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!
Mel Kiper (1:01 PM)
Let's get right to the questions!
Donnell (San Jose CA)
Who do you think has the best defense fo players out of USC and OSU?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
The draftable guys, overall USC. They have 9 draftable seniors on the USC offense. I'm not even including Taylor Mays, the junior in that group. Ohio State, for seniors, would have four draftable seniors. If you throw in juniors, it would go up 7-8. USC has the higher number.
Casey (Orlando, FL)
Can ND beat Michigan? If so how?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
The first thing is the defense of Notre Dame against the offense of Michigan, an offense that's still testing itself. Notre Dame's defense has to make improvements over last year. On offense, they didn't put up many points last week. They're going up against a defense from Michigan that has a lot of talent. If Notre Dame's going to win the game,the offense is going to have to do the job against the Michigan defense. This should be a relatively low scoring game.
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
The key is Notre Dame's defense's ability to make this a low scoring game.
will Mark Sanchez be a top 5 pick next year?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
Well, yeah, he has the chance to be. He and Matthew Stafford are the top two junior QBs. If both come out, you could be looking at two of the top players selected in the draft. They have a chance to go 1-2 overall or in the 1-3 range.
Eli (Portland, OR)
Mel, who is the best NFL prospect out of Oregon's talented secondary?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
Patrick Chung, the safety is the top guy. Then Jairus Byrd. They're about equal. Those are the two top entities of the seniors.
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
Walter Thurmond is also up there.
Mitch (Gainesville, FL)
Where do you think Florida receivers Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, and Cornelius Ingram will go in the upcoming draft?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
In terms of Harvin, he's only a junior. Versatile player. I think he'll eventually be a first rounder. Murphy is one of the fastest guys. He has to be more consistent dropping the football. Florida has not had a good history of its WRs. But Murphy has to be more consistent. Ingram, unfortunately, is out for the year with the injury. He's still my fourth highest rated TE in the senior class. The medical is going to have to be checked out with him.
Jonathan B (Burlington, NC)
Mel, What is your take on ECU? Can they "crash" the BCS?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
Well, if they won their first two games, which they did, their schedule the rest of the way is favorable. They have some tricky games, but at Central Florida, at Southern Miss, at Virginia, at NC State. They have two ACC games on the road and two conference games on the road. Do you think they'll win all four of those games? At worst, they're a 10-2 team. Can they go 12-0? Yeah, they'll be in every game. I think they're probably an 11-1 team.
Mike - Anaheim
Mel..... Laurinaitis or Maualuga? Who would you take?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
Right now, it's a dead heat. If Maualuga gets more consistent, I think he could ultimately get the edge. Laurinaitis is more consistent. So I give the slightest of edges to him.
Jason (Battle Creek,Michigan)
Why is it taking the Canes so long to rebuild?? They have the best pool of talent to pick from in Florida?? Coaching??
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
It's not easy. They've had injuries. They've had some players not developing. Keep in mind, just because you have good recruits, doesn't mean they will make it at the next level. They have guys that are out because of injury. This year, you look at some young kids on that team. Bryce Brown has verbally committed to Miami. He's one of the best RBs in the country. He's a super blue chip. It's a matter of time. I think they'll be back. You have Florida being as good as they are. You have FSU, who has a highly regarded recruiting class. South Florida, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic. Everyone goes to Florida to get recruits. They were one of the best classes in the ACC last year, if not the best.
Joel (Columbus OH)
Can OSU beat USC without a 100% healthy Beanie Wells?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
It makes it a lot more difficult. One of the best players on the field will be him, if he's healthy. But how effective will he be. They have some guys behind him, but they're not great backs. Todd Beckman is not a super blue chip QB. They have the personnel to hang with USC. But to beat USC, a healthy Beanie Wells, you can't underestimate that loss.
Are Texas Tech's early struggles something to worry about, or do you think they just need to warm up?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
It's early. These teams early in the year, they don't hit their stride. But that was a nice win over Nevada. You win the game at Nevada. You're 2-0 and you're pretty sure you'll be 4-0. I believe they have a chance to win 10. The big game is when they play host to Texas and then at Oklahoma. I say they're a 9-3, 10-2 team.
Mel, even though Moreno had a great year last year, could he be moving himself up in the draft even more with his performances thus far? He already has 6 touchdowns going into the third game.
