Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:58 PM)
Mel will be here at the top of the hour!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
Mel is here!
Where do you see Joe McKnight coming off the board?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
I would say for McKnight, probably, third round. I have him going to Minnesota in the third round, because they need a RB to compliment Peterson. I thought second round, but RBs tend to slide. At one point in his career, I thought he could be a first rounder. He has a ton of talent. He's an impressive runner, but a little inconsistent. Instinctive. Excellent hands. A lot of speed. Very athletic. He needs to show that he can stay away from injury. He has first round talent and if you can get him in the third round, that's a nice pickup.
Cody Lynn, IN [via mobile]
If Bradford isn't taken at No.1, who takes him?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I think he's going No. 1. I think that's an assurance now. But I've said all along that someone could acquire him via trade. I'm not convinced that he will be a Ram. I think there are other possibilities out there. I think he definitely goes No. 1, but I'm not convinced St. Louis ends up with him.
Bill (Washington, DC)
Mel, from a general manager's perspective, is it a good thing or bad thing that the draft's format is now over a 3-day period?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I think it's good for everybody. Re-establishing your board. Focusing. Sitting back, having meetings with your scouts during normal hours. Not being up all hours and staying up all day. Now you have all day basically on Friday to get yourself together and prepare thoroughly for Day 2 and 3. Day 3 is more normal, but to get that break between Round 1 and Round 2 is big. They can get ahold of players and agents. When we had those marathon sessions, it takes a lot out of you. You're up early, you're up late. A lot of trades were made before Round 4. There will be a lot of time for teams to talk trades. You'll get some activity that you normally wouldn't have.
I know the Raiders desperately need help on the OL!! But taking an OT seems too logical. Would you be suprised if Al Davis picked CJ Spiller??
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I don't think you can do that. You have McFadden and Bush. I don't care if you had Eric Dickerson or the best backs in the NFL and you put them behind that OL, they're not going anywhere. That line has to improve. I don't think they go after Spiller. Clausen would be a great pick for them. They need OT. On the defensive side of the ball, they need some help there.
Mel, any clue as to where the colts may go in round one? Any chance of jerry Hughes there?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
He could. I think right now, maybe not. For my final projection, I think I'll have him off the board. Odrick might be there at the end of the first. Price. I could see them going DT. A sleeper is Linval Joseph from East Carolina.
How much sleep will you get Wed-Sun??
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
More now, because of the structure. You can have a little more time in the morning. I'll have some radio stuff to do in the morning. The draft will end late. For us, the calls usually are made at the end of the night, not in the morning. But you have May and June to sleep.
Clay D (NY)
Does Carlos D. out of Florida have the potential to be as good or better than Derrick Morgan?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
I don't think so. Morgan's a better player. He has a great work ethic. He has played a lot of college football. He plays the run well. He's not a great pass rusher, but a good one. Very consistent player. Runs hard. Very coachable. Very very fundamentally sound. I like the kid a lot. I think he'll be an excellent player in the league. I think Dunlap is a second rounder.
Colston (new york city)
do you think taylor mays is the second coming of a former cowboy safety roy williams??
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
I think he could be better. It will be interesting with Mays. He has a chance to be better than people think. Right now, he's being pushed back to the second round. As a second round pick with the physical gifts he has. He's a great character kid. Did he miss some tackles, take some bad angles? Yes. But the scheme had some to do with that. He wasn't as big time as some of his press clippings. But to say he's a second round pick, that's a nice pick for that team. Roy Williams was a first round pick. But he wasn't good in coverage. I think Mays could be better than him in coverage.
Javier Arenas (Tuscaloosa)
Hey Mel, what teams out there are looking for a solid corner, and excellent punt returner?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
You are that. One of the best pure football players in this draft. Not very tall. I'll say Tennessee in the third round; Arizona in the third; Detroit in the third. Those would be some of the teams. I think he's a solid third rounder.
Mel, What's the difference b/w pierre-paul and Jammal Andersen? Seems to me both were/are physical freaks, had one good year. Personally i'd rather have Graham, a more proven player than the potential. Falcons don't need another bust at DE...
