Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:59 PM)
Mel will be here shortly!
Buzzmaster (1:02 PM)
We've got Mel!
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
We're through 33 of the 34 bowls. We have a lot of teams to talk about in terms of the NFL draft. We can get into that a little bit as well.
Mel, with Stafford and Moreno entering the NFL Draft according to espn sources, where do you project them?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
Stafford, I think is in the mix to be the No. 1 pick overall, along with Bradford. Bradford's game tomorrow night will help determine that. Keep in mind, Stafford and Bradford have played in their last college games. They're not eligible for the all star games. Bradford should deal with some pressure from the Florida line. Stafford's in the mix to be No. 1 overall and Moreno is in the mix to be the No. 1 RB picked. He's a top 5-10 pick in the first round.
According to the Tampa Trib, George Selvie is returning to USF for a senior year. Is George making the right decision.
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I think he is. He did not have the great, great year you thought he would. He had a phenomenal sophomore year. He led the nation in sacks. He's a speed rusher. He's only 6-4, so he's not a big DE, but he's made for a 3-4 scheme. The first half of the season, he was not the great, great performer you thought he would be. By going back, he becomes, automatically the 1 or 2 ranked DE coming back. We'll have to see what Hardy from Ole Miss does.
Mel, What postitions do you feel the Chicago Bears need to address the most in the upcoming draft?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
The Bears are a team in a position where you have to think about the offensive side of the ball. They do not put an NFL caliber WR core on the field. The QB position is also weak. They have not said firmly that Orton is our guy. They said they'll look at him, but they're still not sure about him. WR is a need for a number of years now. OL has to be addressed. This defense was not the same. They could use a DE, S. The offense has to dictate what they do in the draft, but they also need a DE and S.
Josh (C-bus, OH)
Do you see the Brownies unloading DA for some draft picks and if so to whom, and what picks could they get?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
They have to. There are some teams out there, like the Cowboys that would be a good team for him to go to. That's a good team for him to go to in a trade, that needs a good backup QB. The Giants could use a good backup. Those kinds of teams would be possibilities. You maybe could get a fourth round pick. The problem is that Dallas gave up a lot of picks for Roy Williams. At one point this year, it looked like if they traded DA, you could get a second rounder. But they can get something for Anderson.
Hey Mel- has Pat White improved his stock as a QB or do you still see him being a WR in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
He made a huge statement at the bowl game as a QB. That was his best passing performance in his career. He was on fire in that game. He made accurate throws. He showed great decision making. From a pure passing standpoint, he made a statement. He's going to go to the Senior Bowl as a QB. He's your developmental QB. While he's doing his apprenticeship, he can work as WR. You can get him on the field as a WR and a wildcat QB and ultimately see how he does at QB in his career. He has opened up his options as a QB. When he came out of high school, he didn't go to an SEC school because they were recruiting him as a WR. He wanted to play QB, so he went to WVU. Now, after a projection that he'll play WR, he opens up questions about him playing QB. I say he'll be a 2 or 3 round pick.
Hey Mel, if USC Safety Taylor Mays declares for the draft is he someone we could see move up a lot after workouts and the combine?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
No question about it. He's 6-3, 230 and he runs incredible 40 times. He's an incredibly gifted safety. He has safety-CB speed. He has range as a centerfielder. When he makes a tackle, he makes you aware of where he is on the field. He, along with William Moore, are the top two safeties in the draft.
Marty (Riverton UT)
Mel True or False. The Mountain West Conference deserves an automatic bid to the BCS. I say Absolutly, the Mountain West is clearly stronger then the ACC and Big East, and right the with the Big Ten and Pac 10.
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
I agree. Whole-heartedly. They're producing quality players, quality teams. Their scheduling allows that to happen. In terms of the Mountain West. With Utah, TCU, BYU, there are three elite programs right there. Everybody's talking about Gary Patterson from TCU, Kyle Whittingham, Bronco. New Mexico just hired a new coach. Excellent coaches in the conference from top to bottom. If USC is the team that everybody thinks is the best team, Oregon State beat USC and Utah beat Oregon State. BYU's 2009 out of conference schedule includes Florida State and Oklahoma. The MWC has proven their point. They had three teams that were outstanding all year. They are more than deserving.
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
The game, ironically, that no one had any interest in watching was VT and Cincinnati. Nobody cared about the ACC champion. There were a lot of decent teams in the ACC this year, no great teams. But VT at the end of the day has a lot to be proud of. I thought this was the best coaching job Frank Beamer has done there.
Phil: (lancaster, pa)
How will Donald Brown fair in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
He should be a solid back. He's a great kid. Great character. Compact runner, with a low base. Strong lower body. He's been a true workhorse over his career. Patient runner. Break tackles. Maximizes each run. He's a capable, dependable receiver out of the backfield. He's not a dynamic performer, but a solid performer.