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
He's a great back. He's a third year sophomore so he's draft eligible. He's the best RB in any class. He's ahead of Wells, McCoy and the very average group of senior RBs. If he comes out, he has a chance to be right up there with Stafford, Sanchez, Maualuga, Laurinaitis. Georgia could have two of the first 3-5 players drafted.
Ugine (Grant WI)
anyone in 1-AA to look for in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
No, not anybody that early. Dominique Johnson, CB, Jackson State; Sean Smalls, CB, UMass; Nathan Brown, QB, Central Arkansas; Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly; Rhett Bomar, QB, Sam Houston St.; Herb Donaldson, RB, Western Illinois; Ladarius Webb, DB, Nicholls State.
Scott (Omaha, NE)
How do you think Bo Pelini will fare agaisnt Missouri and road games this year?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
I think they'll be overmatched against Missouri. You look at that team at Nebraska and they're off to a 2-0 team. If they can beat Virginia Tech...Between Oct. 4 and Nov. 1, they play Missouri, Texas Tech, Oklahoma. I think you're looking at a 7-5 team, 6-6.
hey, mel, what's your take on all the USC tailbacks? Joe Mcknight, Gable, Johnson, etcs..
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
Joe McKnight is a special player when he's at full strength. He's the game breaker. Stafon Johnson has a lot of speed. Then you have the pounder in Allen Bradford, 5-10, 228.
Mel, Does Alabama have any good pro propects? Would John Parker Wilson be a good pro QB?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
Going into the year, he was a wait and see approach. The key to him is the way the new OC has put together this offense. A lot of credit goes to Jim McElwain, the coordinator. Wilson has been efficient. They're working in young players - like Julio Jones. Is Wilson going to be a future NFL starting QB? I don't think so. He's backup material.
Marv (Buffalo, NY)
Mel - What do you think of Notre Dame safety David Bruton? Though he was on a poor squad last year, he seems to have the ability to play at the next level. Is he a first day pick?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
If you look at Bruton in terms of the safeties. I would say more of a Day 2 guy. If you look at the defense, he's one of their top defensive players. But I'd say more of a Day 2 pick.
Mike (Nor Cal)
Does Jhavid Best project to an NFL player? He is small, but faster than Desean Jackson, Chris Johnson, et al.
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
Yes he does. He was the California state champion in the 100 meters as a senior in high school. He's much more heavily utilized in the passing game. He could be a really good No. 2 back. Keep in mind, they have a redshirt freshman back in Shane Verreen. He's provided a good 1-2 punch. These two guys have combined for over 500 rushing yards and over 8 yards per carry and have scored 6 TDs.
How impressed were you with Eddie Royal (VT alum) the other night vs the Raiders?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Eddie Royal had a great game. Remember that was against the Raiders. He had a nice grade going into the draft. He was a strong kid at 5-9, 182 pounds. He ran a 4.39 40 at the combine. Very good leaper, great athlete. Very polished catching the football. He adjusted to the poorly thrown ball very well. The problem at VT was that he lacked consistency at the QB position. As a senior, he had a big game against LSU. He did a great job in the return game.
What do you think about the unsportsmanlike call that was made against Washington?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
You have to change the rule. The rule should not even exist. It should be EXCESSIVE celebration. That's the operative word. That means it goes on well after the play. Or it's a staged group celebration. But the immediate reaction on a play should not be penalized.
Derek (Columbus, OH)
Mel, what is your take on this years Ohio State recievers? Do you think that even Robiskie is good enough to go first round?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
He should be. The fact this year is speed. He has good natural pass catching skills. The combine and individual workout will be the key to see if he has the skills. If you had to rank them it's Robiskie, Byrd, Gibson and Murphy. Murphy will be the fastest. Robiskie needs to show the 40 time. He's the most outstanding WR on the football team.
Frankie Villa (Charlotte, N.C.)
Mel, Do you consider Patrick Pinkney QB for East Carolina the most underated QB in the nation?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I wouldn't say underrated. Maybe going into the season underrated. He's not ideally sized for the NFL. He's primed to have a big year as a really good college QB. They could go 11-1 in the regular season and then have to play the conference championship game. He's an excellent college QB, but his size will be the negative moving into the NFL.
how can maryland get to the acc championship game soon?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
It starts with the ability to bring in blue chip recruits. That's the thing. You have to bring in the recruits and evaluate players correctly. The evaluation process is key. They have to bring in better players. They also have to get consistent play out of the QB position. They have to settle on the QB and get consistent at that spot. I thought going into the year that this was potentially an 8-4 team. But right now, they struggled with Delaware, lose to Middle Tennessee State, and you're 1-2. You're probably 4-4 after 8 games. They have to surprise somebody - either Cal this week, Clemson, Wake Forest.
