Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
Let's get to the questions. A lot juniors declaring for the draft let's get to it.
Do you believe Antonio Cromartie made the correct decision by foregoing his final year of eligibility? If he is ready for the combine and has good workouts, where do you seem him drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I think in terms of Cromartie, he feels like he played such a high level of football when he was healthy. He missed part of the year. The feeling is that right now he is 90 percent and by the combine he'll be 100 percent. This is a big, athletic quarterback. When you look at his size, he's 6-3, 205 and has a ton of skills. He could be a late first rounder.
Will the 49ers consider picking/trading down for Deangelo Williams?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I think the 49ers, if you look at their needs at 7th, they need a cornerback, a D-line, a tight end. A running back? Frank Gore played well late in the year. They need WR help. I think they can wait on a running back. You can get a running back on the second day even. You can get some good second-day running backs. A corner, OLB, TE, WR are their big need areas.
Alex (Allentown, Pa)
Why on earth would Devin Hester go pro? He had a horrible year, bad bowl game, got injuried, doesnt have a real position, and coker said he would use him in a reggie bush role next season. I heard he needed money to help his family but at best he is a 2nd rounder right? Dont you think if he comes back and finds a position (wr) that he could go mid 1st?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
It doesn't matter now, he's coming out. Whether it's right or wrong, he's made his decision. I think another year would have benefited him. If he's going to work on the offensive side of the ball, he could have carved a niche for him. But the bottom line is he's got skills and is going into the draft. He was a disappointment, but he's got talent. He could be a third-fourth round pick
Chris: Columbus, OH
Mel, where do you think Santonio Holmes will go in the draft? Also, who do you think the Dolphins will be looking at with the 16th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
I'd say Holmes will be a mid-first rounder. He's tough, he'll catch in traffic. He's got good hands. He could be the first WR taken, maybe second. Who could be interested? The Eagles, maybe. Cowboys, Chargers, Chiefs, Redskins, Carolina. All those teams could be looking at WR.
Jason, San Diego
Who will be the top Corner or DB coming out of college this year.
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
The top corner? Jimmy Williams from Va. Tech. If he has good workouts, Antonio Cromartie. After that, you've got some questions. That's why I think Antonio came out. Ashton Youboty from Ohio State, if he comes out will be in that mix.
Joe (Chicago, IL)
The Bears finally seem to have a solid core in place, at least on defense. What needs do you see them addressing in the draft this year?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
I think Chicago needs to go offense, obviously. A TE, a WR, a OG. I think an interesting guy would be Owen Daniels. Derek Hagan from Az. St., Sinorice Moss from Miami, might be available for later rounds.
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
A good spot for Vernon Davis could be the Oakland Raiders at 6 or SF at 7. St. Louis at 11. But Chicago might get Mercedes Lewis from UCLA.
Kevin (Houston, TX)
Mel, How much of a sure bet is it that the texans take bush #1? What is his trade value if they chose to trade the #1 pick? thanks
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
It should be in pretty good demand. If you're the Jets or SF. How much do you want to give up? The Jets have 5 need areas. Do they want to give up a lot to get that one player. If Houston moves down, they're looking at OL. David Carr is gonig to be back at QB and build the supporting cast. They don't need a RB, but the could certainly use him. They need help in the pass offense, being a pass catcher out of the backfield.
SKIP (UNION SC)
WHAT ARE THE DOLPHINS CHANCES OF LANDING JAY CUTLER?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Where they're picking, that's a possibility. That could be right where he goes. But Arizona is at 10, Detroit at 9 could be interested. QB is a priority for both those teams. Miami's other need area is OG, S, WR.
Where do you see Maroney being drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
The thing is that he still had a good average per carry, but dropped a little bit. He's a late first rounder.
Hey Mel When will we see your first Mock Draft??? And Who do you have winning tonights game Texas or USC???
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
I pick Texas to win the game back in August. I'm not going to change now. In terms of the draft it'll come out after Jan. 15, probably the 17th.
