Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:00 PM)
We're getting Mel right now!
Jordan (Slinger, WI)
Hey Mel! How much does Jon Stewart's injury affect his stock?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
He moves from a likely first round pick possibly into the second roun.
Good afternoon Mel, if the top tackles and top guard are gone at 23, what to the Steelers do?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
Take a WR. A big WR. A couple of guys that would make sense there would be James Hardy, Malcolm Kelly would be two big WRs that would give the Steelers something they're looking for.
Tyler Toledo Ohio
Which school will have the highest number of draftee's?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
Probably USC. That would be 11 guys that are draftable.
Brad, Lincon, NE
The TE is a position that the Buffalo Bills need to address in the upcoming draft. Where do you see them selecting a TE, and who do you think will be available?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
The 11th pick is too high for a TE. It's also too high for a WR. What they hope is a CB like Rodgers-Cromartie or McKelvin are there at 11. Then, look for a WR and TE down the line. A TE that you might be thinking about picking up after the first round, you could be looking at Davis from Michigan State, John Carlson. There's a chance Fred Davis could go in the second round. There's going to be a pretty good run of TEs in the second and third round.
Scott (Bellevue, NE)
Mel: What position is the weakest as far as depth in the upcoming draft?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
LB is very questionable and safety is very weak.
Billy (Dallas, TX)
Who is a better NFL prospect Jerod Mayo or Dan Connor?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
Mayo. He's faster, more athletic. You look at Connor, he's a good, solid overall player. He's not going to wow you over. He's going to excell in some areas, struggle in others. I think Connor is a second round pick. Mayo goes between 15 and 25.
Mel, a recent report out of Chicago has Lovie Smith out to lunch with both Razorback RB's McFadden and Jones. Do the Bears have enough assets to trade up and snag McFadden? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
They need a RB. Benson has been a disappointment so far. They need a WR. They need a RB and a WR, but they also need a QB and need a LT. LT is a pressing need for them. They could look at Chris Williams. Who would you rather have Williams at LT or Felix Jones to work with Benson? That's the debate. There's not going to be a WR to take at that point or a QB. Say Rashard Mendenhall is there. Do you take him? That's going to be the debate. I think you can find the RBs in the draft that can help you. I would wait on the RB.
Josh M (Pottstown, PA)
Hey Mel, who would the Jets rather have, Gholston or McFadden? And who would you take?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
I would take the defensive player over the RB. I'm not a big advocate of taking RBs. RBs you can find. And that's a contradictory statement, because I think McFadden's the best player in the draft. But I'm just not a supporter of taking RBs early in the first round. I always believe that you can find good RBs later in the draft. That will be the fun part of the first round. Gholston gives you flexibility. The way the Giants beat the Patriots was pressuring Brady. The Jets need to put pressure on Brady.
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
But there are no offensive game breakers on this offense. That's the argument for McFadden. But I always go defense over offense.
alex (southboro, ma)
Mel, almost all of the playoff teams last year had one thing in common, a LT from the 1st or second round. Please tell me Miami is considering Jake Long very seriously after all, their off season moves point to them taking a LT early. If not who would be available in the 2nd round for them to get? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Jake Long is in the discussion. He would fill a major need for them and be a cornerstone for their OL. But he's not a great LT prospect. He's a great RT prospect and a good LT prospect. He's not the athlete that Joe Thomas was. I think Jake Long is a tremendous RT prospect. But you don't draft a RT that high. If you don't think he can be a great LT, you don't draft him No. 1 overall. His grade is not going to be equal to that of Joe Thomas and Thomas went No. 3. He'll be in the discussion. He's a Bill Parcells guy, but so is Chris Long.
Armen Dacity (Winter Park, FL)
Which Day 2 QB prospect do you see as having the best chance of being an NFL starter - Josh Johnson, Eric Ainge or J.D.Booty?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
They're all different. Josh Johnson is an athlete with mobility. But he's raw and unproven against quality competition. He has a lot of skills. If you look at Ainge, he manages the game very well. He has a decent arm, not a great arm. He's not going to wow you over with anything. Booty is a Chad Pennington type. He likes to stay away from gambling on the field. He's not a gunslinger. Booty is a second or third rounder. Ainge is a third rounder and Johnson goes in the second to fourth round.
