Dolphins trade up to get a LT or see if they can swing a trade for Albert?
Gary Horton (4:21 PM)
I think a trade scenario would certainly be interesting. Even though they obviously need a LT, you would hate to see them have to use such a high pick just to replace Jake Long, which is a push at best. That's the world of free agency we live in. I think it will be a very interesting dilemma for them. Albert would certainly make sense.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Gary, Are the Jets willing to part with Mark Sanchez, along with Darrelle Revis to either Tampa Bay or anyone ahead of the Jets in the upcoming draft, so they can get a higher pick and go after Geno Smith or Matt Barkley?
Gary Horton (4:24 PM)
I think obviously the Revis trade will likely come through. That could get them another first round pick. I don't think any compensation they get for Mark Sanchez is going to be very high. I don't know why they would get rid of Sanchez with what they have at QB right now. I know there is not a lot of confidence there, but what are their options? You would think they wouldn't address it in the draft, because of so many other needs. I think you'll see the Jets be fairly conservative, not make a lot of rash moves. If they get a first rounder for Revis, they really need to hit a HR on both of their first rounders. They're not going to replenish this roster in one draft. In my opinion, there is a long road ahead to rebuild this team. I'm shocked at how quickly they fell apart.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Gary - if Wilson and Kapernick were coming out this year where would they be on the draft board in comparison to Smith, Barkley and company?
Gary Horton (4:26 PM)
I think both guys are better than any of this year's quarterbacks. But let's keep in mind, a year ago we didn't know that. We're talking about a second rounder and third rounder. The production we saw from these guys is certainly much higher than where they were picked would suggest. I don't think there is any question that they are both significantly better than any one of these QBs in this draft. I don't see a guy in this year's group that could develop as successfully as Kaepernick and Wilson.
at this point in draft prep, what's a scouts role?
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
Teams are doing their final draft meetings now. They're resetting their board for the final time. They're bringing in guys for visits. Scouts right now are doing last minute checks on any concerns they might have. They are checking guys to make sure they're still healthy and didn't have any accident or injury problems leading into the draft. Doing some checks. On occasion, a scout will go out in the last few days to check on a guy if there are concerns. But most of their work has been done. Their boards are set. Some teams will have their scouts survey other teams in the league to get a feel what they are thinking about certain players, but other teams are also very close-mouthed and don't want their scouts talking to anybody. I always thought getting a feel for what other teams are thinking can really help you on draft day, in terms of where you pick a guy and not be forced to reach for him.
Gary Horton (4:29 PM)
Always keep in mind that these last ten days are when the rumors start. Everybody is putting out misinformation. Teams start to posture.
Gary Horton (4:30 PM)
We're 10 days out. I think this will be a very good draft. As we've said so many times before, this is not a glamor draft, but it's a deep draft with a lot of good players. The organization that's the best prepared will win in this draft. I think we will also see a lot of drama on Day 2, Friday, as the QBs start to come off the board.
Gary Horton (4:31 PM)
There is a lot to look forward to.
Buzzmaster (4:31 PM)
Thanks for chatting Gary!