Adam (St. Louis, MO)
Is Andre Smith really the best OT out there? What about his struggles in run blocking? How do Monroe, J. Smith, and Oher stack up?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
In terms of Andre Smith and I watched a lot of him this year, I thought he was a dominant run blocker. There were a number of games this year where he was a phenomenal run blocker. His pass protection needed to improve. He finishes his blocks. Pass protection is the bigger question with Andre Smith at the next level more than anything. He has to keep his weight under control.
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
There's another Smith, Jason Smith out of Baylor that will go high. He had a great year. He's going to be a hot guy, as will Eugene Monroe. If you're looking for an OT or center, this is the year.
What is the one thing scouts over or underestimate in judging a players ability to move on to the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
Football is a brutally tough sport. The one thing that's tough to judge is once they get these big paychecks, how important is football to them? Football is a 365-day job. He has to take football away from the practice field. A guy who plays the game because he loves to play the game. The mental adjustment, not just on the field, but how much do you let yourself get down mentally? In high school and college, every week, normally, you're better than every guy you're lining up against. In the NFL, the guy is either better than you or equal to you. Now you're getting ripped by coaches, the fans, media. You're hearing boos. You're hearing questions about whether you were worth the pick. You're going to be challenged in a way you've never been challenged before. There are a lot of guys that have had rough rookie years.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
I didn't need to see Chris Johnson run his 40 to know that he was fast. I knew he was fast. My point is that you don't have to see them jump and run, we've seen them do it. All this notion that you have to scrutinize all the guys at the combine, I think the combine is overrated. There are some good things about it, but it's not the end all, be all of it. How did they play with their teams in college? Not at the combine or Senior Bowl.
Mel, do you recall a BCS championship game where everyone seems to be picking one team (Florida)? Is anyone picking OU to win?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I thought Oklahoma had a shot to win this game. I thought that five weeks ago when the announcement was made. I was listening to the radio and Jeremy Green was on. He was giving his opinion of the games and he was asked about teams being rusty for the NFL playoffs, teams that had a bye week before playing. Can you imagine the college teams? They have 5 weeks. The last two years, Ohio State has waited over 7 weeks to play. That's an issue right there. Then you talk about Oklahoma with the injury to Murray, for Florida, Harvin is not 100%. If you look at Oklahoma, significantly more NFL caliber juniors and seniors. The best players on the field are the guys that will touch the football. The three best players on the field are Tebow, Bradford and Harvin. Harvin's not 100%. This is a monumental game for Bradford. If Oklahoma is beaten - and they have not fared well in these big games, this is a big game for Bradford and for Bob Stoops. I like the OL for OU, the WR. Not having Murray hurts. Iglesias will have to be the main kick returner. The secondary, now, popping off on Tim Tebow, was not smart. He's going to go down as one of the top 3 college players of all time. You're question a guy that's going to be one of the top 2-3 players in all of college football? There's not a player more motivated then Tebow. How he gets up for every game is off the charts. I'm not a handicapper, but I would expect OU to compete for four quarters and would have a chance to win. I picked them when the matchup came out.
brandon in kansas city mo [via mobile]
Hey mel. Will fiesta bowl defensive mvp roy miller be drafted in the first day?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
Well, first day is only the first two rounds. We can't really use that First Day term any more. I gave him a third round day. Second round is not out of the question. He had a productive year. He was a productive, solid player this year.
Dave (Omaha, NE)
What team(s) would be the best fit for Shonn Greene, and where do you see him ending up?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
Shonn Greene, this is his first season at Iowa where he was the featured back. He was out of football last year. He went over 100 yards every game. He has that low, powerful base. Picks up a lot of yards after the initial contact. Good balance, He averaged over 6 yards per carry. Scored double digit TDs. He has to become a better pass receiving option at the next level. He has to work on his hands and his blocking. As a runner, he presents a lot of options. He'll have to work in tandem with a back that can catch the ball and is elusive. Greene will be the power runner. Most of the teams in the NFL now have two backs. There are not a lot of teams right now that are desperate. The Patriots could be a team. Possibly the Bengals. The team that is No. 1 looking for a RB is Cleveland. Another team is Houston, with Steve Slaton. That would be a possibility. The Seahawks.
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Oh yeah, definitely Denver. They need a RB too. They have to have a RB in this draft.
John (NYC) [via mobile]
Besides Crabtree and Maclin, who are your other top 5 wide recivers coming out in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Percy Harvin would be next. Darrius Heyward-Bey. Kenny Britt. Hakeem Nicks. Juaquin Iglesias. Mohamed Massaquoi
tony (college park, md)
Hi Mel, I am a huge Ravens fan. What areas do you think they need to address. Any players in mind? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
The Ravens need a WR. They're one of the few teams in the NFL that don't have a third WR. They need a legit third WR. They also need a CB. McAllister was injured this year. Rolle had a questionable season. They're a team that needs a CB. They also could use a LB. Their two top needs are WR and CB.
