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 (1:02 PM)
We have the Big Red River Rivalry. We can get started!
Chad (Manassas, VA)
Todd Boeckman at Ohio State lost his job. Still, he has a cannon for an arm and throws a good deep ball. He has trouble with pressure and sometimes stares down his receivers. Do you see him still being drafted? Is the arm enough?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
Right now, Pryor is the man. He's seized control of the starting job. He led them down the field against Wisconsin for the victory late. It was a coming out party on the road. Boeckman is just not going to get a lot of activity. He didn't play well in big games. He has the size and the big arm. But he's a pocket guy. When he gets pressured, he loses some accuracy. The workouts will be key, but I say he's a late round possibility at best.
Jason (Va Beach, VA
Good Afternoon. After the slow start by Lesean McCoy early in the season, then finally gaining some momentum the past two game, what do you think McCoy's chances are of being a 1st round draft pick this year?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
He's only a third year sophomore. He has plenty of eligibility remaining. I still really believe that he's a first round choice if he comes out. But he still needs to play well. you can't come out if you have an average year. Pitt, at worst, is an 8-win team. They'll go to a bowl. He has to continue to work on his ball security. If he finishes strong, he'll have a decision to make.
Rob (Tulsa, OK)
Does Sam Bradford really project at the next level? What makes him different than other "product" quarterbacks at OU like Jason White and Josh Heupel?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
You can't compare physical ability. In terms of physical skill, they don't compare. Heupel was a left handed version of Danny Wuerfell. Ty Detmer fell into the same category. Jason White won a Heisman Trophy and led them to a national championship game. But he did not have the physical skills either. But Sam Bradford has a great arm. He squares his shoulders extremely well when he's rolling out. He's tremendously accurate. But his precision will give him high grades. He has a great line in front of him.
Brian: (Berkeley, CA)
Does Jimmy Clausen have NFL arm strength and athletic ability?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
Yes he does. He has an NFL arm. He's only a sophomore. He's the kind of kid that you saw a lot of progression with. The thing I saw last Saturday was he checked off, he audibled. He went to plays that worked positively for that offense. Having Floyd emerge has helped him. Yes, he does have an NFL arm and he'll be a guy that's watched very closely.
Craig (Norwich, CT)
Does UConn's Donald Brown have any Heisman (or any non-conference award) chances this season? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
He's one of the best junior RBs in the country. Definitely has an NFL future. I don't see any chance of winning the Heisman. That's going to Chase Daniel or Sam Bradford. UConn lost their QB to injury and that hurt them against UNC. Their schedule gets tougher than it had been. Outside of the Syracuse game, the remaining six games are challenging. Donald Brown and Darius Butler and Cody Brown are their three best football players.
Jim (Trumbull, CT)
Mel, Georgia or UT this weekend? Is this finally the game that Stafford wows us with his abilities and leadership? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
He doesn't get a lot of help. He lost his LT before the season. You're trying to break in a freshman WR. They should win this week. They had a week off and they should be ready to roll against Tennessee. Tennessee's offense can't score. They've only averaged about 10 points per game. This could be a game where Georgia really starts to establish themselves. Then they play at LSU and the Cocktail Party. This is the beginning of the second half of the season for them. There are no easy games left for Georgia.
Chad (Cascade, MD)
Why is maryland inconsistent this year?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
A lot of it is you have some seniors that aren't playing up to their talent. This team, for whatever reason, had a let down against Middle Tennessee State and lost and then got embarrassed against Virginia. There is no rhyme or reason to their season. They're just trying to find themselves and some consistency. They're one of the five most inconsistent teams.
Jim (Pasedena, CA)
Will USC still come out with a win if Mitch Mustain starts. Blowout or close?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
I think they should have no problem with ASU. When they had the injury with Sanchez, Mustain was getting ready to start the season. He has abilty. He won some games at Arkansas. The third string QB also has talent. Mustain could start for a lot of teams in college football. There's a drop off, but Sanchez is a top echelon QB.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Which Oregon Ducks do you see getting drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
The seniors: Max Unger, C; Patrick Chung, S; Jaison Williams, WR; Jeremiah Johnson, RB; Nick Reed, DE; Jairus Byrd, CB. The juniors: LaGarrette Blunt, RB; Ed Dickson, TE; Walter Thurmond, CB.
