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. On Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon ET, Kiper co-hosts "Dari and Mel" with Dari Nowkhah. He also appears on ESPN Radio's College GameDay as well as SportsCenter and on ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Kiper Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
We've got Mel!
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
I hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable summer. I'm glad to be back on Wednesdays at 1. We'll be here until May.
Crabman (Hunt Valley, MD)
Great to have you back chatting. Is there anything Landry Jones can do this year to overtake Andrew Luck as the #1 QB in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
It's great to be back and participating in these chats. It's going to be very difficult to overtake Luck. He's going to have a Peyton Manning type grade. And Jones has the chance to be a top 10 pick in the first round. Can Jones get up into the mix? Maybe. He's very accurate. I won't say he's got Sam Bradford accuracy, but it's close. He's more confident than he's ever been. He just doesn't miss many throws. He has incredible accuracy. He has a chance to be one of the best QBs in the country. He was at his best at the end of last season. I think he's the 10th best player overall. Obviously, the third highest QB behind Luck and Barkley. He's battling Barkley to see who is the second QB taken.
Who is are the 3 best Running Backs in NCAA regardless of class.
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
Marcus Lattimore is No. 1. He doesn't fumble the football. Just a great player. Very reliable. Hardest worker on the team. Very good hands. Strong, powerful legs. Mature kid. Blocks well. He's a definite Heisman Trophy candidate. No. 2, Trent Richardson. Knile Davis from Arkansas would have been right up there, but he's out for the year. He'll be a fourth year junior next year. LaMichael James from Oregon is probably No. 3.
Mel with the additions that the Falcons made this offseason do they finally have what it takes to win the NFC and get into the super bowl or will it be another one and done from them in playoffs??
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
I think it will be Atlanta or New Orleans in the South this year. A lot of what Atlanta needs to do offensively will surround Julio Jones and what he does consistently opposite White. They have a good chance. It's a flip of the coin.
What's your draft grade on BSU QB Kellen Moore? Have enjoyed your draft analysis for 25 years.
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
Great college QB. The big question is can he make up for his lack of ideal size. He's only about 5-11.5. That's where durabilty will be a concern. But he's smart. Has a great work ethic. He just has a great knowledge of the game. His arm has gotten stronger. Throws the deep ball better every year. But he has to overcome the lack of ideal size. If he were 6-2, 215, he'd be a first round draft choice.
Who is your picks to play for bcs title?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
I think Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma are the three best teams. FSU and Oklahoma play in Tallahassee on Sept. 17. That will be a huge game. Alabama is right there. They have a team that's coming back. My pick right now is Alabama and FSU for the BCS title and FSU winning.
Scooter, minny [via mobile]
Do u think ponder will be a good Quarterback 4 the vikings?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
Ponder is an incredibly smart QB. I think he'll be a smart QB. I don't know if he has great upside. The thing about him is he's an underrated athlete. Great football IQ. I compare him to Pennington. If you liked Chad, you'll like Ponder, I said it on draft day.
Tyler (New York)
Who's the #1 player to come out of Notre Dame in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
I would say the most highly rated player Manti Te'o, ILB. He's instinctive. Sideline to sideline speed. Tremendous leader. He's big time, a quality player. On the offensive side, Michael Floyd. A lot of talent and ability. Imposing size. Good route runner. He could be a first rounder too. Te'o is a true junior and Floyd a senior.
How many teams would not take Luck with the first pick?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
Good questions. Let's go with the teams that would, that would be a smaller group. Buffalo would. Miami. I would say there are probably 10-12 that would definitely take him. Some of those teams have QBs. Cincinnati has Andy Dalton, but he would have to have a great rookie year to not pick Andrew Luck.
Mel, give us your take on Terrelle Pryor. Does he end up playing QB in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I don't think so. I've said it all along. And I said it about Tim Tebow being an H-back. I think Pryor can be an excellent receiving option. The Raiders drafted Derrick Ramsey in the 5th round in 1978 out of Kentucky. He was an outstanding QB and was a productive TE. Ronald Curry was a QB and was a receiver. They have a history of doing this. Pryor could be a good receiving option. The question is would he be open to a position change?
