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)
Do you think teams will stretch for a quarterback like in last year draft within the top 15 picks?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I'd be surprised. Ponder and Locker went higher than I thought and Dalton lower than I thought, he went 35. I could have seen Dalton at 14 and Ponder at 35. This year, I don't think there is anyone that could jump up that high. Ryan Tannehill has the injury now. Nick Foles. Osweiler. Weeden. I don't think any of those guys are first rounders. There is a chance that a Tannehill or Foles go in the late first round.
Will (New Jersey)
are there any haloti ngata types in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
I think there are a couple of guys that are in the mix to be like that: Dontare Poe, Memphis; Akiem Hicks, Regina Rams in Canada. Hicks went to LSU, didn't play for a year and went up to Canada. He's got talent, but he needs some coaching.
Darth Ditka (Sunny Florida)
Should the Bears trade up for Kendall Wright or stay put at #19?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
You look at their needs and it's WR, OT, CB, things like that. They could look at Wright, who could be there when they pick at 19. If not, Mike Adams at OT.
Thomas (Pitt Pa)
What are Philly's need in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
The biggest thing is MLB. That's why I have Luke Kuechley going there with the 15th pick. With Jackson, you don't know what his status will be, so that makes WR a need. DT. S. MLB is the No. 1 need. WR/S No. 2 and then DT.
Greg (New Orleans)
Why is Kirkpatrick falling? Thought he was right behind Claiborne?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
He still is right in that mix. Along with Janoris Jenkins. Dre had a good year overall. Supported the run. His coverage skills aren't where you need them to be. He's not the best man cover corner out there. Plus he had the off the field issue at the end of the season. I think he still goes in the middle of the first.
Is Detroits biggest need along the offensive line or in the defensive backfield? Do you see them trading down their first-roud pick at this point?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
Their needs are pretty equal. They have big needs at three spots. DB overall, particularly at CB. OT, LT. OLB. All pretty similar needs and close in priority. The thing will be who is there. Zach Brown at OLB. A CB like Kirkpatrick or Jenkins. LT, Mike Adams. All three needs are equal. You just take the best player at one of those spots.
How much of a chance does RG III have of surprassing Andrew Luck in the draft. I don't think the talent gap is as great as some believe. I think Luck's 6'4 240 frame that NFL teams loves so much is his only edge. I think both will be great pros.
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
He has a lot of edges. That's far from his only edge. It's how he goes about his business. He played in a pro offense. Had to make all of the checks, the audibles. Knowing what everyone's supposed to be doing. He's off the charts. His arm strength is underrated. He throws so effortlessly that people don't think he has the arm strength. And his mobility is underrated. He's not as fast as RGIII, but he is just as mobile. He can do some of the same things. There is a significant difference between the two. Back in August, there were some that were saying that RGIII would be a WR in the NFL. It's a clear, solid consensus on Luck. Luck would have gone ahead of Cam Newton if he had come out.
What do you think the Rams' top 3 draft picks should be?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
LT. You have Sam Bradford with the injuries to the shoulder. To keep him healthy and upright, you need a LT. And more weapons around him. A WR. On defense, they have to get a CB.
What do you think are Seattle's biggest needs at #11, and should they entertain trade offers to go back into later rd 1 and take Tannehill?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
The biggest thing is QB. They have to figure out what they're doing at QB. Improvement at the QB position. Upgrade. Jackson is not the answer. Whitehurst is not the answer. They need to upgrade the offense and take the next step or two. In the last few years, they've added three OL. At some point, you'd think they'd want to add some WR to the mix. They also need a DE, a pass rushing DE, another LB. But QB and DE are the top two with QB being the big thing.
Is Michael Floyd's draft stock tumbling due to his lack of participation at the senior bowl? What does he need to do at the combine to solidify himself as a mid-first round type guy?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
No, I don't think that's something that will make him plummet. I think he's the kind of guy that had a good year, a productive year. He caught some passes. You want to see him show some more aggressiveness. You want him to be the guy that wants to take over the game. He's in the top 25 on the Big Board. He's a mid to later first round pick.