Can WVU pull themselves together and still win the Big East? What Rd do you see Pat White going as a WR?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
Based on what I saw Saturday, no. It was a very non-competitive performance against ECU. It was not a game where WVU showed the determination that you need. They did not look like a Big East champion. They looked like a team that would probably finish...you have South Florida, UConn, Pitt. I know it's early, but the way they played against ECU was not what you look for in a Big East champion. You're at Colorado and Auburn at home. They need to split those two games.
Do you like Penn State to steal the Big 10 this year? Where does Clark grade out?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I tell you they'll have to overcome an awful lot to do that. If you're Penn State and you finish in the top 3 in the conference, you've accomplished a lot. Sean Lee, who's one of your best defensive players, is out. OSU is clearly the best team and Illinois is a good team. Wisconsin is a good team. Michigan State is a good team. The big game for them is going to be when they host Illinois. After that game, four of their next five are on the road.
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
They're going to be 4-0 going into the Illinois game, then the schedule becomes very challenging after that. Then all of a sudden, they ahve some very challenging games the rest of the way.
Ducks..(high powered offense)..Purdue...(playing at home)...Who get the Dubya?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
You look at this game and for Purdue, it's an intersectional game. Oregon has beaten Washington and Utah State. Purdue is an unknown quantity right now. Oregon is a little bit more battle tested. I'd say Oregon's the better football team, but it's at Purdue. Purdue has one thing going for them, they have a top gun at QB in Curtis Painter. He's going to be a guy that the NFL is going to be enamored with. It's going to take a huge effort from Painter. The key will be Painter against a secondary with a lot of athletes.
Chad (Savannah, GA)
As a LSU fan I usually have no resprect for the Big 10, but is it just me or is Wisconsin getting no respect for the Big 10 championship?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
You don't respect when you play two teams out of the blocks in Akron and Marshall. I like what they did, to get your team rolling. Bielema has done a terrific job there. They haven't had Beckum yet. The Fresno State game on Sept. 13 is going to be big. They're a well-coached very disciplined team. That's a big game for Wisconsin. And a big game for Fresno State. They're another team that feels like they don't get enough national respect. Wisconsin will have a chance. If you win at Fresno State, that's a tough road atmosphere.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
I'm favoring Fresno State in that game, by the way.
Brandon (Griffin GA)
Does Auburn have a chance to win the sec west this year?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
When you look at it now, you have LSU who has to show that their QB is good enough. Alabama has a lot of talent. It really boils down to Alabama, Auburn and LSU. Chris Todd is the guy for them right now. Defensively, they'll hit you. They get after you. They have some stars in the making. They have veteran standouts. If the offense for Auburn is good enough, yes, they have a shot.
How do you think USF's defense will match up against the high powerd Kansas offense on Friday night?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
When you look at USF, they've been through a lot of tough games over the last couple of years. They had the win over Auburn, West Virginia. They know how to win close games. I would say it's going to be a tough test for Kansas. The kid that's underrated is Tyrone McKenzie. They can get pressure on the QB. The big loss for them was Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams as was Ben Moffit. They have the ability to get pressure on the QB, but Reesing is a different task. It should be one heckuva football game.
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
I like South Florida's defense better last year than this year's.
What do you think of Colt McCoy and Texas so far this year?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
Right now they're still an unproven entity. Florida Atlantic they overwhelmed as well as UTEP. Texas should be 4-0 when they play at Colorado. Then Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Those are all tough games. I can't see anyway they win them all. It's too tough of a schedule to go 5-0.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
I could see them having at least 2 losses, maybe three in that five game stretch.
Dee (The Hague, Netherlands)
If USC beats OSU, do you see them running the table to the BCS championship game?
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
Yes. Nobody's beating USC. If they win this week, and they're expected to win, then yes, they're going undefeated. They have great depth. Their defense is one of the best they've fielded in recent years. It used to be the offense that was filled with talent and the defense had to hold on. If they beat OSU, yeah, no one's beating them. They are not stumbling this year.
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
The new Big Board will be updated tonight. We'll be back again next week!
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