Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
We're getting Mel right now!
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
The big story this year is going to be third-year sophomores. How many decide to come out early will be worth watching. We can get into that and the prospects.
Mel, What round grade do you have on Colt McCoy?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
He's a junior. He seems like physically he looks the part more than early on. Right now, it's still early in the process. He'll go back for his senior year at Texas. In terms of the NFL, he'll be down the line a little bit. Another year. He'll be a guy that comes into the league with an average grade.
Rob East Lansing, MI
What are your thoughts of Javon Ringer as an NFL runningback?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I think he's an outstanding football player. I talked about him in Personnel Points the last two weeks. He debuted on the top 25 Senior Board today. He's got great balance as a runner. Very rarely taken down by the first guy on the scene. Very good kickoff returner. Great work ethic. Team guy. He'll get Heisman consideration. He's coming off two spectacular weeks. He will block and he will be a very good kickoff returner. He looks to be a guy that comes into the NFL as a second rounder.
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
There have been a lot of very good RBs that went in the second round. If he proves to be faster than expected, he could get higher than the second round.
Do you think the Miami Hurricanes will keep there streak going of 1st round draft picks?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
It was kept alive last year by Kenny Phillips. That's going to be very tough. Glen Cook has had a very good year at MLB. But I'd say right now it's very iffy. Some of their best players are young. It will be as it was last year. Kenny Phillips looked like a first or second rounder during the process. It is going to be questionable.
Jeff (Champaign, IL)
Mel, assuming he enters the draft which most people assume he will; how high do you think Vontae Davis of Illinois will be drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
In terms of the CBs, he's the No. 1 junior CB. A guy moving up is Alphonso Smith from Wake. Then you also have Darrius Butler. Illinois has some individual stars on defense. They don't have enough overall talent. I think he has a chance to be a mid to late first round pick.
Michael Green Bay, Wisconsin
Mel how do you think BAMA matches up with Georgia this week? Also what do you think about Mt.Cody as a pro? ROLL TIDE!!
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
For this game, the big thing Alabama has going for them is Cody as an oustanding DT. He's huge, athletic. He's been a real impact juco player. And Andre Smith, the junior OT, the best OT in the nation. If he comes out, he'll be one of the top 3-5 overall. He's been outstanding. You have Julio Jones at WR. You're running the football effectively. John Parker Wilson needs to play better. It will be critical in this game. AJ Green is emerging and really helps Matthew Stafford and helps this offense. The difference in this football game I think will be Stafford. Nobody throws the ball like him. Stafford needs to be more precise with the football and needs more help from the skill positions. But with AJ Green, he has it.
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
Asher Allen, the CB from Georgia against Julio Jones will be a good matchup.
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
Georgia is a TD favorite.
Rob (Omaha, NE)
Better QBs: Big 12 or NFC West?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Oh boy...in the NFC West, you have Hasselbeck, Trent Green, JT O'Sullivan and Kurt Warner. But you can't compare the two. The Big 12 has some great college QBs. The best is Sam Bradford. By far. It's not even close when you project to the NFL. He's tremendously accurate. Unbelieveable smarts and intelligence. He's tall. Makes great decisions. Excellent talent around him. He's going to have a decision to make in January. Chase Daniel could win the Heisman, but he's not going to project highly in the NFL. Todd Reesing is a magician, but he lacks the physical skill you want in an NFL QB. Cody Hawkins. Josh Freeman is the second best NFL prospect behind Bradford. Tall, throws a great ball. But there are some times where he makes a bad throw. Colt McCoy. Graham Harrell puts up big numbers, but he's a product of a system. The Big 12 is loaded with QBs.
Darryl (Oakland, CA):
Who's got more NFL talent? SEC running backs vs USC running backs?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
The RBs at the SEC. I say that because of Moreno and King. They're excellent players. Charles Scott at LSU has been phenomenal. Jared Hawkins at Vanderbilt has had a big year. At Auburn, Ben Tate. Overall, the SEC has some skilled RBs. Just the fact that you have Moreno and King and the LSU guys, that's enough to push it ahead of USC.
Dustin (Canton, Ohio)
Hey Mel, Terrel Pryor seems like the real deal....Will he be Tressel's answer for another national title in the coming years
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
You have to see. They're going to lose a lot of veteran seniors this year. With Beanie Wells' injury, you have to see what he does this year. You lose three starters on the OL, Brian Robiskie the top WR, Laurinaitis, Freeman, Jenkins the top DB. There will be some talent leaving this program.
