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!
Has Barkley moved ahead of Jones as the #2 qb in your mind?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
It's awfully close. The big game for Jones is the Ok St. game. It's pivotal. No All-Star Games for him so if he is coming out that is his last chance to show his skills. Barkley is right there. They were close when the season began actually. It all comes down to Dec. 3. If they both come out early the will both be battling for that second QB pick behind Luck. Some will like Barkley and some will like Jones.
when teams consider drafting Brandon Weeden and they look at his age, is that a positive or negative fact about him?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
It's a negative. A lot of QBs in the NFL right now are right around his age or even younger. He turns 29 in October. A 29 year old rookie?! Most first and second round QBs are out of the league by the time they are 29 because they didn't work out. Just think about the advantages he had in college because of his age ... he had an edge in college.
Where do you rank Robert Griffin III on the list of avaliable qbs in next year's draft? And do you see him as a Michael Vick type player?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
He's not Michael Vick. Not as fast or difficult to handle. Vick is a tremendous running threat. Griffin will run when he has to but he's not the same threat. His ability as a passer shouldn't be underrated. He's a heck of a passer. The issue is height.
How much stock to NFL teams put into the draft history of colleges? For example, does the fact that USC has so many highly drafted QBs that have completely bombed in the NFL hurt the stock of Matt Barkley?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
Won't hurt Barkley at all. Every school has guys who fail. Carson Palmer has had a nice career. Leinart dropped some now he has a chance to see what he can do. Sanchez was high and then low. It all changes and every school goes through it.
can you see the packers losing on thursday?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
There is a chance for sure. Especially the way Stafford is throwing the ball. They have really gotten the run game going. The line will have to protect Stafford though. The Packers have their site set on being 16-0. The Lions just haven't put a full game together yet. How many times have they been behind? They just can't seem to string together four quarters. You can't do that against Green Bay. If you don't play four good quarters, you aren't coming back in the fourth against Aaron Rodgers.
How does this years crop of FS look?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
Not bad. It's not a bad group. The position overall isn't great ... no first round safeties .. but there are some good second round possibilties.
Joe (San Antonio)
Wasn't one of the knocks on Rodgers coming out of Cal that Jeff Tedford had mentored Akili Smith and Joey Harrington so people thought that Rodgers was just a system QB?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
That's true. But see how that worked? That dispells any truth about labeling guys by their college or coach.
dennis (san jose)
How many points is it worth for the Team having to travel across country on 3 days rest like the 49ers vs. Ravens?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
It's a big deal and gives the Ravens a heck of an advantage. When the Ravens had to make that long trip to Seattle off a Sunday night they lost. For San Fran on a short week it will affect them. That's just the way it is and they have to deal with it. But don't shed any tears for them. They can lose this game and still be in good shape.
Justin Blackmon (O St)
Will I be the first WR drafted come April?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Definitely. No question. Not even close.
Big John (Santa Rosa, CA)
What are your plans for Thanksgiving Mel? Are you working? What Thanksgiving games are you looking forward to most this season NFL or NCAA?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Arkansas-LSU is THE game. It has a chance to be one for the books. These teams always play back and forth games that go down to the wire. We've always wanted to see LSU's defense face a good offense and Arkansas has that. Arkansas is a very balanced team. Tyler Wilson has been lights out. It's a heck of an offense. Everybody wanted OK St. or Stanford against LSU but we're getting Arkansas instead and it's great.
Joe (San Antonio)
Do you think Patrick Witt of Yale has any chance to be drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
He's got some skills. I've watched him in several games and while he's playing at a low level of competition, he has some talent. He's probably an undrafted free agent. But he has a chance to get to a camp and show his skills.
Adam Charlotte, NC [via mobile]
Where does this year's defensive line prospects rank? Haven't heard much buzz about them
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
Not a lot of buzz because Quinton Coples hasn't been as dominant as we expected. Teams focus on him and not having coach John Blake there has hurt him. He was the one really getting Coples prepared and ready to play. Not having that influence has affected him. He has dropped down to around No. 8-10 and nobody else on defensive line is in that category for me.
Jeff F (Baton Rouge, LA)
Who's the better pro prospect? Tyler Wilson or Aaron Murray?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
Tyler Wilson. By a lot.