If the Patriots franchise and trade Cassell, what can they get back in return?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
He's a first round guy. Multiple draft picks including a first rounder. He's a guy that teams would want. The Lions, Chiefs, 49ers. All of those guys would be looking at Cassell. I'll tell you another team, the Bucs. Garcia probalby played his last game with the Bucs. There are a lot of teams that would look at him. The Pats need a RB and help in the secondary. That's where you would look for them. They can't afford to trade Cassell. The status of Tom Brady is still to be determined. You don't know if he'll be ready on the first game. It's a lot of money to pay him. If you trade Cassell and Brady isn't 100%, what are you going to do? You don't want to write off a season if you're the Pats.
Do you think Aaron Curry is the best OLB prospect to come out of college since?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I wouldn't compare him to anybody. He's the best OLB. He's a multi-dimensional player. Keith Rivers was an excellent all around player coming out of USC last year. Aaron Curry is also a great special teams player. The kid is fast, tenacious. He attacks. Production and consistency has been incredible. He's been my No. 1 player on my Big Board. I've only had two players on my Big Board. First it was Eugene Monroe and since mid-October it's been Curry, as a senior. At worst, after the underclassmen, he'll be 3-5 on the Big Board.
Please tell me that Houston will take a DE. We nned another pass rusher so Bad.
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
There's no question about that. They'll be picking 15. These are their needs, a DE, a Shonn Greene type RB, S. The guy I would think would be very intriguing to the Texans is Brian Orakpo of Texas. This is a guy that wreaks havoc as a pass rusher. He's great athletically, can drop off into coverage. I think he would be an outstanding pick in the first round.
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
Another guy would be Everette Brown from Florida State. He had an oustanding year rushing the QB. If Greg Hardy comes out, he would be another outstanding player to consider.
Do you think that Jeff Jagodzinski will be coaching NFL or NCAAF next year? Which team?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
I don't know why there was any ultimatum as to why he couldn't interview. If you're a college coach, you have to have the right to interview in the NFL. If you get the chance to interview, you should be able to take it. BC isn't a destination job. It's not USC. The last coach, Tom O'Brien left to go to NC State. They're not that kind of job. He's not talking about going to a college, he's talking about going to the NFL. He's just interviewing. I don't get that. That would have to be explained to me, how you get fired for interviewing for a job. Jagodzinski is a great coach. He's done a good job at BC. That whole scenario and how it unfolded is very surprising to me.
Casey (Santa Clarita CA)
Would the Utes compete with USC, Florida or Oklahoma?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
They competed against Oregon State and won. Oregon State beat USC fair and square. USC couldn't handle their running game or a QB that's not a big timer. An outstanding freshman RB they couldn't tackle. Now, Utah beat Oregon State a week later. I understand they could have had a let down, but it's a bottom line business. If we're reduced to connecting the dots then we connect the dots. Utah beat a lot of good teams. They beat a good TCU team, BYU team. They beat Michigan to open the year when Michigan was a 3 point favorite. Utah did enough for me. Then they beat Alabama. They were the No. 1 team in the country. Alabama came back in that game to make it 21-17 and Utah answered with a TD to go up 28-17. Utah has an argument. I said this back in October, saying that Utah would have an argument, after beating Oregon State. I got screamed at for connecting the dots. Now people will say that Alabama wasn't up for the game. Well, that's the system, it creates apathy. They've been underrated all year. Underrating Utah has been going on since it was 90 degrees.
Will we see a good RB class this year that is anything close to last year?
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
Last year was remarkable. 20 rookie RBs contributed. Some were undrafted free agents. Rashard Mendenhall did nothing for Pittsburgh, he was hurt. Darren McFadden had two turf toes, but showed what he could do when healthy. This year's group? I don't think there's any way it can rival last year's. It can't compare to last year. It won't even be close. The reason is that the senior RB class doesn't even have a first or even second rounder. A lot of 3-6 rounders in the seniors. From the junior class, that's where you get your best backs and your third-year sophomores. Moreno and Wells are your best backs. Next LeSean McCoy is third. Your fourth RB is Shonn Greene. CJ Spiller. Charles Scott. Donald Brown. LeGarrette Blount. Those are your top RBs and they're all underclassmen. A lot of it depends on how many of these juniors come out. But the top 5 RBs on the draft board will be underclassmen.
Mel Kiper (2:02 PM)
Enjoy the BCS title game tomorrow night. We have some outstanding playoff games. That SD-Indy game was phenomenal. That Saturday with Arizona-Atl was a great game. Baltimore beat Miami, but Miami was in it. This week figures to be good, with the four teams that had byes. The hot teams that are on a roll that played last week against the best teams that didn't play. Let's hope those college football school presidents are watching the playoffs.