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
Playing for a national championship is not that easy to do. It's not automatic. It was since 1968 that they had won a national title before Maurice Clarett. It's not automatic.
Don (San Antonio, TX)
Mel, Do you believe Michael Crabtree will enter the draft after this season? If so, when do up believe he will be taken?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
I think he probably will move on to the NFL. I think he will be very high. Right now there are WRs that are elite players. Crabtree, Maclin and Heyward-Bey. Two third-year sophomores and a junior. All three of those guys are top 10 guys. A junior to watch out for is Erik Decker from Minnesota. He has 32 receptions and 4 TDs.
Don Mt. Airy md
Terps or Clemson and why???
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I'd say Clemson in a very close game. Maryland needs to get the ball to Heyward-Bey more. He should be catching the ball 5-7 times per game, not 2-3. They also have to get more consistency out of their QB. The OL has to play up to the level of their talent. They have to continue to get outstanding play from their LBs.
Kansas City, MO
Where do you see Jeremy Maclin going in the NFL draft if he decides to come out after this year? How does he translate as a receiver in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
He's a big time player. He has great explosiveness. Phenomenal kickoff returner. Having Chase Daniel there helps him and Coffman. Blaine Gabbert is there as the next in line after Chase Daniel. Even with that, with Daniel moving on, as a third-year sophomore with the productivity and knowing he could be a top 10 pick, I would be surprised if he didn't come out.
Mel, how does Maurice Evans' suspension impact his prospects for the '09 draft? Should he play his senior year?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
First of all, he's only a junior, so he has a decision to make anyway. If you're not playing, you're not making sacks. He was going into the year considered to be their best defensive player. But he still has eligibility remaining after this year.
Coop (Sunnyvale CA)
Has there been a player in college who has hurt his NFL stock more than Pat White? He wasn't going to be a quarterback anyways in the NFL. Now I don't even see him as a productive receiver anymore. What do you think Mel?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
How would you know that? What has he done at QB that would indicate that he wouldn't be a good WR? Losing Owen Schmitt was a valuable part of that offense. In addition, Steve Slaton is gone. People forget how good of an inside runner he was. Noel Divine is an outside runner. All of that impacted Pat White as far as a QB is concerned. He'll get his chance at WR. He'll be a WR in the NFL. Nothing has happened this year to indicate taht he can't be an NFL WR.
Greg (Salt Lake City, UT)
Hey Mel, BYU is humming offensively. Which (if any) of their players do see as solid NFL guys?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
The main guy this year is their OG Feinga. Also, they have a junior TE Dennis Pitta. They have a senior OG Travis Bright.
Adam (Blacksburg, VA)
Mel, Nebraska or Virginia Tech? And isn't this a great cross-regional match-up that the 12th game is supposed to produce?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
If the game's at Lincoln, at night, I give a slight edge to Nebraska. I was impressed with VT's resiliancy last game. They were able to make plays when they had to and were able to come back from a deficit.
greg (ft. worth)
mel, lets talk trenches, best OL/DL in college football.. LSU, OU, USC in contention on both?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Good question. One of the best DT tackle tandems is at BC, both are seniors. DL at Georgia Tech is the best in the country. OU's offensive line is the best. USC's defensive line. Georgia had one of the best DT tandems, but Owens is out for the year now. I like Florida's defensive line. Carlos Dunlap has a chance to be the next great sack artist there. LSU's defensive line - great depth and talent.
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Sen'Derrick Marks has had a great year. He's moving up the charts. He had a great game against LSU.
What TE has the most NFL potential?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I really like Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma. I think he has great athletic and physical skills. I also like Brandon Pettigrew from OK State. Those would be the top two. I like Chase Coffman of Missouri and Travis Beckum, Wisconsin. Shawn Nelson has come on from S. Mississippi. Jared Cook from South Carolina as well.
Mel, does TCU have the talent to hang with OU on Saturday?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
I would doubt it. Oklahoma is loaded. I want to see Oklahoma play USC in the national championship game. TCU is a good football team, but in the trenches, they're going to have trouble. Oklahoma has a great safety in Nic Harris. Too many options at the skill positions to matchup. This is a huge step up in competition for TCU compared to who they've played so far this season.