Brad J (Mpls, MN)
Mel, speaking of Vernon Davis, I watched about 3 of his games this year and his hands didn't look all that great. Is he in the Tony G/Gates class of TE's?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I thought his hands were excellent. He's got great hands. Enormously talented physically. He's a weapon. Oakland is picking 6th. They've been looking for a safety for years. They should have drafted Todd Heap. You can see how that mistake snowballed on them. Every year you're chasing a TE. Now they're back looking at a TE.
Edo (Seattle, WA)
Mel, What needs do the Seahawks need to address in the draft? Their secondary seems suspect, mostly as a result of injuries. Should they bolster their defensive secondary, get a young stud OLB or maybe a speedster to give them a deep play threat? Your thoughts please?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
What they need is they lack a No. 1 WR. They need a pass rushing DE. They could use an update at OLB, CB.
Vince Young if he comes out to the Jets at 4? If Herm is gone and Dinger is HC possible, right.
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Jets have a lot of issues at QB, with a lot of money invested in Pennington. The Jets have need areas at OT, RB, CB, DT, WR, a lot of areas of need. QB, if Chad's healthy is not one of them. If not, they're in trouble. If Young did come out, the Raiders, Lions, Cardinals would be looking at him. I have the Saints picking LEinart.
Chris (New Orleans, LA)
Mel, What do you see the Saints doing with the 2nd overall pick? Based on what you know about Matt Leinart, do you see him demanding a trade if picked by the Saints?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
I think he's got to become a Saint. If you have No. 2 and he's there, you start the LEinart era with the Saints. If NO can get him, Saints fans should be thrilled. He'll carry a higher grade than Eli Manning. It'd be a great, great pick.
what's the early feeling on this draft? is it considered deep? top heavy?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
I think the draft is still to be determined. You have to see how this junior group comes together. The group is a very good group. The highest rated players coming out are Mario Williams, Davis, Holmes, Maroney, Cromartie, Pope, they're all first rounders. But we still have a lot of juniors we're waiting on.
Mel, what are the odds that Greg Eslinger ends up with the Denver Broncos? He seems like their type of o-lineman.
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
He really is in that style. Nick Mangold of OSU would figure in that scheme. Mangold is in the 3rd, Eslinger in 4-5 range.
Rodney Waldorf Md
Mel in your opinion who is the best linebacker in this years upcoming draft? Also do you think that Vtechs jimmy williams is a little overrated?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
I don't think Williams is overrated, because he can be a CB or a FS. In terms of cornerbacks, Michael Huff, he could be a CB in the NFL. He's athletic, he's got recovery speed. He's rated as a safety, but he could be a CB. Kelly Jennings, Phillips, Hudson, you're looking at second rounders. Huff is kind of the interesting guy there.
What's the latest on Paul Posluszny's injury last night - will impact his decision whether or not to come out early? How much would it impact his draft position?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
I think it should and would. I think with another year, he could be in the early grouping. This year, there is such a strong LB group. Next year, if he comes back and is healthy, I don't know the extent of his injury.
With duece rehabing for the New Orleans Saints and the Texans already having D.Davis,who can do the same things as R.Bush.return punts,play wide out etc. Whats the chances of the Texans passing on bush or trading that pick and the Saints going after bush?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
No. The Saints have to pick a QB. RB you can find. What makes Bush unique is he can do other things. You don't take a RB over QB. The Saints are desperate for a QB.
Eric St Louis, Mo
Who do you think the Rams will take at 11. Any shot at AJ Hawk?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
I don't think Hawk will be there. They may look at a DT or DE, maybe OG. Hawk will be gone at that point. They probably will look at DT. Claude Wroten from LSU will make sense.
what direction will the cowboys go in the first round? will they adress the quarterback position in the draft, or free agency?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
I think they're needs are beyond that. FS, ILB, OT, WR, K are all areas of need. If you're asking me, Bledsoe is the QB.
