Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. will be by to discuss the college football and NFL seasons.
Kiper has served as expert analyst for ESPN's annual NFL Draft coverage since 1984. His pre-draft predictions are frequently the most accurate. Kiper is also analyst for College GameDay on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to SportsCenter and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Kiper Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
We're getting Mel right now!
Did the browns finally settle on a qb? I don't think anyone is positive Anderson is our man. If they are set on Anderson, do they trade Quinn this offseason?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
I think if you're going to trade Quinn, you have to think about trading him now. If you're not going to trade him now, then you have to play the guy. You have to see what you have with the guy. Right now, you don't know what you have with him. He went 6 of 8 against the Ravens then he threw the pick and he hasn't played again. Quinn was not drafted by this management team. That's a death sentence for a QB. They have no loyalty to you. They don't allow a QB who's not theirs to work through mistakes. They have a quick trigger. They don't have anything. Teams that don't have QBs: Carolina, they don't have a first round pick, so I think they would be interested in a QB and they've been in the market for a young QB the last few years; St. Louis has to draft one; San Francisco; Seattle; Tennessee; Washington. Then you look at some other teams. Oakland, what do they do? Minnesota, the heir apparent to Brett Favre. Buffalo.
D. Schwab (Raleigh, NC)
IF Notre Dame's defense plays up to its talen level and the offense continues to roll, does ND beat USC in South Bend this weekend?!
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
First of all, Notre Dame doesn't have great talent on defense. They have to continue to upgrade on defense. Outside of Nevada, they've been given up points. Washington squandered numerous opportunities to put up points. Notre Dame, and I'm a huge fan, is lucky to be 4-1. They could easily have been 1-4. They're thankful that Tate and Clausen have had such good years. Hopefully they Kyle Rudolph is a great TE, we knew that.
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
USC is clearly the better team. Notre Dame better play a lot better than the last three weeks. All parts of their game have to be their A game.
Robert (Monrovia, Ca)
Who is the better junior QB, Locker, Bradford, or Clausen?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
Bradford, I think still deserves to be in the top spot. He had an elite grade last year. He wasn't great throwing the ball last week against Baylor, but you'd expect that after the layoff. Locker at 2 and Clausen at 2a. Bradford is No. 1 on my Big Board, Jake Locker is 6 and Clausen 11. Locker and Clausen's grades are close. If Clausen has a big game and leads his team to an upset, he'll be right there with Locker. Barring a bad report on the shoulder injury, I expect to see Bradford stay atop the rankings. There is also Pike and others like Tim Tebow, who could be a late first round pick, given the right team. I don't see that, but it could happen. You could have 6 QBs going in the first round.
Do you still see Jevan Snead as being a first round NFL draft pick even after his performances of late?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
No, he has dropped since the beginning of the season. I don't think he has a chance of being a first round pick. At best, a third round pick. He has to go back to Ole Miss. If Locker and Clausen come out, he'll go into the next season as the highest rated QB. I think he has no choice, with the way the other guys are playing and the emergence of Tony Pike. Ole Miss is struggling right now with Snead at QB with a 3-2 record. The positive is that his struggles will cause him to go back next year.
Scott (St Louis)
Mel, let's talk Ndamukong Suh. Is he the most dispruptive defensive player in college football? He was all over the place against Mizzou. Is he a top 2 or 3 pick in the NFL draft this year?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
He's No. 2 on the Big Board. I think he has to go in the top of the draft. Very versatile. Could be the No. 1 pick. Bo Pelini raves about the leadership. He kind of brings a Ray Lewis type leadership. Everyone plays off his energy. On Aug. 19 he was No. 5 on the Big Board. Then he went to No. 3 on Sept. 23. Now he's No. 2 on Oct. 14. This guy didn't come out of nowhere. He's been the No. 1 senior prospect, even back on Aug. 19.
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
People want to jump on that bandwagon, that's fine. But it started back on Aug. 19. But it's no charge to jump on my bandwagon. I'd be the richest man in the world if I charged for people to jump on my bandwagon.
Mel, do you see any top 10 upsets this weekend? If so, how many teams go down.
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
The upset alert games...I think Cincinnati has to be ready tomorrow night. Tony Pike against that great South Florida defensive line. I think Texas beats Oklahoma. Notre Dame is an upset alert game, because it's Notre Dame and it's home. USC has to take that game seriously and I know Pete Carroll will. Stanford against Arizona. Stanford is a team that's dangerous. I'm anxious to see Jake Locker against Arizona State and see if he can keep them in that game. Another interesting game is Nebraska against Texas Tech. Suh going up against Carter. Good mathup there.
