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 (1:03 PM)
Mel is here!
Stephen (Gainesville, FL)
What do you make of University of Florida's draft class this year?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
It's an outstanding draft class. There are a lot of players. Some of these guys won't go as high as some think they will. I have Joe Haden going at 13, Pouncey going at 18, Major Wright at 37, Tebow at 41, Carlos Dunlap at 46, Aaron Hernandez in the third round, Jermaine Cunningham in the third round, Riley Cooper in the fourth round.
Steven (Clarkston, MI)
Mel, who are top kick/punt returners in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
You CJ Spiller. He's a guy who would be right up there. Javier Arenas is a top punt returner. Golden Tate. Jahvid Best. Mardy Gilyard is a good kick returner. Jordan Shipley is an excellent return man. Dexter McCluster wasn't used much in college, but he should be. Trindon Holliday. Brandon James. Brandon Banks. Perrish Cox. Andre Roberts.
Joe (Bronx, NY)
Mel, if the Jets sign Jason Taylor today what direction do you see them going in the draft? Will they still look for an OLB in the later rounds or concentrate on other areas?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
Everson Griffen would fit the mold of what Ryan likes. He has Johnson, Suggs, Thomas in Baltimore, so Griffen fits the mold. Or a WR. Tate, Benn would be possibilities.
Are there any tackles besides Bruce Campbell, that may be available when the cowboys pick, that could possibly become a long term solution? If they went safety, which player would they choose out of Taylor Mays and Nate Allen? Thanks and love the hair
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
Charles Brown from USC. I actually have him going to Dallas in the first. Campbell, I have going in the second. Rodger Saffold out of Indiana is another late first round possibility.
whats more likely to happen, spiller to jacksonville or clausen to jacksonville
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
Spiller. I think him because they need to win now. This is a big year for Garrard and Del Rio. They have to try to outscore Houston and Indy. Spiller will be a great change of pace to Jones-Drew and a great return man.
If the Lions draft OL Russell Okung, who will the Redskins draft? Could a 4th pick for the 49ers 13 and 17 be possible?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
If that happens, then that would push Suh and McCoy down to the Redskins. You could entertain trade offers because Suh and McCoy would be there. If Okung's gone, you would not look at OL at that point.
Is Cleveland all-in on Berry being there at #7? I just don't see Holmgren going for Claussen. So if Berry isn't there and Claussen isn't considered, who is the Browns pick?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
I don't think Cleveland will take Clausen either. I think they look at McCoy in the second round. I still think Berry could go 5, so if he's there at 7 you have to take him.
Paul (Bozman, Mt)
Would Dallas be better off drafting a LT in the first round or singing Jared Gaither and sneding the pick to Baltimore?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
Gaither's a great talent. He's not yet where he needs to be as a player. He has enormous talent. You're rolling the dice that he gets to that point. I think he's better than he's played. He can be as good as he wants to be and is a better player than you'd get in the late first round.
Marshall (OKC, OK)
Do you think the Eagles will package some of the picks to move up in the 1st? If so, who would they move up to get?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
My question is, who are you moving up to get. I wouldn't target a CB, because I would stay where I am and take Kareem Jackson. If you had to move up, maybe Earl Thomas. If you want a pass rusher, there might be some guys to move up to get.
Raider's are looking at WR , ( I heard) .. any late rounders 4th or 5th round that they can look at ?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Riley Cooper, Dave Reed, Mike Williams, Carlton Mitchell.
What position would have more value in the 3rd for the Bears...Safety or Guard?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
In the third round, you could be looking at a CB like Jerome Murphy, S like Chad Jones, Darrell Stuckey; a OG like Vladimir Ducasse, Zane Beadles.
With McNabb in Washington, its likely they take Okung at 4, so who does KC take in the 5 hole? Berry or an OT not named Okung?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
They could take Eric Berry, Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga. There are options at OT. They could take Dez Bryant.
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Jimmy Clausen too. Keep in mind Weis is the OC there.
Where is Clausen going?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I think either Seattle or Oakland. It's interesting that if Seattle passes on him at 6 do they get him at 14? I don't think they're convinced Whitehurst is their guy.
Stephen (Florida )
If the Patriots are sitting at 22 with Gresham, Kindle, Odrick, and Pouncey still available, who do they go with?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
I think they take Kindle. I think they need that 3-4 OLB. Then in the second round they could get DE Joseph, a fast rising prospect. Rob Gronkowski.
Steve (Cincinnati, OH)
If Jason Pierre-Paul slipps to the Bengals do you see them passing him up for Taylor Mays or Dez Bryant?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
First of all, if Bryant and Pierre-Paul are there at 21, I would be shocked. I have Pierre-Paul going 16 and Bryant at 7. It would be tough for them both to fall. I have them taking Gresham.
I heard a rumor that bears coach Lovie Smith loves South Florida S Nate Allen. Any way the bears can get him?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
I don't think so. I don't think he'll be there. I have him going in the second round. I could see Philly going after him. Dallas, Seattle.
