The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

It's Horton, That's Who


The best value pick in last spring's NFL draft isn't even close. I know Vinny Cerrato and the Redskins get knocked all the time for their drafting strategy, and sometimes rightfully so. They have given away far too many picks in the past in pursuit of high-priced veterans. And I don't want to sound like a homer here. But the selection of safety Chris Horton in the seventh round is looking awfully good.

I mean, when you get a guy with the 249th overall pick in the draft (out of 252) and he comes in right away and makes an impact, that's astounding. This guy can play. He is a rugged tackler against the run. He is all over the field against the pass. He is a true asset to a good defense, and it looks like he could be a top-tier player for a long time.

There are others around the league. The Bears seem to have gotten a solid running back in the second round in Matt Forte. They'll really need him to come through now if Rex Grossman is to be back at quarterback in place of the injured Kyle Orton. The third-leading rookie rusher behind Titans first-rounder Chris Johnson and Forte--Steve Slaton--was gotten by the Texans in the third round. There were no wide receivers taken in the first round in April but second rounders Eddie Royal of the Broncos and DeSean Jackson of the Eagles have played like they perhaps should have been first-round picks.

It's not so amazing to land a player in the second or third round, though, who ends up being productive as a rookie. To get one in the seventh round--near the bottom of the seventh round, in fact--now, that's doing something.

By Mark Maske  |  November 6, 2008; 12:27 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: All Along the Hightower | Next: Forte For Sure


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When late-round choices and undrafted guys play, it's usually for one reason: the team had no choice. That's certainly true for Horton, and for those rookie starters for the Colts. Will it hold up next season? No way to tell.

Posted by: samson151 | November 7, 2008 8:00 AM

Colts?... Really? Wow, Horton is not on the field due to the fact that the team had no choice. I could understand one being skeptical after a game or two, but this guy has proven that he is an impact player and he absolutely deserves a starting role for the Redskins.

Posted by: Sanchez | November 7, 2008 8:12 AM

The Reskins didn't play Horton becuase they had no other choice. He had an outstanding camp and was rewarded with some playing time. He made some huge plays comming off the bench in his first game and was rewarded with more playing time. Then when Reed Doughty got injued he was named as the starter becuase he earned it. What makes him so special is that he has the work ethic of veteran in his rookie year. I don't know what he is like off the football field but on it, the practice field, the weightroom and filmroom he shows the same approach to the game as Darrell Green. That is the biggest compliment I could ever give the guy.

Posted by: akmzrazor | November 7, 2008 8:59 AM

Horton is a straight beast! Watch any clips of previous games. He is at the right place at the right time in the defensive sets. He seems to play with the knowledge of a veteran and he gives it his all. For a rookie he is an unleashed stopper. He an London Fletcher are holding things down in that defense. Just watch him he goes after runners like they said something bad about his momma. And he has the speed to stay with tight ends and runners from the backfield no problem. We are lucky to have him.

Posted by: LuisC | November 7, 2008 10:06 AM

As a UCLA fanatic, I can tell you that he is just as great off the field as he is on it. He was a class act to everyone, and a great person to be around. He was one of our best players, yet it never went to his head. The Redskins landed a real champ. I was excited to hear he will be at the Bruin game tomorrow and plan to search him out to congratulate him on such a great start to his career.

Posted by: Claudia | November 7, 2008 10:06 PM

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