Hi Mel - It seems to me that with Willie Parker's improvement over the course of the season that a running back in the first round for the Steelers would be a bad move. Wouldn't an offensive lineman or linebacker be more of a need for them?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I think when you look at the OL, I think they're adequate. Where they're picking, they could look at WR or a shutdown CB. Running back they'll look at down the road.
Is Tennessee looking for a quarterback or are they confident in Billy Volek as the future QB? Are they more likely to go after Vince Young or D'Brickashaw Ferguson?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I think they're No. 1 area is OL. They drafted Michael Roos last year. Teams normally aren't going to look at the same position year after year. I think they need a DE, they need a LB, they need a S.
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
Mario Williams would be a good pick at No. 3.
Galen (Sioux Falls, SD)
Mel, thanks for all your info!! Why has Chad Greenway seemed to drop on your board this year? He ended up with close to 160 takles this year and was always around the ball.
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Not as dominate as he was. He had the tackles, but you don't always just look at the tackle numbers. You look for impact plays that other players had more of this year. He still has a high grade. I think he'll still be first rounder. Eagles, Rams, will be looking at LB. Vikings, another one. Patriots looking to get younger.
I was watching Deangelo Williams and he may be better than Reggie Bush. How high do you think he can go in Draft?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
He's a good back, but I can't put him ahead of Bush. He could be the second one off the board. He didn't have a good OL, but still had a ton of yards. He'll be in the mid-first round. Cardinals could look at him. That'd be a good spot for him.
Rick (Brooklyn, New York)
Based on bowl performances, what players helped their draft status and what players hurt their draft status?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Guys like Owen Daniels of Wiscosin. Marcus Hudson of NC state. Joseph Addi of LSU. All helped themselves. I didn't really drop anybody. Lewis of UCLA is a late first rounder, he had a little higher grade. Brodie Croyle has dropped a little. Davin Joseph of Oklahoma.
Ben (Atkins, AR)
PACKERS QUESTION: Do you think AJ Hawk is a good fit for GB at #5? If they grab Hawk at 5, will there be a good RB left for them in the second round?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I think there would be. OLB is their top area. For a second round RB, there will be some possibilities. Maroney could still be there. If Brian Calhoun comes out, he'd be a great second rounder.
John (Portland, ME)
Who are the Pats going to steal in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
The need areas are LB, to get younger, CB and a S. They're down a little bit. Thomas Howard, Chad Greenway will be around.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Bobby Carpenter of Ohio State.
tj (ashland, wi)
Do you think the FB Leonard from Rutgers will go as high as the 3rd round?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
He's a junior and I haven't heard a decision. I think he's more of a big back than a fullback. He's more of a combo back than fullback. He can do a lot of things for you. He's receiving skills are excellent. He has a chance to be a very good player.
What WR are the Lions taking in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Where they're picking, you're looking at WR you could take that high this year. The WR position does not have an elite player this year. I think they're saved this year, because there isn't a player that is ranked that high for them to take this year. QB, OT, DE are the places they'll pick.
It seems Mario Willaims is the consensus number 1 defensive end this year. But how far behind are Mathias Kiwanuka and Tamba Hali?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I think Hali is the next best defensive end. He might only be 6-1, but Dwight Freeney is the same size. Hali has a great motor, he can finish. He could go top 10. The Lions could use him. The Rams. Eagles. If you want to go earlier in the first round, Detroit could be the first spot. Williams is the first defensive end taken. There won't be a big gap. Hali could go to 9, while Williams is 3. Kiwanuka in the middle of the first.
Dan (San Jose)
Mel...Last year, I really liked Logan Mankins, but he was slightly overlooked because of Alex Barron and Jammal Brown. Logan has turned out to be better than either of them. This year, I think Winston Justice is being overlooked because of D'Brick, but I think Justice is the better lineman this year. Am I way off?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
No, you're not that off at all. The postseason all-star games allowed Mankins to move from third to first. I think in terms of Justice, he's a RT, a good player. The Ravens could be in the market. The Eagles could be looking at a guy like Justice. The Lions need a RT. Cowboys the same. There are a lot of spots Justice could go.