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
What do you think of Colt McCoy's progress? Is he a genuine NFL starter?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
I think he's devloping into that. This is the year that Cleveland hopes that he is the man for the job. They hope this is a vastly improved team, maybe even borderline playoff team. I like what I've seen from Little, from UNC. He didn't play last year. You love what you see from Phil Taylor. They have some young pieces. Jason Pingston shows promise. Their draft seems like it shows some promise. Maybe the team pushes to get into the wild card scenario.
Is Tyrann Mathieu the heir apparent to Patrick Peterson? What draft grade do you give him if he declares?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
He's a good player. He's only a sophomore, so he's young. He'll be wearing No. 7. Patrick Peterson gave him that number. He's a talented kid. Very skilled player. He's only about 5-9, 180, but tremendously fast. He's the fastest player on LSU. He and Patrick Peterson are good friends. Also a very good punt returner. This is a team that lost Peterson, but still has Morris Claiborne and Mathieu, for one of the best tandems in the country.
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
The only difference between him and Peterson is size. Mathieu is 5-9, 180 and Peterson was 6-0, 219.
Steve (Los Angeles)
Hey Mel, Great stuff, Question: Do you think Barkley skips his senior year and enters the draft or does he stay and try to make a BCS run since USC's 2 yr ban will be done?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
A lot hinges on how he plays. USC has some talent. They have a great WR tandem. They have two young weapons there. If Barkley stays, he'll still have them. Kalil at LT. He's surrounded by some pretty good players. They have a true freshman Aundrey Walker in competition to start at OT.
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
Barkley has great maturity. Good leader. Solid arm strength. Good accuracy. Depends on the year he has. Spotlight games: Notre Dame, Stanford, Oregon. Because of the schedule, USC has a good chance to start off well. 4 of their first 5 are at home and their first 7 are very winnable. They should have a chance to put up wins early.
Nate (Fayetteville, AR)
What do you think of Tyler Wilson? You buying the "next Cam Newton" talk?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
No. That kind of talent. He's your drop back pocket passer. He has some mobility. While he can throw from the pocket, he will be the guy that can make some throws on the move that Ryan Mallett couldn't make. He doesn't have the same arm strength or size. He's 6-2, 215. He will give them the ability to extend plays and throw on the run. He's not the next Cam Newton. He doesn't have Knile Davis to lean on in the running game, but does have the best WR corps in the country, potentially.
Chase (Dallas, TX)
Texas A&M's offense is stacked this year. How many potential first rounders do you think they have?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
Jeff Fuller, Sr., WR; Gray, Sr. RB. That would be it for first rounders. A guy on defense to watch, a very solid player, Tony Jerod-Eddie, a senior DE. They have two sophomore OTs and a junior center, so their OL has some young talent there.
What do you think of DHB two years later? Great sprinter and pass blocker, but terrible wide receiver?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
I wouldn't say terrible, but he's still a work in progress. He has to be more consistent in all areas. He can run as fast as any WR in the NFL. He's an imposing threat if he can ever be consistent. He will probably be a guy that always drops some balls. But if the big plays are there, you can drop a ball every now and then. He's got to be a guy that can open up opportunities and be a fear factor vertical threat.
Kevin Casteel (Marietta, GA)
Georgia's hardest two games are arguably their first two. Is this disadvantage, or could catching Boise and USC early be an advantage?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
South Carolina is a very very good football team. They'll be hard to handle. Georgia has one of the best kicking combos in football at kicker and punter. They have four true freshmen that will have an impact. Cordy Glenn moves from guard to LT. How does he handle that spot? Who replaces AJ Green? King, the junior, will have a lot asked of him at WR. Defensively, they have a CB tandem that's impressive. A very good secondary. They look like they'll get some pass rush from their OLB. They have to stay healthy. There is some depth issues at some positions. I think they beat Boise State and they lose to South Carolina. IF they do win both of those games, they'll be 7-0 going to the Florida game.
Mel what 2 teams will play in the Super Bowl this year?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
I went with Green Bay and New England. After watching the third week of preseason, it changed my thinking a little bit. I think New England wins the AFC East. Pittsburgh wins the AFC North. AFC South is Houston. AFC West, San San Diego. The two wild cards will be the Jets and Baltimore. In the NFC: East, Philadelphia; North, Green Bay; South, New Orleans; West, St. Louis. Wildcards: Atlanta, Detroit. Super Bowl will be Green Bay over New England.
