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 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:01 PM)
We're getting Mel!
Mel Kiper (3:01 PM)
The first round projection is out. It came out today. We're here until 3:30!
If you are the Titans and AJ Green is sitting there at 8- given there other needs- can you really pass on him? Wouldnt he be a gem on the other side of Britt and really open the field for CJ2K?
Mel Kiper (3:03 PM)
I don't think he'll be there. I don't see him on the board at that point. They're a team that needs to solidify the QB position. That's their biggest issue. DT is a need area. The interior OL is an issue. I don't think Green will be there. I can't see him getting past Cleveland at 6. Green is my third highest rated player on my Big Board. But I think Von Miller would be a possibility.
Clay Defayette (New York)
What are the chances New England actually keeps both first round picks?
Mel Kiper (3:03 PM)
It depends on how the board unfolds. They could use a DE like J.J. Watt. They could use Leshoure. Torrey Smith. They have a lot of flexibility because of having 7 picks in the first four rounds.
Mel, with the Dolphins picking at 15 do you think they need a QB more than a RB?
Mel Kiper (3:05 PM)
Drafting a QB at that point, these are all developmental QBs. They will all take time. Are we all ready to kick Henne to the curb? He hasn't had that long. I thought he was inconsistent at Michigan and he's been inconsistent with Miami. I wasn't high on his as others, but I'm not ready to discard Henne. I think you build around him and give him a chance. They're going to have a new look backfield. A good place to start with would be Ingram.
Do the Lions have any chance at getting Prince at 13?
Mel Kiper (3:06 PM)
I would doubt it, because of Dallas needing a QB as much as they do. I think it would be difficult of him sliding down to them. Aaron Williams, Brandon Harris, you'd be reaching for those two there. But I think Akeem Ayers would be a good pick for them there.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What should the Raiders target in the draft?
Mel Kiper (3:08 PM)
They're an interesting team. First, they don't have any first round pick. They traded that for Seymour. They're in a position now where they have to hope that Heyward-Bey develops at WR. They have to figure out what they're doing at QB. They could take the best available player with their pick. Their secondary, depending on the Nnamdi situation is a pretty deep group.
Jon C (San Francisco)
With the 49ers (lack of) quarterback situation, is this something they will likely address with thier 1st round pick? If so, who would they opt for?
Mel Kiper (3:09 PM)
They don't have to take a QB. There are other opportunities out there. They could go with a young QB or get a pass rusher. That's why I think Robert Quinn from UNC is a guy that they could look at there, if they want to pass up the developmental QB. None of these QBs will be able to step in from Day 1.
If Fairley goes #1, why would Denver take a CB when DL is a higher need?
Mel Kiper (3:11 PM)
Their defense is horrible in general. They've used some picks on defensive players before. With the Champ Bailey situation, they need a player like Patrick Peterson. They took Ayers, but he has not played up to the level that you expected. But Peterson upgrades the secondary and has return skills. And you can't transform a horrible defense into a top 10 group with one pick. They need help at DL, LB. You have to take the best player on the board and I think that will be Peterson.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MK: In your Mock 1.0, you have the Cards selecting Blaine Gabbert at 5, with AJ Green on the board. Given that rookie salaries will likely be less this year than in the past, wouldn't the Cards be in a GREAT position to trade down? There are many teams with needs at WR that might like to move to 5, like the Browns (even at 6 they might cut a deal to prevent Az from dealing the pick to someone else), Skins, Rams, Patriots to name a few.
Mel Kiper (3:13 PM)
It depends on how these players go through this evaluation process. I have 21 underclassmen in the first round, which means they can't go to the postseason all star games. No one has accurate measurables on those guys. So combine workouts and personal workouts will be very important to them. You'll see a lot of guys moving up and down before the draft.
What do the Bucs need more of, offense or defense in the draft?
Mel Kiper (3:14 PM)
I think the Bucs could be in a position where they don't have to sacrifice the best players to satisfy the best need. Ryan Kerrigan could be there as a guy that they could use. WR is an area they could address. CB as well. If they can get a pass rushing DE like Kerrigan, you can add him to the two young DTs they drafted last year.
