Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. will be by to discuss the NFL draft.
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've got Mel!
Does Joe Haden's pro day 40 at 4.43 put him back in the discussion at #7 to the Browns?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
If he ran in the 4.4s it would put him in that 10-15 range. A low 4.4s might put him in the top 10. The debate is if he's elite. He has a lot of ability. They kind of protected him a little bit at Florida. That recovery speed issue is going to be there. He said he had a lower back strain when he ran at the combine. If he ran in the 4.5s, he's dropping.
Gil (Plainville, CT)
With Aaron Hernandez putting up 30 reps on the bench and running a 4.56 on wet rainy day at his pro day, where do you project him going and maybe to what team?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I think he's always going to be what he is - an outstanding, pass catching H-back. He has outstanding athletic ability. As a blocker, he won't get the job done in that capacity, but you have to move him around as an H-back and take advantage of his ability to catch the ball. He's a guy in the second round, if you're the Bengals, you're looking at a guy like that. Mid to late second round is what he's looking at.
Cavar M (Kansas City)
Do you see Eric Berry falling at # 5 for the Chiefs ?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I do. He didn't have a great year. A lot had to do with how Monte Kiffin used him, but he didn't have a great year. With that said, he can give you a lot of matchup advantages. Without having great size, the question is he durable? He's in that 5-7 range.
When does Sam Bradford take over in St. Louis this season?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
You would think relatively early. They're going to be in a position to get him involved in the first 6, 7, 8 games of the year. You saw that with Stafford. He was put in a position to get in there and play. Matt Ryan did, Sanchez did, Flacco did. Even though St. Louis was one of the worst teams this year, they'll try to get him in there quickly. He will have to learn a whole new mode of operation. Hitting receivers in a tight window. He never had to worry about pass pressure in his face. He had receivers running wide open. His complete mode of operation will be totally different than when he was at Oklahoma. That's why I give the slight edge to Clausen over Bradford. Clausen has dealt with the NFL conditions. Bradford has not.
Mel, why do you think Denver will draft Dez Bryant? Why would they replace one headache with another?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
We have to wait and see how much of a headache Dez Bryant turns out to be. That remains to be seen. There's a boom or bust with some players. Bryant didn't play the last part of the season. I think he'll have to prove he's a consistent player. The talent is there for him to be a quality player. When you look at the Big Board, he's in the 10-15 range. I'm not going to put an exclamation point on Bryant and declare him to be this or that.
Buffalo Pete (Canada)
Who is the third QB picked in this year's draft? How many Qb's are drafted in the second round?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
The third QB drafted is one of two - Colt McCoy or Dan LeFevour. Tim Tebow will be in that mix. With Jarrett Brown and Tony Pike in that next group.
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
I think McCoy, LeFevour and Tebow going in the second round. Brown and Pike could. You could have all five going in the second, but I think it's more like three.
Dan (East PA)
Should the Eagles lower lower requirements for trading Mcnabb and Kolb and let them go so they can get a QB in the draft? Basically time to rebuild with a new QB or Vick.
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
They already went for Kevin Kolb. They invested a high second round pick in him a few years ago. Andy Reid usually feels like when he chooses his QB, he moves on from there. McNabb's had a nice career, though I do think he's been a little overrated. He's been a good NFL QB, not great, not Hall of Fame. At some point, you have to turn the page to Kevin Kolb or get someone else.
Where do you see Armanti Edwards from App state ending up in the draft? Do you feel he'll get a shot at QB as a dennis dixon (minus knne injury) or as a WR/KR Like Josh Cribbs?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
He's strictly a WR in my opinion. He could be a wildcat QB. He could be a WR, slot man, return man. Maybe a wildcat QB, that's it. Edwards will be strictly a WR. Edwards is a 3-4 round pick.
Mel, are there any quality safeties that you think will be available when the Bears draft in the 3rd round? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
I think this - in terms of the safeties, in the third round Reshad Jones, Morgan Burnett. I like Burnett a lot. I think he could be a good third round pick for someone.
Justin (Houston )
do you see rolando mcclain falling to the giants? if not, who do they grab with their first pick?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Yes. That's where I have him going. I've had him there for a couple of weeks now. There are a couple of teams that I think have needs in other places that will pass on him. I could see Denver taking Dez Bryant over McClain. It would be a nice pick for the Giants. There's a huge gap between McClain and the next best ILB. If you want a MLB who from Day 1 will be a starter, you take McClain. You don't want until the second round, third round, because you don't know what you're going to get at that point.