Do you think the Packers will trade out of the 1st Rd to get more draft picks or who will they go after in the first? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
They could. That's a possibility. I have them picking Iupati. They also need a CB. They could look at CB like Jackson or Wilson. They also could use a big RB. I have them taking Gerhart in the second round.
Assuming his knee is fine, is Danario Alexander a bargain in the 6-7 round area?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Yeah. The concern is the durability. But in the late rounds he would be intriguing because of his production this season.
Ryan (San Diego)
Will Mathews be there at 28 or is he going to Houston at 20?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
That would be early for Houston. They need a corner. I think Kyle Wilson or Kareem Jackson. I could see Houston looking at a RB like Ben Tate.
The Giants desperately need a MLB. If McClain isn't there at 15, do you think they'll give a guy like spikes or weatherspoon a look or fill another need such as DT?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I think Weatherspoon is a 3-4 OLB. Spikes' 40 time pushes him back. You could be looking at Pat Angerer out of Iowa would be a guy to look at in the 5th round area.
Andrew (Maple Grove Mn)
What do you think about Eric Decker? And where will he fall in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
He's moving up. He had the injury. He's a talented receiver. I think he goes in the second round. I could see him going to Miami, Tampa Bay, Kansas City. All of those teams in the second round, I could see him going to.
Do you think the lions will draft okung or suh? It makes a lot more sense for them to draft okung since they already have Corey Williams and Sammie lee hill and they need to protect stafford?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
It makes sense, but the last time I checked, they don't have a player like Suh. Suh and McCoy are great players and you throw him into the mix you have and it's a lot better. But I could see Okung to the Lions. With the idea that Stafford is the franchise and you need to protect him.
How likely is it that the first three picks of the draft are from OU, Bradford, Trent Williams, then Gerald McCoy?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
I don't see that. You could see Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The earliest Williams could go is 5, 6 or 8.
How come we haven't heard much talk about Javier Arenas? What round do you see him going and do you think the Cowboys have any interest in him?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
His stock is rising. When I talk to people in the league, they tell me that he's a heckuva football player. Film evaluation helps him. Gameday play helps him. He's probably the most aggressive QB in the draft. I think he's no worse right now than a third round pick. I have him going to Tennessee.
Ryan (Long Island)
Minn. has needs in the secondary and depth issues at LB- my concern is runningback- where and who do you see them grabbing to help Peterson?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
If they can get the safety in the first round and CB, I could see them getting Joe McKnight, Toby Gerhart, Montario Hardesty in the third.
Whatever happened to george Selvie? He can be productive in the NFL I think
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
The problem with him is that he was a heckuva player, but he's not as good of a pro prospect as he was in college. There are concerns of if he can translate that success into the NFL. I think he's a 5-6 round pick.
Baron (Large, PA)
After Haden, how would you rank the next 5-6 CBs? By which pick are all 5-6 gone? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
Kareem Jackson, Devin McCourty, Kyle Wilson. Then you have Patrick Robinson, Chris Cook, Brandon Ghee, Jerome Murphy, Javier Arenas, Perrish Cox are all second, third rounders.
Sam (New York)
Mel, Miami really needs a #1 WR. How seriously are they considering taking Dez Bryant at #12?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
They'd have to consider him, but I think they could get a good WR in the second round. Eric Decker, Dezmon Briscoe.
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
An interesting guy for Miami would be Jordan Shipley in the second round. He compares favorably to Wes Welker, a guy Miami had earlier in this career.
Matt (Grand Rapids)
Three HUGE sleepers to be had after round 4 are ...........??
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Some guys that are a little under the radar are Ramon Hillwood, OG/OT, Morehouse; Terrence Johnson, CB, California (PA); Arthur Moats, LB, James Madison.
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
For QB, John Skelton, Fordham.
Mel, Thanks for doing this chat. Is there any chance that the Arizona Cardinals find actual help at the 2nd/3rd CB position if they dont take it in the first two rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
In the third round, you could be looking at Perrish Cox.
Who will be there for the Bucs at the top of round 2? Any explosiveness at WR? Or do they go with Arenas, a perfect cover-2 corner?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Yeah, I project them to take Golden Tate. That would be a possibility for them at that point.
Gavin (Washington, DC)
After Regis Benn's rough junior season with injuries and an inaccurate qb, where you do see him going?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Instead of being a mid first round pick, which back in August, you would have thought that would be a possibility. Now he's a mid second.
Jacques (Columbus, Ga)
Give the Falcons some LOVE!!! My question is this: I know the Falcons desperately need pass rush help. But if a talent like Spiller or Bryant fell to them, would they take a chance and pull the trigger on either?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I think that would be interesting. Spiller would make a lot of sense and so would Bryant. Spiller should be gone around Jacksonville and Bryant in the top 10. I have them taking Brandon Graham.
Given the importance of this draft for the Patriots and the need for play makers; do you see the Pats trading the 44th pick for a 1st rd. pick next year if they are presented with the opportunity?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
Sure. I'd love to do that. You have three second round picks, if someone's going to offer you a first, I'm always in favor of that. That's the benefit of having those picks. You can make moves like that and not hurt yourself.