Mickey (Attalla, Al)
What is your opinion of Auburn's performance at the halfway point, especially considering how thin they are at key positions?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
At 5-0, the WVU game was the most impressive and then beating Tennessee. At 5-0, you weren't surprised that Arkansas could get the best of them. Ben Tate had an outstanding game running the football. Arkansas' offense, Bobby Petrino very rarely has an offense that doesn't score a lot of points. This week they regroup against Kentucky. Kentucky is a good team. Their personnel isn't as good as Auburn's. This is a pivotal game, because they go to LSU next week. You don't want to lose 3 in a row after starting 5-0.
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
This game is a pivotal game for Auburn. For Rich Brooks and Kentucky, they're at 2-3. They're trying to get to 3-3. Auburn goes into this game as a two TD favorite. This is a game they have to win. They can't get upset here. Kentucky can make some plays. The main guy is Cobb and then Locke can also make some plays.
Mike (Charlotte, NC)
Are you suprised by how bad Jamarcus Russell is playing?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
It's a surprise, but not shocked. This is a bad football team. Any time you're on a bad football team, things go from bad to worse quickly. McFadden has been hurt. McFadden and Russell are at a major disadvantage when their offensive lines are outmanned. Russell is just off target with too many throws. He's kind of like Randy Johnson before he got better control. Heyward-Bey has struggled. Defensively, they missed so many tackles Sunday. They were overpursuing. They just weren't sound fundamentally. Now, it seems like everyone they play it turns into a rout. They go Eagles, Jets, Chargers before the bye week. They're just trying to get to be in the game. Forget about winning, they've been noncompetitive.
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
I think they're a two TD underdog at home to Philadelphia. Now you're talking about keeping the game competitive, keeping it interesting. That's the challenge you have.
What are you feelings in Chad Henne's performance on Monday night? You rated him last year, do you feel he is ready to be a franchise QB? Does he have all the tools?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I don't know about a franchise QB. What I wrote about him when he came out: Had the experience, desire to excel, the toughness and leadership abiility and the physical tools to develop into a starting QB. The bottom line is his exceptional arm and ability will provide him the opportunity to be the young QB of the not-too-distant future of the team that takes him. The not-too-distant future is now because of the Chad Pennington injury. He had some great games at Michigan. He had 47 career starts. The last game of his career, against Florida, he went 25-39 for 337, 3 TDs, 2 INTs for game MVP honors. He played against quality teams in pressure situations. He has the rocket arm, but he's just inconsistent. I graded him out going 35th overall and he went 57th.
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
For Chad Henne to have Dan Henning and working with him, and working behind Chad Pennington, nothing could be better for a learning curve situation and tutelage situation. Then you have the wildcat running wild. The unstoppable wildcat. I like watching Miami's offense more than college offenses.
What do you make of Ryan Williams right now would he be in your top 5 running backs in college football right now?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
He's only a red-shirt freshman. He's very compact. Very strong and runs through arm tackles, which I like. THat's what you have to do at any level. He's decisive. He's a very very good player. He was contained against Duke. That was the only game that he was contained in since he got the starting job.
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
He's one of the true MVPs of college football with what he's done since Evans went out with an injury.
How good can Knowshon Moreno be? Could he be a top 10 RB in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I think he can be. I'll tell you one thing about him..we talk about guys working hard, but no one works harder than him. I said he was: productive in the best conference in college football. Plays the game with a high level of balance. Versatile. Outstanding hands as a receiver. He stoned some defenders in the hole when they had a shot at him. The only thing about him was could he hold up with that aggressive running style of his. He's also not a true home run hitter. I had him rated as the 13th best player in the draft and he ended up going 12th. It turned out be a nice pick for Denver so far.
Does Dez Bryant's suspension result in a drop in his draft status?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Not at all. It doesn't effect his status at all, even if he never played another game this year. He has enough of a body of work, enough of a resume. Hopefully he'll be reinstated. After this week, they have 6 games. I think he still goes in the top 10-15 overall.
Deep (Atlanta, GA)
Mel,Based on the UF-LSU game last Saturday, did Chad Jones help his stock as a hybrid safety/linebacker in the NFL? Do you think he is a 1st Rd pick if he declares for the draft after this year?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Chad Jones is only a junior. When you look at him, I moved him up one spot, because Major Wright moved down one. He's the fourth junior safety. If you had to put Chad Jones in with the senior safeties, he would be fifth.