Granted the New York Giants just won it all, but I know for a fact that they really need help on their offensive line and linebacker positions, what do they go with first?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
The thing about the Giants, the OL, particularly OT. They could use some OL help. Just another OL to compete with what they have. When healthy, their OL was OK. It's not a bad line, but they could use another OL to compete. They have a lot of numbers in the secondary, but they could use some depth. But they're picking 32, so you see who falls through.
Dan (New York)
Do you see RG3 dropping to the Redskins?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
No. I don't see any scenario where that would happen. Minnesota could change out of three. St. Louis at 2. I think he goes in a trade at 2 or 3. Washington could be interested in Peyton Manning. Miami may be interested in Matt Flynn. A couple of the teams in need of a QB could go that route.
What position do you think the Steelers address in the first round and what players match thier style of player at that point in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
They're a team that the No. 1 need is OT. Ben's been hit a lot. He had a lot of injuries to work through this year. You have to get the OL up to speed. This team revolves around Roethlisberger. The two most pressing are OL, OT or even OG, and then NT after that.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Bigger need for the Broncos - DT or pass catching TE?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
I'd say DT. The defense was so bad. The offense had big issues too. They have to figure out the QB position, WR, etc. And you can find TEs anywhere. DL, DB, that defense has got to get improvement. You have to get better talent.
with 2 ones what do you have the Bengals doing
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
You'd think about RB. They could also use a CB. A OG to help the OL. But RB and CB/S, a versatile DB like Dre Kirkpatrick at 17. David Wilson or Lamar Miller at 19. If Trent Richardson tried to slip a little bit, I could see them trying to move up to get him.
I think it's obvious that N.E. will be drafting defense and with 4 picks in the first 2 rounds do you see a lot of depth on that side of the ball in this draft and do you think they go DL or Secondary?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Clearly, it's OLB, DL, DB. Take your pick, that defense has to get better. The underclassmen dominate the offense. All of the top players are underclassmen. Defensively, the DE spot is dominated by seniors. A couple of them are combo guys. The senior safeties are outstanding. New England can get some players with a good resume. DE, OLB, S are three positions where you can say the seniors will be the focal point.
Do you see the Browns using both of their 1st round picks on offensive players?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
It's without question their big need areas. They have some good young defensive players. They feel like they need to upgrade the QB position, but that's because they had no one making plays around him last year. That made Colt McCoy's job hard to do. He can't carry a team. He needs help and he didn't get it. They need a QB, RB, WR. Do they take RGIII at 4 and then Kendall Wright later?
Hi Mel, with the Bills going to 4-3 who do you think is a better fit for them at 10 Upshaw or Ingram?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
Both could fit. Upshaw is a Lamar Woodley type, but he can play with his hand on the ground. Ingram is a 4-3 end that can play on his feet. Upshaw is more of a 3-4 OLB. They'll miss out barely on Quinton Coples on where they're picking. If that's the case, maybe they move up to get him. If they stay where they are, I would think Ingram would be more of a possibility.
Mel, if Kalil goes to the Rams at 2, what do the Vikings do? Would they trade down (for someone who wants RGIII), take someone like Claiborne, or reach for the next rated OT?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
If Kalil goes 2, their needs are LT, OL, CB, WR. They could look at Claiborne, Blackmon, Reiff.
Do you see any linebackers in the draft that can stay with elite NFL TE's in coverage?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
We have a lot of fast LBs in this draft. Zach Brown from UNC is very fast, athletic. David from Nebraska. Bruce Irvine. Sean Spence. Kenny Tate. All of these guys can really run.
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
Terrell Manning from NC State is another one.
How much does Ryan Broyles torn ACL affect his draft stock?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
He probably would have been a 2nd round pick if he had stayed healthy. That injury occured in November. That makes his rookie year questionable. Now he might be a 4-5 round pick.
Cashdollar (Newark, Ohio)
Mel, where do you see Boom Herron of Ohio State being drafted this year? thanks
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Not having the full year impacted him negatively. Late in the year, he did do a good job. Against Wisconsin he had 33 carries for 160 yards. He can carry the ball 30 times a game. He's a good solid RB. He gets positive yardages. You could get him in the 4-5 round.