Paul (Detroit, MI)
Mel, what are your thoughts on Matt Millen and who do you think may replace him?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
No surprise. Matt's a great guy. I feel bad for him. But he just wasn't able to get it done. Their history - they passed on Dan Marino in 1983; they drafted Joey Harrington; they drafted Andre Ware. The Harrington decision effected them not taking Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart, etc. They drafted Mike Williams, Rogers, Calvin Johnson has had some drops. Ernie Sims is a good LB, but they took him over Cutler and Leinart. They're one of the few teams in the NFL who have never been to the Super Bowl. He's on his third coach. You had Marinelli, Mariucci. Lot of "M's". They have to improve the talent base. Decide what they're going to do at QB moving forward. The team has never come together.
Jonathan (Westerville, Ohio)
Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I thought they would really be patient with Anderson this year and let him play through some games. But if they lose this week, they're 0-4 with a bye week. I don't think this whole thing is Derek Anderson's fault. Winslow and Edwards have to start playing better football. Joe Jurevicious is injured. We blame the QB for everything. You knew with Quinn there, the Quinn watch would be on when they struggled. This defense has to play a lot better. The skill positions have to play better. They have to evaluate the QB position if they lose to Cincinnati. But I'm not too quick on the change. I would let it go. Once the players start making some plays around him. The thing that will hurt them is the schedule. It's unforgiving. They come off the bye week and they play the Giants, Redskins, Jaguars, Ravens, Broncos, Bills, Eagles, the Colts are in there, Titans, Steelers. That schedule is brutal. You could be looking at a 5-11 season.
Are you happy with Joe Flacco's play to date? Do you think he is actually ready to play? Seems like they are protecting him quite a bit.
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
The OL has done a better job. But they have not asked him to do a lot. He's only completing 58% of his passes. He hasn't had those killing turnovers in the pocket like Kyle Boller did. He's had better security in the pocket. What they need is Todd Heap to be a better piece of the offense. He's had some drops. The OL is protecting him better. The defense has been able to get the turnovers. But you have to realize that they've only played two games - Browns and Bengals. Flacco has to show on the road with all of the crowd noise. They have played very favorable opposition. You're not going to get a lot out of a rookie QB in the NFL.
Mike (San Diego)
Do you think Taylor Mays leaves USC for the NFL? If so, where do you see him getting drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Mays is a heckuva player. He will be one of the safeties. He's right there. He's a big strong, physical kid. He's the second or third best safety in the country. If he comes out, he'll be in the mix for an early round position.
Hey Mel,do you see the trio of wideouts at penn state being drafted? I think williams and butler can be good pro recievers, but norwood is just too small.
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
When you look at the size of these guys. Norwood will be an issue for Norwood. Williams I think could be a second round pick. Butler could be in the 3-4 round range. He's always been somewhat of an underrated guy for what he does in that offense. All three are right there.
Michael Atlanta, GA
Do you think UGA should have dropped to #3 after starting 4-0 when USC is only 2-0?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
This is all about "style points" or whatever you want to call it. This is the problem with college football. You don't decide it on the field, it's about in analysis about how you won. When USC runs OSU off the field and Georgia struggles that's what happens. I still don't think LSU should have been knocked out of the top spot. Last I checked, they're the defending champion and they're still undefeated. A lot of people thought Auburn was going to win that game on Saturday and they didn't.
Robert, Tucson AZ
Mel, what do you think about the draft status of Mike Thomas out of Arizona?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Good player. Look at Arizona's offense and he has some ability. Size is a big issue for him. He's a playmaker. He'll be very intriguing to see how fast he runs at the combine. He's only 5-8, 190 pounds. But a good football player.
Shawn (Colorado Springs, CO)
Mel, who's your favorite non-bcs team to bust it this year?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
I guess it would probably have to be BYU. They're loaded with stars. They survived the Washington game. The challenging game is at TCU, at Utah. If you are going to be a BCS buster, you have to win games on the road. Win some tough games on the road. They have to prove they can win on the road. It's not like TCU and Utah are loaded, but winning on the road at those two venues will prove something. They could have easily lost to Washington and they're a bottom team in the Pac-10.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
College football has a non-equitable schedule. There's nothing on BYU's schedule that says to me that they're a top 5-10 team. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be, but if they were to be in a playoff, they can prove it.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
We have a big week of college football ahead. Check the Big Board out. We'll be back next week to do it all over again.