Max (Buffalo NY)
Alot of names Flying around in Buffalo... Best worst case scenario for there first few picks?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
The OT at 9. It's imperative that you improve the line. Williams or Bulaga. Then you come back in the second round, you might look at Tim Tebow. I keep hearing that. In round three, maybe a WR like Damian Williams from USC.
Travis (Sylvester GA)
I know we just aquired Anquan Bolden, but what do you think of Baltimore's chances of drafting Dez Bryant if he's still on the board come late 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
He won't be there. As a Raven fan, I'd love to see him there, but it won't happen. I see them looking at WR Thomas, that's assuming that Jermaine Gresham isn't there.
Paul (Bozman, Mt)
Jevan Snead could not have made the right decision in coming out this year. He had a ton of preseaosn hype but quite frankly his play stunk this year. Is there any chance that he develops into a solid NFL QB? Is he a good example of a developmental QB that teams should look at in the mid to late rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
He really need to go back to Ole Miss. Why he didn't, I don't know. If you're a 5-6 round pick, why do you come out. This is a kid who if he played as well as he did in the last few games of 2008, he could go high. But he didn't. Now you're looking at a kid with good size and arm. He has a chance. Had he gone back and played as well as he's capable of, he'd be better off. If you can get him late, that wouldn't be a bad choice.
i know Brandon Spikes' stock has taken a hit Mel, but what about his game film from the past two years? Second round?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
It helps. He was a productive player. But the lack of speed and great range showed up on film. He could have covered better. He could have closed better but didn't. There were some plays that could have been made if he were faster.
In your opinion who do you think is the best QB in this year's draft?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
My final grade as the highest rated QB is Jimmy Clausen. And then Bradford.
Chris (Los Angeles)
I feel like Singletary would absolutely love to have a player with the intellect of Myron Rolle. Do you see him as a fit? If not where do you see him going and when?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I've always thought that he played like a fifth round pick. He's a great kid. But as a football player, you have to be a 24/7/365 player. It's great that he has all of the other things going, but his play on the field was as a fifth round pick.
Who do you see the Lions selecting in the second if they draft Suh first? McCourty? Best?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
If they end up with Suh, then Bruce Campbell. Saffold. Then you could get the OT. The same reasons that you talk about Okung in the first round are the reasons they look at one in the second round. But they still need a RB. Dexter McCluster. Best. Tate. You have to get a RB at some point.
Mel, with the depth in this draft, wouldn't it be better to keep a high 2nd round pick than to trade it for a 1st next year?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
It depends who's there. Say you're Philly and picking at 37 and you have a guy who is 23 on your Big Board, then you have to take him. But if it's not a great value pick at that point, then you think about giving up that pick for a first rounder next year. But I think you're going to get a really good player at 37. This team needs help at a lot of spots. Center is a big need.
Based on the current roster and last years attempt to use more of a 4-3, do you think the pats might be trying to hide what players they are looking at and may be switching to a heavy 4-3 Defense?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
They're a 3-4 team, but they have to get the personnel to fit that team. In a 3-4 scheme, it's a LB driven team. The Mayo pick was good a couple of years ago. Kindle, Hughes would be a nice start. Then get a 3-4 DE in the second round.
Cowboys obviously need help on the O line and FS, which will be available in the 2nd for them?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
I think as far as FS moreso than OL. Morgan Burnett maybe. I think more of a chance of safety dropping to the late second than an OT dropping. There's a drop off at OT after that first group.
which team do you think is positioned currently to make the greatest improvement overall in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
I think New England has a great opportunity. Any time you have the first round pick and three second round picks. Cleveland. San Francisco.
I haven't seen too many quesions in regards to what you think the 49ers are up to in the draft. Who do you think they pick with their 2 1st round picks? Or do you see them trading up or down with them?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
I think they can get a CB like Joe Haden. And an OT like Anthony Davis, who would be a RT. In the second round, Mardy Gilyard. The great thing is that one of the their big needs is a return specialist and he has those skills. They could also look at a guy in the Bay Area like Jahvid Best. He could give them the return specialist they need.
Nic (Bellingham, WA)
What positions do you think the Seahawks will look to draft with their 1st round picks?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
I think they look at with the 6th pick at Clausen or Trent Williams. With the other pick at 14, if Clausen's still there, you definitely take him. Or else, it's Morgan or Pierre-Paul.
Where is Dennis Pitta amoung tight ends and overall?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Very highly regarded pass catching TE. He's around the 3rd to 6th highest rated TE. I have him going in the third round to the Cardinals.
Mel - do you think we see active trading on draft day?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
We see activity after the fifth pick, normally. Even though this is a deep and talented draft, there are a wide variety of opinions on guys.
Do you think the eagles will take another quarterback later in the draft
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
They could, later on. Andy Reid tends to do that. Matt Nichols would be an interesting later pick. He has ability.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
We have two more chats before the draft. We started in early August and we have only two more before the draft. And then our big review chat after the draft. It's amazing how quickly this has snuck up on us. We'll be back next week.