John MIchael, New Orleans
Why has Rodgers-Cromartie skyrocketed so much? (He has 1 good game and his combine numbers are similar enough to Mckelvin who's been playing at a high level/better competition)
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
First of all, he had a heckuva career at Tennessee State. He was an outstanding player at a lower level of competition. McKelvin is 5-10, 190 and ran a 4.38. Rodgers-Cromartie, 6-1, 184 and ran a 4.29. When you look at the numbers, his were better than McKelvin's. He has better hands and better ball skills. But he's not as tough or as good a tackler as McKelvin. He's an athletic cover guy. McKelvin doesn't finish plays. He doesn't have great ball skills. Rodgers-Cromartie had a great senior week and a great combine. He's put it all together. If McKelvin had good ball skills, he would be a guaranteed top 5, top 10 pick in the first round. He's not that far from that now.
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
To sum it up, I think both of these corners will be off the board by the 11th pick and Buffalo. They could go 10 and 11.
Ian (Jersity City, NJ)
Hi Mel, what prospect do you see the Giants taking? Which positions do they need to focus on?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
They need to focus on that safety spot. They went corner last year with Ross. A guy that I think would be interesting is Mayo. He's got great character. People lock him in as a MLB, but at the combine, he ran 4.54 and verticalled 42 inches. Mayo is a heckuva player.
Mel, what do the Vikings do if there isn't a DE worthy of the 17th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
If there's no DE available, you probably think about trading down. You could look at a TE later. You could trade down and look at a WR. Even though they got Berrian, they could look at a WR. That's the thing, if there's no DE, trading down makes a lot of sense.
If the Falcons dont take Matt Ryan where does he fall? Does Kansas City pick him, the Ravens at 8 get him or does another team trade up?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
If he gets past Atlanta, and I think they'd look at Dorsey if they don't take him, then I think KC would have to take him. Is anyone sold on Croyle? I would take Ryan. If KC didn't take him then it comes down to Baltimore. I think it would take 2 seconds for them to get the card up to the commissioner. They desperately need a QB. They have a new coach, a new coordinator. You have a whole new era beginning.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
In order for that to happen, for Ryan to get to 8, Atlanta, Miami, KC, Jets would all have to pass on him. And don't think for a second that Carolina at 13 wouldn't try to trade up to get him. If they see him dropping and see him around the 7 spot, don't think they won't try to get up there to get him.
I think the Bears have to take Brohm at 14. Am I nuts?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
I would never say anyone is nuts based on a projection. Brohm was a first round pick at the beginning of the season. But his team let him down. People underestimate that there was a completely new situation on offense. Ther was a new offensive coordinator. To me, that was a big change. Brohm was a veteran and then you have a new offense. The players around him didn't play as expected. To me, Brohm is a late first rounder, early to mid second rounder. He's the second rated QB in this draft.
Billy Terry (Ashland Ky.)
is there a player in this draft that could turn the horrid Bengals defense around?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
The Bengals need a lot of help. They need a DT. They could use a DE. They need help at LB. They need a lot of help. They need an OL help. They need a WR. They added Utecht. There is still the debate about Chad Johnson. Will he be a Bengal? They have a lot of issues. Right now, they're a team that has a lot of question marks. At 9, the player you hope is there is Sedrick Ellis from USC. He could be. There's a possibility that he could be. I think some will have him as the third or fourth best player in this draft. He fills a need. If not, then you look at Merling and you put him in. Another consideration is Mendenhall. That may sound crazy. But Rudi Johnson is coming off a disappointing year. Kenny Irons is coming off an injury. And their OL. The big loss on this team was Steinbach going to Cleveland. His loss really hurt that OL.
Denver is sitting quietly with 9 picks in the draft. What do you see them doing with all of these choices?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
They have as many needs as any team in the NFL right now. They are loaded with issues. Denver has a lot of problems right now. They have a big need at LT. You need another WR. Marshall right now is injured. He has a hand injury. Stokley is a slot guy. You need a WR, whether Marshall is injured or not right now. You need DT help. You need another LB. And you need a safety. Denver has had a lot of success drafting RBs down in the draft. Selvin Young saved them last year in that Buffalo game.
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
He was an undrafted free agent out of Texas.
Enough with the early rounds. Who are some mid-late round guys who could step in and make an impact?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
There are a load of them. Here are some guys: Kevin O'Connell, QB, San Diego St. He's one of the hidden gems in this draft. He's completely off the radar. If he was playing at Michigan or USC, he'd be a first round pick. Another guy is Jalen Parmele, RB, Toldeo. Harry Douglas, WR out of Louisville; Jerome Simpson, Coastal Carolina; Mike Peterson, NW Missouri State. Demetrius Bell, OT, Northwestern State (La.), who has only played a few years of football. He used to be a basketball player. He's the son of Karl Malone. Mackenzy Bernadeau, OG, Bentley; Bryan Johnston, DE, Gardner-Webb; Hilee Taylor, OLB, UNC; Dominique Barber, S, Minnesota; David Roach, S, TCU.