Hey Mel, Who do you think has more NFL talent, LSU or Florida...also, who you pickin' this weekend?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
As far pro prospects, LSU has 14 draftable players and Florida has 9. LSU has more draftable juniors and seniors. I think Florida, at home, in the Swamp. I can't see them losing more than one game at home this year. LSU really hasn't been tested yet. In three of their four wins, they haven't been tested. But they do have a week off to get ready.
Joe (Madison, Wi)
Is Travis Beckum still considered a 1st round pick
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
I'd say borderline first rounder. He's barely in the top 25 Senior Board with the juniors excluded. Probably more of a second round pick. He's an excellent pass receiving, H-back TE. He's not an inline blocker.
Steve (Cincy, Oh)
Hey Mel, why does a team like cincinnati get no love in the polls with there only loss coming to the number 1 team in the country?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
It came to the No. 1 team in the country 52-26. It was very one-sided. And when you're not playing any other representative teams. They do have some individual standouts. But Ben Mauk wasn't given the extra year. Then Dustin got hurt. But I like Connor Barwin, a former TE turned DE. He's showed some pass rush skills. They have an excellent CB in Mike Mickens.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
What they have to do is take care of Rutgers who has ability but is 1-4. The statement game for them is South Florida. Then the next week they play at West Virginia. Those would be huge signature wins.
The Noles defense is stacked this year with talent. Which players seem to project well to the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
They are loaded with speed on the defensive side. They fly to the football on defense. The guys you're looking at there Everette Brown, jr., DE; Patrick Robinson, jr., CB; Myron Rolle, jr., S; Tony Carter, sr., CB; Dekoda Watson; sr. DE, Paul Griffin; Budd Thacker.
Wilinski (Miami, FL)
Is Randy Shannon really head coaching material or just a good coordinator?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
I think he's going to be a very good head coach. He has a very good defensive mind. He's had some of the best recruiting classes Miami has had in a while. They had a chance to beat UNC. They came back against FSU in the rain.
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I'd like to see them get to bowl eligibility with their talent. They could make a huge jump up after a 6-6 or 7-5 team this year to a team that does some great things.
Griff (Nashua N.H.)
Hey Mel, Whats it going to take for the Chiefs to start winning other then changing the Q.B.
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
That's the big thing finding a QB. They're going to have one of the top picks in the draft. Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, if they come out, the Chiefs could be looking at one of those guys. KC and Detroit too. KC has to go with one. But they drafted well this year.
What was your grades on Kyle Orton coming out of college? Did you think he could be a productive QB like he is now?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
My final comment on Kyle Orton for that year was I questioned if his success was because of the offense. The concerns I had was a lack of mobility and an elongated delivery. But he was decisive with his reads and showed excellent anticipation with his throws. He would definitely need a big time OL in front of him. The OL will hold the key if he'll be able to enjoy the success a guy like Brees has had in the NFL. I gave hima third-round grade.
Steve (Blacksburg, VA)
What do you think about Va Tech this year? They haven't won their games fashionably.. but are getting the job done week in and week out, and their offense seems to be getting more confident every week.. Thoughts?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
The decision to have Tyrod Taylor in there really saved their season. And they've one some close games. Beating Nebraska on the road and Carolina were big wins. They could have been 2-2 after the Carolina game going into Nebraska. Instead, they went in there with some momentum. Now they have the week off at 5-1. That's as good as they could have been at this point. They're a blocked punt away from 6-0.
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
The next four games are tough. You would think maybe 2-2. If they can go 3-1, they would be happy. That would put them 8-2 going into the final two games.
Jeff (Arlington, VA)
How do you see the penn state v. wisconsin game playing out aturday night? What are the keys to victory?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Wisconsin has lost two games in conference. They had the lead late in the game and their defense couldn't hold it against a freshman QB. I didn't think that was going to happen. The defense on the TD run was out of position and confused. PSU comes in with a lot of offensive weapons and very fast on defense. This will be one that comes down to the end. Wisconsin's problem is that they have not play four quarters of consistent football. They have yet to play a quality game of four quarters of football. They'll be 3-3 with 3 Big Ten losses if they don't. Penn State is 6-0 for a reason. Sean Lee has been out the whole season and he's their best defensive player. It's amazing with Penn State. Wisconsin is a very tough team to predict because you don't know what they're going to do from quarter to quarter.