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Pierre-Paul has better upside. Jamal Anderson didn't have the pass rush. Pierre-Paul has superior pass rushing ability. He could be a sack artist. He has natural pass rush instincts. His upside is huge. He's not where he wants to be now, but he has big upside. Anderson went in the top 10, Pierre-Paul will go in the middle of the first.
hey mel, do you think the bears will spend the majority of there draft alternating between selecting a safety and lineman? or do you see them looking for a another receiver later in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
They're going to look at FS, CB. Two defensive backs will be a part of their draft. Also, their OL. 3 of their 5 positions are set. Williams, Kreutz and Garza. There's a OG and OT issue. From what I understand, they're very happy with their WRs. Maybe add another RB, FS, CB, OL.
What center, if any, would be available in the second round that could start this year for the Broncos?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I don't think any. The only one you could project is Jon Asamoah. Or Shawn Lauvao, Joe Hawley. Those are three guys that are G/C types. The centers after Pouncey are JD Walton and Ted Larson. But I don't think the next center goes until the 5-6 round after Pouncey.
Cayden (Neptune Beach, FL)
Where do you feel Riley Cooper will land in the draft?? I feel he could be an absolute steal in the 4th!! Great size and ran a 4.52....
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
I think 3-4 round. He could go as high as the 3rd. Buffalo, Atlanta, San Diego, Cincinnati.
Percent chance that dallas trades with denver to pickup dez bryant at WR ? What does it cost them ?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I don't think anything would surprise me. But that would be a huge jump. Todd and I did the first round projection and we had him at 25 to Baltimore. Does Denver take him at 11? Pittsburgh at 18? Cincinnati at 21? But he could be there for Baltimore. If Dallas can trade up, they might not have to go all the way up to 11. Jumping up to 11 is very difficult and you have to give up a lot.
Adam (East Lansing, MI)
Now that the Lions traded Ernie Sims away, when do the Lions address this need in the draft? or do they even address it in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
They have other needs. They need a CB, OT. Suh is going to Detroit at No. 2, because he's an upgrade over what they have. If you go Suh, then you have to go OT, CB and they have to draft a RB in the first three rounds. They traded Sims because he was going to be a free agent after this season. That's why they traded him.
What's your gut feeling about the possibility of the Browns making a deal for the #1 pick??
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
7-1 is a big jump. If you go from 7 to 1, but what about St. Louis. What if they lost the chance to get Clausen? They have to get a QB. You can't drop to 7. That would be a drop that would put you in danger of getting someone else. If you can get Clausen at 7 that's a great move. What they have to be careful of is that they come out of this draft with a QB. Just because we have Bradford, Clausen, McCoy as the top three, it doesn't mean every team likes all three. If you wait until the second round to get McCoy, who says he doesn't go in the late first round. They like Bradford and Clausen.
Benjamin (The Colony, TX)
I'm seeing Trent Williams projected #6 overall. That would make three OU picks in the top-6! (assuming Bradford and McCoy go 1 and 3 as planned) When was the last time you can remember three picks from one school going so high in the draft? (at least top-10)
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Two of the players from OU didn't play at all - Gresham and Bradford. OU didn't get what they thought they would this season. It's amazing that they have all of these prospects. Williams, at 313 pounds ran a 4.81 at the combine. That's amazing speed. You're thinking about guys like TEs running in the 4.8s. 34.5 vertical. He needs to work harder in the weight room in the offseason. A number of the OTs did 30+ reps and he didn't. You definitely want 25 or more and Williams only did 23. Anthony Davis did only 21.
If Clausen drops, do you see any team trading up from the second round into the mid-late first round to draft him
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
I don't think he's dropping. I thought maybe after the Redskins traded for McNabb, that would hurt him. But the question is, do the Redskins sitll look at a QB? That's the big question. Do they still have an interest at No. 4? McNabb won't have them drafting No. 4. He'll have them at worst 8-8. This might be their best chance in a while to get an elite QB.