GB has 1 first and 2 second round picks. What will they do?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
They need a CB. If Mike Jenkins is there out of USF, he would look good in a Packer uniform. They also need a TE. Maybe Fred Davis. They also could use a OG. At some point in the 5-7 round area, I think they'll draft a QB. Another underrated QB is Caleb Hanie, Colorado St.
Do you see the Pats try and shore up the right side of their offensive line? Clady at 7?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
The OL did not look good against the Giants. They were overmatched. During the year, they played very well. That was the only game they didn't play well. But I don't think at 7. Their defense is potentially in a lot of trouble. They have a good DL, but they are suspect at LB and DB. You're taking Asante Samuel, one of the best, off that defense. Randall Gay was a good nickel CB. At LB, Roosevelt Colvin is gone. Junior Seau's best days are behind him. Bruschi's best days are behind him. Thomas has been a little overrated in New England. Usually a 3-4 team is LB driven, but this team is DL driven. They need help at LB and in the secondary. They're going to have to outscore teams next year and they will. They could end up with Gholston at 7.
Gabe (Spokane WA)
There is alot of debate on who Seattle is going to take with thier first round pick. I don't see any way the Hawks would pass on J. Stewart if he is available when they pick. Who do you see them grabbing if Stewart is no longer there?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
He's coming off an injury. He's a borderline first round pick. He's coming off an injury that required surgery. They could use him. Before they signed Jones and Duckett, I would have said yes. I think they need a WR. Branch is not going to be ready, coming off that injury. Maybe a Devin Thomas from Michigan State. DeSean Jackson from Cal. I think WR is a big need area for them. And they need a TE. But I think they can get the TE down the line.
What happened to Andre Woodson? He was a potential top 10 pick when the season ended and now I can't find him in anybody's first round. What's the deal?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
He started dropping in early November. I took him out of the top 25 in early November. His decision ability was questionable. His delivery problems. He struggled in the Senior Bowl practices, but his stock dropped before then. I had him in the second round in November, maybe third round. Now he's kind of a wild card now. I'd still say a second or third round pick.
Lucas (Reno, NV)
Hey Mel, is there a huge gap between Ryan Clady and Cherilous Gosder, as far as overall talent? I know that Gosder is strictly a RT, but how about Clady, can he play both positions?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
It's Gosder Cherilous. He played RT as a junior and looked outstanding. He played LT this year and had some struggles. He will be a great RT for someone. Clady is your pure, gifted LT. He's not a great run blocker, but he's a great pass blocker. He needs some technique work. He's the prototypical gifted LT. That's why he's ranked higher than Cherilous.
sheila marie (san francisco)
Do you see the 49ers going after a wide receiver or a offensive linemen with their first pick? Are they really thinking about drafting Colt Brennan?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
They added a couple of WRs. They added Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson. They've added two WRs. Their needs are RT, attacking OLB, another young WR wouldn't hurt. But RT and OLB are the pressing needs.
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
They could look at a guy like Gosder Cherilous.
Hey Mel, what do you see Tampa Bay doing this year?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Tampa Bay, look at what they need -- WR. They've had a lot of free agents. But second tier free agents. They signed 9 free agents that are all basically decent, not great. But they do need a WR. DeSean Jackson would give them big juice at WR. There's nothing exciting about Tampa Bay offensively. They need playmakers. They need a CB.
Buzzer Beater- Which OT will the Eagles take at 19, if not in Rnd 1 who in later rounds can be a solid OT?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
In terms of round 1, you could look at a couple of guys. Chris Williams, Jeff Otah. Sam Baker would be a great second round pick. Carl Nicks is another one. Down the line a little bit, guys that are underrated a bit: Mike McGlynn, Pittsburgh; Demetrius Bell, Northwestern State (La.); Breno Giacomini, Louisville.
With the skins at 21, what holds more value to them, the third best DL or the third best WR assuming that the top two in each category would be gone by then?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
They're prioritizing DT more than DE right now. You also have a need at WR, CB, versatile OL. They also need FS. They have a lot of need areas that they can address. They have a lot of areas they could go. But I would say DL, WR, CB are front and center.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
Instead of next Wednesday, we'll be here next Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. Until then!