Do you really think Von Miller can be a 4-3 OLB and do you consider LB to be the Titans biggest need on D over DT and S?
Mel Kiper (3:15 PM)
I think he could be. I don't think we want to lock guys into one thing or another. I think he'd be more ideally suited to a 3-4. But I've seen guys who were pegged as 3-4 OLB adjust to a 4-3. But Tennessee does have a key need at OLB.
What position will the Redskins target in the first round?
Mel Kiper (3:16 PM)
They have to look at a QB. That's why I think Cam Newton would make sense. WR is another area. They have no big time WR. And on defense, they have needs at LB and DB. They will probably look at RB late in the draft. But QB is their most pressing need.
Justin (Omaha, NE)
What do you think Green bay biggest need is? Do you think they will go offensive line or a 3-4 linebacker like Akeem Ayers?
Mel Kiper (3:18 PM)
You have to credit Dorsey and Thompson in Green Bay with a tremendous job of securing tremendous talent. They don't have a lot of guys who were originally high Packers draft choices. I think the OL could use a OG or OT. A OLB. DE.
Anyone you see as a possiblity to move up with good workouts?
Mel Kiper (3:20 PM)
Great question. The hot guys, I think after the combine workouts will be: Nate Solder, Colorado; Christian Ballard, Iowa; Tyron Smith, USC; Torrey Smith, Maryland.
J. P (AFG)
What are the Ravens biggest needs going into the 2011 season?
Mel Kiper (3:21 PM)
I think a speed WR. Fast LB. Also, they could use a CB. You have to think about a CB/S. Those are some of the areas they could look at. Brandon Harris, Rahim Moore, Torrey Smith are guys that they could look at.
The Jets will need a pass rusher in the worst way, but so does everyone else. So, they either reach for ____________ or select _________(I'm thinking OLB or S).
Mel Kiper (3:23 PM)
If they want a 3-4 pass rushing DE to be the next Ellis, they could look at Wilkerson from Temple. They could look at Justin Houston, who could be a 3-4 OLB with the Jets. They could also look at Ballard from Iowa. Or a FS like Rahim Moore.
Mel, how many of the receivers that will be in the first 1-3 rounds of the draft are NFL ready that include Jones, Smith, etc.? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (3:24 PM)
I think a couple of guys that are under the radar like: Leonard Hankerson; Secil Shorts; Vincent Brown; Matt Szczur; Greg Little.
Will the Chiefs continue to be a threat in the AFC west next season?
Mel Kiper (3:25 PM)
A young interior OL, a center would help them be a threat. A true WR threat to complement Bowe. A 3-4 OLB. An upgrade at NT like Paea. They could look at a Mike Pouncey if he's still there.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
Which position is going to cause the most "reaches", a position in high demand, but short supply? QB? O-Lineman?
Mel Kiper (3:26 PM)
There is always going to be a slight reach in this draft at OT. There will be a drop off at CB, so there will be some CBs pushed up because of the drop off after the top two. There could be some reaches at WR.
Matt (Bufffalo, NY)
Mel, how high could you see Newton getting with an outstanding workout? If he interviews well could he get into the top 5?
Mel Kiper (3:28 PM)
Arizona is a team at 5 that has to decide what they're doing at QB. I don't think he gets higher than that. Tennessee has a QB issue. Washington. San Francisco. I think 5 could the the ceiling. But it depends on how he handles the process between now and late April. The workout, interviews and convincing an organization that he can be the face of the team. Not just Newton, but Mallett, Gabbert, all of these guys. Those underclassmen will be looked at very closely. As will Jake Locker. They have some convincing to do.
I think the Falcons are going to need an OL, who do you think will be out there that's worth their while?
Mel Kiper (3:29 PM)
When you look at OL, I don't see where they're picking at 27 there will be one there. I think they need a speed WR. Torrey Smith also gives you kick returning ability. Pass rushing DE is another place they could go. I think they're further up the line in need.
Mel Kiper (3:30 PM)
The first round projection is up. I updated the top 5s at each position. We'll be back next Wednesday!