What have scouts been saying about Snead after his announcement of being eligible for the draft? Does he have a realistic shot of getting drafted in the first 2 days?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
No. Not in the first two days. That's only until the end of round 3. He's a 5-7 rounder. It wouldn't shock me if he went undrafted. I was shocked that he came out. He only completed 54.5% of his passes. He threw 20 TDs, but threw 20 INTs as well. When he came in as a third-year sophomore. 56.3 percent was the best he finished then. We all remember what he did in the bowl game when he threw for 3 TD passes and 292 yards. But overall, he didn't have great numbers. Accuracy is an issue. He can look rattled when he's pressured. But he's 6-3, 220. He is a good athlete. He'd be a nice 6-7 round pick, but that's it.
Valerie (Agrestic, Ca)
How will Anthony McCoy's positive drug test effect his draft stock?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
He had been sliding prior to that. When I looked at him, I had him in the fourth round. His film grades were not that strong. He proved to be a big play TE at USC. He's a long strider. Lacked consistency. When you looked at him, we'll see how his blocking will be. He's a great kid. Great athlete. Runs well. Very good body control. Very athletic. I think a fourth round pick, this might push him down a little bit, but he's always been a Day 3 guy.
Mel, why are so many in the NFL not higher on Clausen? Doesnt his game-film speak for itself?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
You can't tell people who to like and not to like. They have to make up their own minds. I don't have any disrespect for people with that opinion. Todd and I have debated him. There are others who think he'll be just average. But I disagree. I've stated for a couple of months now. I'll stay strong in my opinions and they will stick to their opinions. I think he'll have an excellent pro career. I think he'll go somewhere in the top 10.
Baily, California [via mobile]
Mel, where do you have Jahvid Best going?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
I think second round. He's not that far from Spiller. But where Spiller finished the season and went into the draft process strong, Best had that concussion and couldn't participate in some things. But had he been able to, I think he'd be right up there. Their computer numbers are very similar, height, weight, speed. They're both versatile. Great kids. I think Best goes in the second round. There are a lot of teams that will have an interest in Best in the second.
hi mel, your take on what the jags do round 1?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I keep thinking Spiller. I think they want a complement to MJD. They need another offensive weapon, especially in that division. Houston and Indy both have a lot of offense. When you look at Jacksonville, his punt and kick return skills help them. Great runner and receiver out of the backfield. Seattle, Giants, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston. I think he goes in the 10-12-15 area.
You mentioned that you didn't think Bradford would be a Ram, who do you think will end up with him? Browns, Redskins, Seahawks...?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
You have to think about teams that look at him as the guy. Seattle, Cleveland, Oakland, Buffalo, Washingon. Any one of those teams.
Any Ivy League prospects this year, Mel?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
Yeah, there are. A DT out of Brown. David Howard. 6-3, 290. He came out of Maryland. Won the state title in the discus. He didn't play for Brown as a freshman. He joined as a sophomore. This past season, he had a nice year overall. He's not a sack guy. He's quick. He has the ability, work ethic that can get it done. He's not yet where he needs to be, but he has some skills. More than likely a priority free agent.
Mel, since it is very likely Berry may be gone at #7, do you still feel the Browns are getting good value if they choose to go with E. Thomas? If Berry is gone, do you see them going in another direction other than safety? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
I think there's a chance that Berry could be there. It would be a great pick for them. I think he is the 3rd best player in the draft. It's a little high for Thomas. When you're picking that high, you pick a guy in your top 7. I have Earl Thomas at 10. At that point, you want to get a top player. CJ Spiller could be a pick for them too. Dez Bryant. Cleveland is a tough team to figure. Todd and I don't agree on a lot, but we both agree that Cleveland is tough to figure out.
Hey Mel, If the raiders where to draft clausen would that mean dumping russell ?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I don't know what they'd do with Russell. That's a possibility. He wouldn't have a future with the team if they take Clausen. Gradkowski, Boller Frye and Russell, you have four QBs, but you don't really have any. Clausen would give them that fire. Leadership and that hates to lose mentality.
Robert (Baton Rouge, LA)
Who's the first LSU player to come off the board?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I would say Brandon LaFell, middle of Round 2 to Denver, if they don't take Dez Bryant. Then Chad Jones and Al Woods and Charles Scott.