Charlie (Turlock Ca)
Who is the best Tight End prospect in the Iowa vs. Wisconsin game?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
That's a good question. I just wrote about them in Personnel Points the other day. The kid from Iowa is really coming on. I would say Garrett Graham, my third highest rated senior TE. Then it's Tony Moeaki from Iowa. Graham is 6-3.5, 249 pounds, 4.71 40. Moeaki is 6-3.5, 250, 4.79 40 and had 6 catches for 105 and 2 TDs against Michigan. He does a good job blocking, excellent hands, good body adjustment, good run after catch ability. Injuries, though, durability, is the question mark.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
Johnny Knox not only the steal of the draft, but does he have a chance to win offensive rookie of the year if he keeps catching TD passes and returning TD's on kickoffs or are guys like Harvin and Sanchez too far ahead?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Johnny Knox has been a heckuva player. He was the 140th player taken, a fifth rounder out of Abilene Christian. He has a chance to win it, because he's versatile and a game breaker. They have not overloaded him like other teams have with rookie WRs. They haven't moved him around from the slot to another spot. They've let him adjust to the position. His speed is phenomenal. I had him as the 103rd pick and a fourth rounder to St. Louis. What I wrote about him: Man among boys at Abilene Christian. His 4.29 speed, athleticism and production warrant selection in the 4-5 round area. He did a good job as a punt returner. Keep in mind he's 5-11.5, 185, so he's not real diminutive. Let's give Ron Turner credit here for allowing him to understand the one position. In doing that, he's maximized Knox's ability to contribute as a rookie.
has jarret brown's stock went up or down so far in 2009 and where do you project him?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
It's kind of been up and down. At the beginning of the season, it went up. He looked really good against East Carolina. At Auburn, he struggled. The conditions weren't great. They had the rain delay and he made some bad decisions throwing the ball. Colorado and Syracuse the last couple of weeks, he's risen a little bit. Big games for him will be against UConn Oct. 24. UConn has a very very good DE, Lindsey Witten, who has a chance to be a 3-4 round pick. The next week is critical because he has to play at South Florida. They're at Cincinnati in November. They also play Pitt in late November. Those are some good games for Brown. I would say he's a 4-5 round pick. I thought 2-3, but now it's 4-5. He has to maintain that standing.
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
I think there will be a wide range of opinion on him at the end of the year. He didn't do anything until this year, up until now Pat White was the guy. If that inconsistency continues, I think that will cause people to not be too sure about Brown.
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Before it is all said and done, will Jordan Shipley be the best athalete on the feild this Saturday in the Red River Rivalry?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
He's a good player. He's had some outstanding kickoff returns for TDs. Some key returns in his career. Shipley will run pretty well, probably 4.5-4.55 range. He can run away from people. I think his speed is better than you think. I've compared him to Ricky Proehl. Proehl was originally a 3rd round pick out of Wake to the Cardinals in 1990.
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
He played for a number of different teams but had a very solid career in the NFL.
Does Flacco rebound and lead the Ravens to a victory in Minneapolis this sunday?
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
Pivotal game for the Ravens. The Vikings are undefeated, but the Ravens, after going 3-0, could be 3-3 going into a bye week. The conern for the Ravens is not getting a pass rush. You can do some damage without a pass rush. Mason didn't catch a pass last week. I think there is a definite carryover from the New England game. They talked about that game until Thursday after the game and the calls. They got so wrapped up in that that they probalby didn't focus on Cincinnat until late in the week. Baltimore could have lost to San Diego very easily. I don't think people have a good handle on the Ravens. I think this whole team needs to rebound.
Mel Kiper (2:02 PM)
This is an evenly matched game. For Minnesota, they've really had an easy schedule so far. They get Cleveland and Detroit, San Francisco. They get Green Bay in Minnesota, which is set up perfectly. Then St. Louis. Everything has been set up perfectly for them to be where they're at now.
Mel Kiper (2:05 PM)
We have the new Big Board up today and the new top 5 positional rankings. The Personnel Points go up Monday evening, which is all based on film evaluation. This past Monday, we talked about Ndamukung Suh, Tony Moeaki, Kareem Jackson, Stephen Paea. We've also talked about some sleepers from the small college ranks the previous Monday. It's all not based on stats, but film evaluation. Also, all of the great personnel matchups from a variety of games on Saturday is also up. We'll be back next Wednesday.