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
The team that I'm higher on now than last week is the Steelers. They'll be a tough team to handle. I had them in the 6th spot overall, now I've got them in the third spot. In the AFC, after NE, I'd go Houston, Pittsburgh. In the NFC, Philly and New Orleans after Green Bay. I think Houston could be the surprise team this year.
Brian (College Station)
Speaking of A&M...they just announced they will withdrawl from the Big XII Conference. What are your thoughts about joining the SEC and the effect it will have on the rest of the country.
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
We heard about the SEC and all of the different changes and other teams leaving. I just think it's bad for college football when you have instability. TCU has been in 5 different conferences. They were in the Southwest for roughly 70 years, the WAC for 5, then Conference USA for 4, Mountain West for 7 and now the Big East. There's a program that's been in 5 different conferences. I like having historical and traditional rivalries, but it's hard to do that with the instability. I think college football needs to gain some measure of stability, which has been seriously lacking. It hasn't impacted the popularity of the sport.
Does Michael Dyer for Auburn have the talent to become a first round pick? Does Onterio McCalebb have the size to play in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
Dyer has the talent to possibly be that. He's an inside the tackles guy at Auburn. McCalebb is the outside threat. Dyer is 5-9, 210, with low center of gravity and between the tackles guy. Hard to get a hold of. Down the road, maybe. He's only a sophomore.
Colts aren't getting much love in regular season/playoff predictions. I'm not saying it's wrong, but you don't even have them in the playoffs. May I ask why?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
The arrow is more pointing down right now because their team has suffered some errosion of talent. If Manning isn't on this team, they go from a playoff contender to a team competing for the first draft pick. Houston is the upstart team that might finally be ready to take over this division. Houston has a chance to seize control and never look back.
David (New York)
how good can nicks be this year? top 5 wide reciever?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
He snatches that ball. He's got a physical powerful frame. Manning needs to be accurate. This team doesn't have a lot of big name talent. As a team, they are a non-descript team. He's one of the main weapons on the team right now.
Is Suh a "dirty player" is your eyes? Anything different than college?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
When you're being ferocious and nasty and you play football as a throwback to the way football used to be played. QBs used to get thrown around before the personal fouls. Suh brings back memories of the great defensive players that I grew up with, Dick Butkus, Bob Lily and all of the great players that played the game. Basically the job of the DE and LB back then was to get to the QB and hit him hard. What the NFL has done is eliminate the aggressive the QB will have to deal with. It's important to keep the 32 starting QBs on the field and healthy, but you can go too far.
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
Suh has to calm it down a little bit, because of the game now. It's not the 60s and 70s. He's facing fines if you go too far with it. I think it's great for the game to have someone playing as hard as he is. The sack used to be a great exciting play. Now it can be a penalized play.
Alex (Long Island, NY)
Who should we keep an eye out for out in Happy Valley this year? Anybody you see being a first rounder this year? Next?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
No, no first rounders. From the senior class, Devon Still, DT. He's 6-4, 305 and will probably be their highest rated player. The best senior offensive player is Moye, the big WR. Very experienced. Came on late last year. The best over player on the team is Michael Mauti, junior LB. He's all over the field. Very instinctive.
Phil D. (Madison, WI)
Any shot of the Chiefs winning back-to-back Divisional titles, or is it San Diego's to lose?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
San Diego has a better football team, I think, mainly because of Phillip Rivers. Some of the things they did get them back into the mix. They need Ryan Mathews to step it up at RB. I think this is San Diego's year. They gave some games away last year with special teams. Their kicking games were horrible. They got some productivity from their draft choices in the preseason. KC will be in the mix for a wildcard berth. The wild card possibilities in the AFC: Jets (or New England), Miami, Baltimore (or Pittsburgh), Cleveland, Indy, KC.
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
It was great to be back chatting and great to have football starting this week. I wish the NFL was starting this weekend, but we still have another week. We'll be back next week Wednesday at 1 to talk about the first week of the college season and preview Week 1 in the NFL.