Tim (Pittsburgh PA)
hey mel, just wondering, if Lendale White decides to come out, is there a chance he would last to the Steelers pick and if not would they trade up to get him or another big back?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
That's a great point. That's where I project him to be. He's a big back. He can carry the load. He had a lot of great games. You could also look at Jacksonville, Indy who all might be interested.
Please answer a Bowling Green question. Its hard to get information on these guys. Do you think Omar Jacobs is going to declare for the draft and if he does what round would he go in? Also, do you think his star receivers Charles Sharon and Steve Sanders will be drafted and if so where?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
I would hope he would go back, Jacobs. His delivery is unorthodox. His numbers as a junior weren't as good as the previous year. He's a winning QB. He's 6-3, 225. But he has the strange delivery. His numbers are down a little bit.
Mel, Do you see the Steelers possibly taking a chance earlier in the draft if they have the oppurtunity to take Michael Robinson, and turn him into the next Hines Ward for the Steelers. The guy definitely has the heart Hines has!! Thanks!
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
You don't know. What made Randle-El a second rounder is at the Senior Bowl. Robinson will have a chance to show his skills at the Senior Bowl. Marques Hagans from Virginia is in the same boat. They're athletic and tough, but it doesn't mean they'll be a natural int he NFL. If they prove that, they might move up. There's a lot of those QBs in college that will project to WR.
RC (Boulder, CO)
Will any players from the troubled University of Colorado be drafted in this years NFL Draft?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
Definitely. THere are some guys that are going to play. Klopfenstein. Iwoh. Don't forget about Jeremy Bloom is in this draft process. I already wrote him up. I think he could slip into the third round. HE has great speed. He's tough.
How will the Vick/Dumervil flap from the other night affect Vick's future draft status?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
Vick to me in terms of the NFL draft. He's going back. He needs to become a more consistent QB. We saw that a little bit at the end of the year. Any thoughts of coming out early is a mistake.
Bronson (Pittsburgh, PA)
Mel, where do you see our hometown guy, Toledo's QB Bruce Gradkowski going in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
I'd say late round or undrafted free agent. He's a tough, hard-nosed football player.
is mason crosby the best kicking prospect to enter the draft in a really long time
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Mason Crosby is a junior. Next year he will be. We'll see what decision he makes. He's a super blue chip punter. John Torp a punter also from Colorado, who I forgot to mention before, but he could be a third or fourth rounder.
mel, do you think anthony fasono(ND) should stay one more year and if not what round might he go?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
I think he's borderline. I can't say definitively. He didn't have a great game against OSU. He was incorporated more in the passing attack more than the first two years. He had more catches this year than his previous two. He finds the open spaces well. I think he's a borderlin first rounder.
Mel, in your opinion, has Sebastian Janikowski been worth the #1 pick the Raiders used on him?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
Yeah, I think he was worth it. If you don't pick him in the first, will he be available in the next round? That's what you have to ask. What Gruden did that year, special teams were a major problem and picked a kicker and a punter. It was something that they needed and it's paid off.
Sean (Charlottesville VA)
Why haven't I heard anything about Ahmad Brooks? Word is, he is entering the draft. If so, doesnt he have more NFL talent than Ryans and Hawk?
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
No. This is a situation that was changed and altered by an injury. Brooks was talked about highly last year. When he came back, he was a little heavy. If he came out, you're probably looking at second round possibility. If he goes back, he could improve his status. The injury set him back. He needs another year.
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
Enjoyed all the questions. We covered a wide variety of players and team needs. Of course we've got the national championship game tonight. Enjoy the game. Then we'll be back here next week to talk more about the juniors who have declared, of course they have until the 15th to make their decision.