Mel, where do you see the Niners going with their firsts? Any chance they come away with Haden or Trent Williams?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Yeah. Haden, possible. I don't see Williams there at 13. Depending on how it goes, Haden could be there. If they wanted to go Haden and Iupati. CJ Spiller could be someone to watch there. San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta could all be looking at Spiller. New England as well.
Mel, can Sean Weatherspoon play MLB in 4-3 scheme like the Giants', or is he too small?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I think he's an OLB, a 4-3 OLB. He can cover. He has excellent range. I think he's gaining some momentum. He's improving his draft position since the end of the regular season. Just a nice player. He'd fit New Orleans well. He's on the rise a little bit.
Mel, can you really see the Raiders taking another reach in Bruce Cambell at the 8th spot? Don't you think they will take someone safer since they reached big time last year w/ DHB?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
I think that's true. But you could also see that is their history. They tend to overdraft. They did find a good pick in the fourth round in Murphy last year. But they've operated with drafting stretches. I don't know about Campbell going there. I put him in there, because of their history in overdrafting. I've always been a Raider fan, but of late, they've struggled in the personnel evaluation department. Campbell is going to go somewhere in the first round. He played to me like a 3-4 rounder. He tested out like a top 5 pick.
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
He needs to get a little tougher, a little aggressive a mean streak to augment the talent he has.
matt cassel (kc)
whos the best fit for the chiefs at WR in round 2? should i prepare myself for golden tate/weis reunion?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
That's a good question. Tate will be a seocnd round pick. Jordan Shipley, Eric Decker are other guys in the second round. Thomas and Been as well. I think those two are first rounders. Dexter McCluster falls into that versatile, all-purpose type.
Dale Doback (DC)
Any chance the Skins draft Cody at #34 and put him at NT next to Albert Haynesworth at DE? The field would collapse!
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
Cody's going to be a guy that gets some first round consideration. He's a clogger. He can free up your LBs. San Diego at 28 would be a possibility. Another guy that would fit that bill is Cam Thomas from UNC. Another guy is Torell Troup from Central Florida.
Who is #1 on 2011's Big Board?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Good question. Let's see. No. 1 on the Big Board for next year would be Jack Locker, QB, Washington.
what do you see the Packers doing at 23? OL or CB?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
I think OT, RT like Bulaga. OLB like Jerry Hughes would be another guy. If they went CB, the guys that will be going in that area are Devin McCourty, Kyle Wilson, Kareem Jackson. Or how about a safety like Taylor Mays. They could use a big physical talent like Mays.
Does the acquisition of B. Quinn mean that the Broncos won't look to draft a QB? Good move for the Broncos?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
Josh McDaniels has a decent conviction about Brady. He didn't give up a lot. It seems like Cleveland is cutting ties with a lot of the players from the previous administration. For me, Quinn has a chance to be a nice NFL QB. But he has to be in control out there and get a chance. They have to find a RB. This is an organization that has been in a state of flux and Quinn paid the price for that in Cleveland. It wasn't his fault that the GM that's in there now that wasn't the one that drafted him. The thing is that if you didn't like him, he hasn't done anything to make you think the other way, same for if you liked him. If Holmgren didn't have an opinion coming out of Notre Dame, he still won't. Quinn hasn't had an opportunity to show anything, good or bad. He'll get that opportunity in Denver.
Buzzmaster (1:32 PM)
Hang on a few minutes, folks. Mel's going to go check in with Todd McShay, who's at the Florida pro day.
Courtney (New Hampshire)
Any possibility the Pats go up and get CJ Spiller?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
He could be there in that 13-22 area. The Patriots need to look at OLB too. They could look at Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes. With those 3 third round picks, they could look at Best or McCluster. There are a couple of other guys that have that versatility. Not maybe Spiller that they could get, but guys with equal versatility.
will russel okung be a better tackle than eric berry will be a safety?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Very good question. They'll both be expected to be very good players. I have Berry as my 3rd highest rated player and Okung at No. 7. So, I'll go with Berry.
Can Everson Griffen play 3-4 OLB?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
No. He's a 4-3 end. His weight is where it needs to be. Very strong. Has a lot of natural power to his game. What he needs to do is play to the level of his talent. He didn't get a sack when I thought he would close. He plays in spurts. He lacks that elite burts. He has a lot of physical and athletic talent. I just wish he would have shown up bigger in some games. He has the talent to be a top 10 pick, but he's not where he should be because he wasn't dominant week to week.
