Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at noon ET!
Buzzmaster (12:01 PM)
We're getting Gary!
Gary Horton (12:02 PM)
I love the last couple of days leading up to the draft, because there are so many rumors floating around and misinformation that it really becomes fun to try to determine who's telling the truth and who isn't. But this has a chance to be a very exciting first round for a lot of reasons.
Why would the Rams take Bradford over Suh when there will still be Coly MCcoy left in the 2nd round it doesnt make since to me, thx for answering
Gary Horton (12:04 PM)
I know a lot of people think that, but I think it's time for the Rams to find a franchise QB. Bradford is clearly the best of the group and I just don't think the Rams can pass on a guy who looks like he could be the face of this franchise. What I would do is take Bradford and then try to find another player in the second round. I'm a big believer in what you're saying, but I don't think the Rams have that luxury, because right now they can't lineup and play with what they have.
Gary- Do teams like the Bears even show up to Music City Hall when they aren't drafting on the first day?
Gary Horton (12:05 PM)
Oh yeah. Their scouts and personnel people will be in their draft room. They'll approach it like any other team that has picks. Keep in mind, they could theoretically do a trade to get a pick in the first round.
Gary Horton (12:05 PM)
It will be business as usual for their group. It just won't be as exciting.
Hey Gary .. Are he Giants going to trade up for Mcclain or Spiller. Any chance the Giants take Sean Lee or Tyson Alualu in the second round. Thanks...
Gary Horton (12:07 PM)
I think they'll go on the defensive side of the ball. I think they desperately need an impact MLB, so a lot of people are talking about McClain. They could use another DL. But I think they will go defense. Though Spiller is interesting, because there are some people who think he's the most talented player in the draft. I'm not so sure that the Giants are as good at RB as people think.
Rick Spielman (Minneapolis)
I've got a Tim Tebow kind of feeling, Gary!
Gary Horton (12:09 PM)
I love Tim Tebow for a lot of reasons. Obviously, all of the intangibles and even though he needs a lot of work on his QB fundamentals, I don't think there's ever been a player who will work as hard to turn himself into an NFL QB as Tebow. For that reason, I think he will be a good NFL player. He will not accept anything less. He could be a Wildcat type QB in his rookie year, while learning the position and that would give him value to the organization without putting too much pressure on him. There are a lot of people today that think Tebow is going to wind up being drafted in the first round.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
Mr Horton, the Lions watch Stafford get banged around last year and in the end, get injured. Doesn't it make more sense for them to protect their $42M invenstment first? Maybe trade down and grab a tackle and more draft picks?
Gary Horton (12:10 PM)
I think that's a very interesting idea and I think they have talked about moving down, because they could go 2-3 spots and still get one of the good tackles. But Suh is so good, it's hard to pass on him as a pure football player. I don't know that anybody wants to spend what they have to to come up. It's easy to want to trade down, but you have to have a partner to come up and I don't know if the Lions have one right now. But it's a possibility.
Will we see more trades tomorrow morning than usual?
Gary Horton (12:12 PM)
I think that's what makes this draft very interesting. If you remember, we're always amazed at how good the first four or five picks are on Day Two of the draft, because teams have all night to readjust their board and look at players available. Now we have two opportunities to do that, after Thursday and Friday nights. I think we will see a lot of action tomorrow morning as teams try to make moves around two and three.
What did you think of the Eagles trade for Sims? Seems like a no brainer for a 5th rounder.
Gary Horton (12:12 PM)
It seems like a reasonable trade. They need help at LB. They need some guys with skills and he's a good pro. He's probably better than a guy they could have drafted in the fifth round.
John, Austin [via mobile]
Gary, whats you take on the Texans? can they get the pieces in the draft to make the playoffs next year? they ignored free agency so the draft is pretty much it for them.
Gary Horton (12:13 PM)
Yeah, I think they're closer than people realize. This is a pretty good football team. If they can ever solidify a running game, they can be pretty good. It would be fun to see them get a really quality back in this draft.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Clevland has 5 picks in the first 3 rounds. We know they are interested in Colt McCoy. Clevland also needs a WR. What are the chances that Cleveland gets both McCoy and his clloge team mate Jordan Shipley?
Gary Horton (12:15 PM)
That's an interesting scenario. I hadn't thought about that one. That would be really good. The closer we get to the draft, you may have to trade into the bottom of the first round to get McCoy. I've been told that teams at the top of the second round will probably try to move up to get him. It may be fairly competitive. But Mike Holmgren knows what he wants in a QB and he will put the right plan together. This is a team with a lot of needs.