What do you see the Seahawks doing at 6 and 14? I think one of these picks have to be an offensive lineman. The other? Eric Berry at 6? or CJ Spiller at 14? Could they possibly draft Joe Haden or Dez Bryant at 14?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I have them taking Trent Williams at 6 and Morgan at 14. DE, OT. Clausen could be in the discussion too.
Mel what chance do you see Rolando McClain being around when the GIANTS pick @ 15?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
The only team that would take him ahead of them is Denver. Put him next to DJ Williams at ILB. That's the only other team that you'd be fearful of taking him.
Does it make more sense for the 49ers to trade up and get a better quality OT or to trade back to the Eagles spot maybe and get a 2nd tier OT and another pick (or at least an earlier pick) in the 2nd round?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
Where they're picking, they're just in the fringe of being in the second tier. Anthony Davis might be the last OT there in that first group. Rodger Saffold in the late first round, but there is a gap between Davis and Saffold. Okung, Williams, Bulaga and Davis are in that top group. Joe Haden, Spiller, Jackson, Wilson are other guys they could look at. CB and RT are their biggest needs.
jeremy (Va) [via mobile]
Are there any V-Tech players you think could go in the first round this year?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
No. The first VT player should probably be Jason Worilds. He'll be a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. He didn't play this year as well as two seasons ago. Cam Chancellor is another kid that could go in the fourth round area.
Brian (Baton Rouge)
Do you think the saints will take a linebacker in the 1st round and if so who?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
If they want a LB in the first round, they'll probably look at Sean Weatherspoon. If they don't go there, then they could go for a DE or LB.
Tim Tebow - Where's he going? Vikings??
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
He could. In fact, when I do my final projection tomorrow, I may go with Tebow to Minnesota. You think about Jackson, Rosenfels and Favre, I think he could go to the Vikings. I had him at Buffalo at 41, but I may elevate him to the late first to Minnesota. It will be interesting to see if at the end of Thursday before we finish for the night, if his name is called. I wasn't excited about Taylor Mays in my last projection. So, I think I might go with Tebow and then them getting a CB in the second. Maybe one of the first non-D-IA players from Indiana (Pa.) - Akwasi Owusu-Anash.
Dave (Milwaukee, WI)
Which receiver in this draft do you feel has the most impressive game tape?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
That's a good question. I would say game film wise, Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota. I'll also say Taylor Price, Jordan Shipley, David Reed, Riley Cooper. A major college sleeper is Carlton Mitchel. A non-IA player is Andre Roberts.
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
Another guy - Dezmon Briscoe from Kansas.
Were you higher on McFadden a few years ago, than you are on Spiller??
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
They're about the same. McFadden was versatile, but Spiller is a dynamic pass receiving option and dynamic return man, punts and kicks. Spiller's the best all-purpose back to come out since Reggie Bush. Bush has a Super Bowl ring. One of the reasons they did win was because of his versatility. I said all along that even when he wasn't making plays, teams were focusing in on him. That's what Spiller will do.
Trevor (Dallas, TX)
Where do you see Jordan Shipley fitting in? A Wes Welker type on a good team, or a punt returning specialist?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
He didn't run great at the combine. His combine speed was 4.6. He had injuries. He basically missed his first two years. He had a knee injury in 2004. Missed all of 2005. He had six years at Texas. He'll drop a ball every now and then because he's looking to run with it. He has a lot of Wes Welker in him. And remember, Welker went undrafted. I think he's a third rounder.
Garland (Ionia, MI)
Mathew Stafford or Jimmy Clausen?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
Actually, I had Stafford slightly ahead of Clausen and Bradford. If I had to rank them right now, Stafford, Sanchez, Clausen, Bradford. And their grades went just like that.
Will Kindle be there at 22 for the Patriots?
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
I have him there at 22. It's not inconceivable that Atlanta at 19, if they look at him as a 4-3 end. Tennessee at 16 could look at him. Miami at 12. When he worked out for people, his weight was up. He's 6-3, 250. He has exactly what you're looking for from a physical standpoint. If he'd had played as well at the start of the season as he finished, I think he would have been a top 10 pick. So it's not inconceivable that he goes 12 to Miami. I think Miami's the team to worry about snatching him away.
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
I appreciate everybody's loyalty all year. We started this thing back in August. We'll do our wrap up chat on Monday.