Mel, Why are the Seahawks going after Whitehurst and not just drafting a Pike or Lefevour?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
The jury is still out on what kind of QBs they can be. There is no consensue as to how they will play in the NFL. There are some that think they'll be NFL starters and others who think they won't start. It's hard to say with any certainty that Pike and LeFevour are your guys for the future. I like LeFevour better than Pike and think he'll be a second round pick. But there have been second rounders that have not panned out.
Zach (Athens, TX)
Do you think that the Cowboys could trade up to get Eric Berry?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
They'd have to go way up to get Berry. I think they could get and Earl Thomas, which would be a great pick. What if Bruce Campbell is there? But they're picking so late in the first round, they have to wait to see who is there.
Kevin (New Jersey)
Mel, who do you see MINN taking at # 30 now that they signed DT Kennedy and CB Sapp. Do you think they will take a QB in round 2??
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I still think CB is their need. In terms of where they'll go - Cedric Griffin is coming off a knee injury. Sapp was a starter for the most part of the season and you thought he would be back and re-signed. I still think maybe a CB. When I did the projection, I expected Sapp to be re-signed. Jackson, Wilson, guys like that could be around and be the pick for them.
Walt (Boone, NC)
What's the word from Todd about Tim Tebow's "new and improved" throwing motion?
Buzzmaster (1:46 PM)
Todd didn't pick up.
Even with the Antonio Bryant signing could the bengals go after WR at 21? Possibly the kid from Georgia Tech?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
Yeah, they could. They're kind of like Baltimore. They got Boldin in the trade. Bryant struggled this past season. He's not a No. 1 WR. He's better suited for a 2. Nothing would prevent Cincy from picking another WR. Same thing for Baltimore. That was the worst WR corp in the NFL last year. They could still draft a guy in the first round. Both of those teams are also looking for a tight end.
What type of prospect do you think Allen Bailey is top 10-15?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
Excellent prospect. He is a big time DE. He can play DT. Bailey is the No. 1 or No. 2 DE going in. There are a lot of DEs. Heyward, Ryan Kerrigan, Bailey and others who are excellent DEs in college. Bailey is one of the top 5 of the seniors to be going into the fall.
Walt (Boone, NC)
Why is no one really talking about Jahvid Best in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
The durability concerns. He had the concussion late in the year. You hoped he was going to be OK. He has had some injuries in his career. He fits the mold of a second round pick. He's a RB and they always drop in the draft more than they should. He's a very explosive player. He can change the scoreboard any time he touches the ball. I think he's a solid second round pick and I think the Pats will have to be one of the teams thinking about him.
Steven (New Orleans)
where do you see Jason Worilds landing?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
He's one of those guys that may end up playing on his feet as an OLB. I thought he had a disappointing 2009, after an excellent 2008. He got pushed around on the run a little bit for being such a strong guy. You start to have an interest in him in that fourth round.
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
Going into the year, I thought he'd be a potential second rounder, but he was quiet in a lot of games.
Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)
Lets say Buffalo does not go with a QB in round 1. Who would be the best fit out of the next few guys? They need someone with a big arm for the bad weather, and mobility given that o-line.
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
You think that, but then I can give you some examples of QBs that didn't have the big arm but did well in the bad weather. For Buffalo, Jarrett Brown, he has a powerful arm, but inconsistent. He'll draw some interest. Tony Pike has a good arm. He's played in some questionable weather conditions. I've compared Colt McCoy to Jake Plummer, but Jake didn't have a big arm and did well in Denver.
What positions would you target for the Raiders in the 2nd and 3rd rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
The Raiders have a lot of areas they could go for. They have to solidify the OL. They have to look QB at some point. And DL.
Brandon Carter, OL from TTU. When and by who is he getting drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
He's in that 5-6 round mix. Of the guards right now, he's probably your 6-7 highest guard. Iupati, Mike Johnson, Shawn Lauvao, Vladimir Duckasse, Ramone Haerwood. Carter would be after that.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
We'll have results from the Florida workout to talk about next week. All of the other workouts are going on on a daily basis. We'll talk about all of that next week! We did the podcast this morning, which should be up ESPNRadio.com. We do that every Wednesday morning.