Do you think Miami has a chance to make it deep in to the playoffs or possibly the superbowl?
Gary Horton (12:17 PM)
They've obviously greatly improved their passing game with Marshall and they can really stretch the field. That will take the pressure off their run game. I love Dansby at ILB. This is a Bill Parcells defense that builds from the inside out. The missing pieces right now are a NT and a safety. To me, they have to improve that area in this draft to really upgrade the overall defense. But this is a smart front office and they know exactly what they need to improve.
Do you believe the rumors on a Big Ben trade?
Gary Horton (12:20 PM)
It's a fascinating topic and I go back and forth on it. I've been told the fan base is really negative on him. But he's a franchise QB and part of me thinks that they're just trying to send a message that anyone's tradeable. But it would be hard to find a partner, unless possibly Oakland. And then you need a plan for a QB. That's a lot to do today. But if they got a great offer, they would consider it. This is an organization that's bigger than the player. This is a fascinating day to watch if anything happens. I find it interesting that the commissioner made his ruling the day before the draft, to give the Steelers time to let the situation figure into their draft plans. If this situation would have been announced next week, they would have taken away all of their leverage to adjust.
Chris (Ann Arbor, MI)
With so many teams switching to the 3-4 defense, what players suited for a 4-3 should fall? Maybe it's time for a few 3-4 teams to switch back in order to capitalize on the new player-value situation...
Gary Horton (12:21 PM)
First of all, there's just not that many true 4-3 DEs coming out of college. Those guys are hard to find. That are big enough to play the run but have the athleticism to pass rush. The reason we are seeing more 3-4's is that it's a lot easier to find that undersized athletic guy coming off the edge coming out of college. But I think a quality DE in a 4-3 is still a really desired player, if he has the skills.
Mohamed (Philadelphia )
Gary - Do you think the Chiefs will actually go forward and draft a SAFETY with the 5th pick (assuming Poili can't trade out of course)? What are your feelings on that as last year the feeling was pretty accurate on the day of the draft on Tyson Jackson. Thank you!
Gary Horton (12:22 PM)
They could go a lot of directions, but I think that's what probably they'll do. They need a playmaker to tie that secondary together.
Chris (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Any truth to the McFadden-to-Detroit rumors?
Gary Horton (12:23 PM)
I've not heard anything, but with the Raiders, you never know. If you mention something like that, maybe the Raiders are thinking about a guy like CJ Spiller, if they're shopping McFadden. I know Detroit really needs a back. A guy like McFadden could fill a need without drafting it. So, that's an interesting rumor.
It should be as easy as a one-piece puzzle to say the Raiders need a stud O-lineman with their #8 pick. But, I suspect that Al Davis will go to the slate and be unconventional, going away from Mel Kiper's Big Board to make a reach on someone who doesn't fit an immediate need and has low value. I'm concerned about the value. What is your take?
Gary Horton (12:25 PM)
If you're a Raiders fan, you should always be worried. No one in that room probably knows what they're going to do except Al Davis. OT makes the most sense, but they love speed. They could go with a safety or CB. I don't think they will. They could go with a back like Spiller. Would they even look at QB? You just don't know.
Omar (Concord, NC)
why are scouts so low on Taylor Mays? He is off the charts athletically, and if scouts are worried about him in deep secondary coverage, why can't you just stick him at linebacker, where he'd probably be the fastest in the league?
Gary Horton (12:27 PM)
Some people think that he's a little bit of a straight line guy and that he may have some problems in the NFL. He's just not a great coverage guy. He's aggressive but he'll miss some tackles. I get the feeling that some people just think that those mistakes, they can't live with, as aggressive as he is.
Dan (San Diego)
If the St. Louis Rams don't go with Sam Bradford (hypothetically), where do you think the possible landing spot for him is? Redskins i think will probably go with need over luxury.
Gary Horton (12:30 PM)
A team like Cleveland could try to trade up. Let's say the Rams pass on Bradford, then Detroit would obviously take calls to trade down. I suppose Seattle and Cleveland could have interest in trading up. But I just don't think that anyone thinks that's a serious scenario and they've thought about it. I don't think St. Louis has had any serious calls about that pick. Teams may have called to see if they want to talk, but I don't think they've gotten any real offers. Keep in mind, to make that kind of move, it costs you a ton in draft picks and money to sign that guy. In this economy, I don't think teams want to do that.
Gary Horton (12:31 PM)
It's a fun day. The rumors are flying. I remember when I was an NFL scout, this was the most exciting day of the year, because all of your year's work comes down to what you do in a few hours. It will be a fun three days.
Buzzmaster (12:31 PM)
Thanks for chatting Gary!