Zebron (Savannah, GA)
Quick question Mel, when Arkansas beats LSU, how much chaos will it create?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
Alabama, LSU and Arkansas are a jambalaya of BCS chaos. It will be a real debate. They have been lucky in past years, the BCS, that things fell right and it wasn't hard to define the two best teams. I root for chaos because I want a playoff. Doesn't look like we will have one for awhile but if Arkansas wins it will certainly create a huge controversy. The BCS loves the debate and discussion. They probably think it's great. The amount of people talking about college football is at an all time high so I guess they are laughing all the way to the bank.
Ben (Blacksburg VA)
What's the word on where David Wilson ranks among RB's if he leaves after this year? Is he better off coming back and going against next years RB class?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
He's a very talented kid. Very versatile with speed and athleticism. It's a strong Junior RB class. Richardson, James, Polk, Wilson, Monte Ball are my rankings... Ray Graham used to be in that top five. Those are the elite guys and they are all ahead of the seniors.
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
LaMar Miller would be in that mix as well but he is a third year sophomore ...
Jack (Edwardsville, IL)
Have you seen Andrew Lucks stock fall because of his so-so performance as compared to last year? Are there any qbs that rank up there with him now?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
Hasn't fallen at all. People try to say that to create a debate but his stock hasn't fallen at all. His grade will be as high as any QB since John Elway in my opinion.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Mel, where do you have Mychal Kendricks of Cal rated. He is tearing up the Pac 12!
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
He is. I've liked him all year. He's my second highest rated ILB. He's not a first or second round guy but is definitely a mid-round guy. The senior ILB group is not the best. He's first or second in that group. It's like the RBs .. all the top guys are juniors. Probably three first round Junior ILBs.
I haven't seen your "Big Board" but is Joe Adams from Arkansas on it? He is as talented as I've seen this year.
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
No. He's an excellent player and incredibly fast - 4.3 speed - but he has had some issues with dropping balls. Periods of inconsistency have to bother you with Adams.
Do you see Tyler Shoemaker from Boise State playing at the next level? Or are his numbers inflated because he plays with one of the best qb's in the country?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
For Shoemaker he has the size you are looking for and his straight line speed will probably surprise people. He's an excellent route runner, good hands, not flashy, consistent. He could end up being a late round possiblity.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Is there a common denominator between Bradford, Flacco, Freeman & Sanchez and the step backwards each has taken this season?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Bradford has played hurt. Don't put him in that group. And he didn't have his supporting cast. Flacco hasn't had Lee Evans pretty much the whole year. Two young TE's. Rookie WR's. Boldin isn't a vertical threat. OL in a state of flux. It's a lot of things that have impacted Flaaco. Some of the criticism on him has been really unfair. Freeman is a good QB. He's still young so I wouldn't worry about him too much. Sanchez doesn't have a great supporting cast either. Does he really have a great receiver? They don't have a great RB either. Where is the talent around him? The line has also been shaky, especially right tackle.
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
It's a pass happy league so we focus on the QB but they need help. Without help, they are very limited in how good they can be.
If Robert Woods leaves USC for the NFL does he make your first round mock draft?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
He can't leave. He's a true sophomore.
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Have to be there three full years to be draft eligible.
JeremyB666 (Kewadin, MI)
Do you see Denard Robinson of Michigan playing in the NFL at all? I could see him as a kick and punt returner.
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Yes, I think he could be a return man and a slot receiver. Certainly not a QB.
when does the clock strike midnight on the pumpkin that is Tim Tebow?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
Think about the Lions game ... or the 58 minutes of the Dolphins game. Horrible. Or the Jets outside of that last drive. 7 straight 3 and outs. Think about when he only completed 2 passes. If you really think about the games, there isn't much there. If you give Tebow an inch he will take a mile. You can't give him the ball late or he will will his team into the end zone. But you aren't always going to get that chance. He has a place on the field but just not as a starting quarterback.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
People are getting too wrapped up in the W-L record but that is decieving. It will only take you so far. Will the wins continue? No they will not.
How much of a concern are small hands on a quarterback? Will Colin Kaepernick have a hard time throwing in cold weather because of his small hands? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
There are QBs who have made it with small hands. You can't get too wrapped up in it. You'd like to have big hands with pretty much any position. Short arms on lineman is more of an issue than size of hands. Will it prevent him from being a good player? No I don't think so.
ron (salisbury, md.)