What do you see the Colts doing after drafting Luck? Assuming Peyton is let go.Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
DT is a priority. They need another CB. Once they get the QB locked down, they need to go to the defensive side of the ball.
You mentioned OL and NT for the Steelers. Who looks to be available to them at their spots in rounds 1 and 2? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
First round pick, you could look at Dontari Poe, Mike Adams. In the second round pick could even be DB. Whatever position they don't fill, they could look to get in the second round.
who are some of the big risers going to be after the combine?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida; Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor; T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International; Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette; Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota; Kendall Reyes, UConn; Demario Davis, LB, Arkansas State; Trumaine Johnson, QB, Montana; Osweiler, QB, Arizona State; David Wilson, RB, VT; Jones, DE, Syracuse; Nick Perry, DE, USC.
what are the chances the pats trade UP for a pass rusher, could they land a Coples or Ingram, or perhaps Upshaw or zach brown?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I don't think they would trade up for Coples. You'd have to get up to the top 7 and he doesn't fit them. Ingram would be a good fit. Brown doesn't really fit them. They could wait where they are. They could just wait it out. They'd have to go way up to get these guys. Those pass rushers will be in high demand. Several teams need an Ingram. He could go as high as 10. They could look at guys like Fletcher Cox, Andre Branch, Curry.
Do you think that the ravens should draft a MLB in the 1st round that could be the understudy to Ray Lewis or should they draft an OG to replace Ben Grubbs?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
Free agency will impact this too. How many needs to you fill, what happens with Grubbs, what happens with safety. But from what I saw this year, C/OG is a big problem. Reid can fill in at OG and fill a hole. But a C and OG is necessary. I think they can find a OG in this draft. They can find a C. I think that need supercedes a Lewis replacement. The replacement would be Burfict. I had them taking Burfict on Jan. 17. That following Sunday, they playing the Steelers, and you could see that C/OG was a much bigger problem.
what position do you see chris rainey playing in the nfl?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
I think he's a slot. He could be a situational spot back. You can move him around a little bit. You can have him in the return game. He's a speed merchant. And he has some elusiveness. He can give you some highlight film plays. A short pass can become a long TD. He gives you a lot of RAC ability.
steve (El Paso)
who will the coboys draft in the first two rounds.
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
The big thing will be the OG/C, that interior of the OL. They could look at David DeCastro. He could be a guy that immediately steps in. They could use a versatile DB. Or get help at both spots. The interior of the OL is big.
Sal Lizard (Pool Room)
What positions do the Saints need to draft for, and any names surfacing of who they might be interested in?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
The big need is OLB. That's something they have to address. They don't have a first round pick. That goes to New England this year in the Mark Ingram trade. OLB, DT, WR those are their three needs.
Keith H (Seattle)
For the Seahawks, DE or QB in the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
It all depends on what they do in terms of Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn. Do they trade for Flynn. Do they try to sign Manning. That effects them. Or do they try to make a move to get RGIII. They have to make a move this offseason to get a new QB. I don't care how it comes.
With their first round pick should Tampa Bay continue to improve their defense through the draft or try and get Freeman a weapon on the outside?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
You want a speed guy. They have Williams and Benn, but they need a speed guy at WR. What they really need is defensive help. It was a bad defense. CB, S, LB. They could also take a RB. Blount is not a pass catching option like Richardson, so he could be their 1-2 punch. Do they look at Morris Claiborne?
What are the deepest positions in this draft, where you might get really good value in 2nd or 3rd rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
There are a variety of positions. There is depth at a lot of positions. You'll see QBs fall. You always see RBs draft. There will be some very talented RBs going late or even undrafted. Edwin Baker could slip through the cracks. Arian Foster went undrafted. Fullbacks. Henry Hynoskie was in my top 150 last year. He was at 100. He didn't get drafted and he was the key player on a Super Bowl team. There's some depth on the DL. CB is not bad this year for depth.
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
We have the combine coming up in two weeks. Next week we'll have a pre-combine chat, with a new mock draft, version 2.0 coming out then as well. We can talk about that next week!