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
The reason I can't pick Penn State automatically is because it's at Camp Randall.
Billy (Chicago, Illinois)
Mel, is Missouri's defense really that suspect? Although they have been giving up some yardage, they have not allowed many points considering how much the offense has been scoring. What is worse here yardage or points? Also what are your predictions in Columbia this weekend?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
Their defense has some individual talents. Sulak, Hood -- I talked about him on Monday in Personnel Points, he's really impressed me this year; Sean Weatherspoon, jr. LB, instinctive, tough; William Moore was banged up earlier in the year. Moore will be an early draft pick. Hood is one of the better senior three technique DTs. They have a big test this week at home against Oklahoma State. This is a better offense than Illinois. There should be over 100 points scored in this game.
Mel - Would Beanie Wells be better off coming out this year before he suffers a more serious injury or should he stick around for his senior year and prove that he can stay healthy for an entire season?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
He had an injury. RBs get hurt every now and then. We've seen RBs in college get hurt a lot and not have any problems in the NFL. And vice versa. If he's healthy and OSU has a chance to go on a roll like we think they can, and he can be a mid first round pick, then he would have to think about going. But Wells might come out and say, he wants to move on with his career and start making some money in the NFL.
Can Eric Decker make it to the NFL, or should he stick to baseball in his post-Gopher career?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
Well, Jeff Samardzija stayed in baseball and it looks like a good decision for him. Decker is a multi-talented athlete. He's a tough kid. Great hands. Great feel for getting open. Tough, takes hits. He'd be perfect for a Broncos type of offense. He kind of reminds you of an Ed McCaffery. He's athletic. He's my fifth highest rated junior right now. For NFL fans, I hope he plays football.
Chris (oxford, AL)
How good do you think Alabama is this year? Do you think they will make it to a BCS bowl game this year?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
Sure. They're off to the races now. They've played excellent football in the big spots and played down in a couple of spots. Nick Saban has to realize it. If you don't bring your "A" game, you lose. I think Alabama is a year ahead of schedule, potentially. I thought they woudl be there next year. But, saying that, they'll have a new QB. John Parker Wilson is graduating. They get a lot of guys back. They hope that Andre Smith comes back, but I doubt that. I think he moves on to the NFL. And Cody, what does he decide to do after one year in the SEC after having been at the juco level. We all think they'll be better next year, but you have to worry about this year.
Taylor (Evansville, AR)
Do the Razorbacks just miss Coach Nutt or is there some other reason we are playing terrible football right now?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
You have to realize they lost a lot of players. You don't lose McFadden, Monk, Jones and guys along the line. People forget how good of a recruiter Nutt was. Look at how good Jones and McFadden have been in the NFL so far this year. Marcus Harrison was one of the best DLs in the country. They've benefitted this year so far in coming back and winning two games against inferior competition. They could very easily be 0-5. Now, the key guy for them has been Michael Smith. He's a little guy with a lot of ability.
Give me your opinion of Javon Ringer and the Michigan State football program?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
I think Ringer has done a good job. He's carried the ball a lot. He's their workhorse. He was contained this past week against Iowa. They're 5-1. At Northwestern will be a tough game. Northwestern is coming off of a week off. This is a tough spot for Michigan State. It's a sandwich game this week. If they can survive this, it sets up a key game next week at Lansing with OSU. Their defense has done some things in certain games.
Which is the better game Ou vs.Texas or LSU vs. Florida?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
I would say OU-Texas, just because where these two teams are right now. LSU is undefeated and the national champions. But you've got the No. 1 team in the country and the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Lot of high draft choices in this game. Orakpo is a gifted athlete. He's a phenomenal matchup in this game. Oklahoma being No. 1 and Texas being undefeated with Colt McCoy. But this is Texas' first test. They haven't played anyone of consequence this year. Every game has been against a team with no defense. Now they play a team with a very good defense.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
Against teams with questionable defenses, Texas is averaging about 45 points per game. They've hung over half a hundred on three opponents. Defensively, they're only giving up an average of 12 points.
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
We covered a lot of bases today. We'll be back to do it again next week.