Don't you think Elway and Fox know this Tebow streak can't last? They have to prove it to the fans--the danger is they might keep winning with that improved D. Could paint themselves into a corner.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
They haven't painted themselves into a corner because this will all play itself out. You like to win, even if it's lucky. It just won't continue. A storm doesn't last forever. Maybe a few days. Not a month. They are catching the perfect storm right now in Denver. Elway was a great passing QB but I can't see how anyone would see a good passer in Tebow. This fad of an offense has worked some recently but it just can't last. All this winning has taken them out of the running for a Matt Barkley or Landry Jones. Think about that.
Gene Smith (Somewhere over the Bank)
Mel, think Gabbert is going to eventually pan out and define my term as the Jags GM?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
He has shown flashes. He has a strong arm and can move around. He has Jones-Drew but are his receivers great? His OL? His cast isn't great right now. We knew it would take some time coming out of that Missouri offense. He is really having to learn the NFL game. Missouri isn't the NFL. He just needs more time and patience to develop. I think next year he should make strides.
Thoughts on Jarius Wright?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I like him. He can fly. He can be counted on to be more consistent than most. Very good hands. Excellent after the catch. Good hands. Not the biggest receiver .. 5'10" range, 180 LB .. but he can fly. 4.3 speed. He can run right past people and instills fear.
Will (Boise, ID)
I understand that Kellen Moore is undersized, and not exactly what you would call an NFL Qb, but does he have a shot in the NFL. He has the intelligence, accuracy, and confidence under pressure. It's hard to have that high of a completion percentage when you rarely throw interceptions, and don't run either.
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
Remember the schedule.. Keenum is in the same situation. Their competition allows them to dominate. That's why Houston is unbeaten and Boise only one loss. The QBs at Boise have all lacked great physical ability. Moore is 5'11" and 190 lbs. NFL teams just won't put him high on the draft boards. Late round possibility? Sure. But his size will work against him.
Shu (The ATL)
Top three pass rushers and corners IYO....
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
My top pass rushers ... Quentin Coples will have to be a pass rushing DE in the NFL. He has the chance to be very good if coached up properly. He won't be Julius Peppers but he can be good. Another DE ... Andre Branch from Clemson. After that, Whitney Mercilus from Illinois. OLBs ... Ronnell Lewis from Oklahoma, Courtney Upshaw from Alabama, Bruce Irvin from West Virginia. Those are the main guys.
Your thoughts on Knile Davis?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
He's had the injury unfortunately so next year he will be a fourth-year junior. It will be interesting to see how he performs when healthy again but a shame they didn't have him this year. Imagine how much more dynamic they would be with him?
Alex (LA) [via mobile]
Do you see Dan Persa succeeding at the next level?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
Persa is a gritty, tough, competitive football player and will do anything not to lose. He came back from the injuries and has just battled. A great college QB. I wouldn't say he is a draftable entity for the NFL.
Why is Robert Griffen always looked at as a running qb? The reality of him is that he seems to be a really good qb who also is an elite athlete. Do you think that comparisons to Vick do him a disservice as the quality of his passing and decision making?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
Being compared to Vick is always a positive. No downside there. But with Griffin he's not used as a running QB. Let's just call him multi-dimensional. He's incredibly smart and very intelligent play. He's a fourth-year junior so if he wants to stay he can. He can throw the heck out of a football. He has one of the best WR corps in college football. Don't forget that.
If the Rams somehow get the #1 overall pick, Is there any scenario that they take Luck and trade Bradford?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
No. And they won't have the No. 1 pick. The Colts will have it and take Luck. If St. Louis was fortunate enough to have it they would probably trade it. If it were me I would take Luck. But it is a moot point now. They have 2 wins already.
What is the ceiling of Wil Gohlston? He has been a man among boys since his suspension.
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
With his pass rush ability and his youth and wingspan - 6'6 1/2" - he can be a guy who really gets on the radar and the guy you have to defend if you want to keep your QB off the ground. If Worthy comes back for another season ... Worthy inside and Gholston outside? That's a heck of a 1-2 punch. Two guys that would command attention. If Worthy does go back, D'Antoni will have a really good DL.
Joe (San Antonio)
Favorite type of pie?
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
Pumpkin! I eat it year round. It's not always easy to find in the summer months - a nice break in the action - but for the other 9 months out of the year it's pumpkin pie!
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
Thanks for all the great questions! Have a great Thanksgiving and we'll circle back next week to break down LSU-Arkansas and all the BCS madness! Take care!