Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:00 PM)
We've got Mel!
Mel who do you have going as next best OT after Martin and Adams
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
After those two guys, the guy I have right in there is Bobby Massie from Ole Miss, a RT or OG in the NFL.
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Mel: Would it be a reach for the Eagles to grab Devon Still from Penn State at #15?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I think it would be. If you're looking at a DT at that point, you're probably looking at Brockers, Cox. That would be more in line. If Dontari Poe is there, he would be a nice pick.
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
Still is borderline first round pick. He could go late first or early second.
With a deep corner class and a shallow safety class, what are your thoughts on some guys that could make the switch?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
Some guys that could make the shift would be: Donnie Fletcher, Robert Blanton, DeQuan Menzie, Corey White, Brandon Hardin.
Even though the Bears just picked up Marshall, with Johnny Knox being put on the PUP list, do they consider going after a receiver in the first round? Any chance Michael Floyd will still be around at 19?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
They need OT help. They need a LT, that's an area of need. They're a perfect team that could trade down from where they're at at 19 and go to the mid-20s and look at Adams or Martin. I would try to move off of 19. One of those two in the mid-20s would look better than at 19.
Nick Perry has the size Bellicheck likes in his 3-4 OLB. Do you think he can stand up or is he better playing with his hand in the dirt?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
I think he would be better as a 4-3 DE. He's not as fluid as you'd like a 3-4 OLB to be, but he can do it. 6-3, 270, tremendous upperbody strength. He can run and he's fast. He's a little stiff, but he has measurables off the chart. He could go between the mid and late first round. He's been a good pass rusher at USC. He's definitely a first rounder. His numbers are too good not to.
Thom (Lincoln, NE)
Thanks for the chat Mel. Where do you see Alfonzo Dennard going in the draft? It seems he's fallen off the map recently.
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
I would say third or fourth round.
Michael (Columbia, SC)
Mel,Do you think Alshon Jeffery's Pro Day, especially his 4.47 40 time, helped get him back into the first round of the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
I've heard as good as 4.42. He weight 212, the lightest he's been since high school. That helps him. That solidifies a second round grade for him. You have to see what his best body weight will be once he gets the pads back on.
Dave (Green Bay)
With the 28th overall pick the the 2012 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers will select....?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
They could go a couple of ways: pass rusher, safety. Nick Perry could be a choice for them. Whitney Mercilous. Harrison Smith at safety.
Should the Texans go after a linebacker in round 1 since they traded away DeMeco Ryans? If so, who?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
They have Sharpton stepping into that role on the inside with Cushing. Barwin and Reed on the outside. They lose leadership, but Sharpton has talent.
In which round do you see Jonathan Massaquoi going?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
He's interesting. I like him. The thing with him is he has tremendously long arms. He's 6-2, very athletic. His impact numbers dropped this year. He didn't produce as many big plays on the run or the pass this year. He dropped from 20.5 TFL to 10 this year. 13.5 sacks down to 6. But they dropped him into coverage some. The system may have caused that drop a little bit. As a 3-4 OLB, I think he can get it done. You can probably pick him up in the early Day 3 area.
Is there any James Starks type of players in the draft.. Players that got injured during their senior year whose stock will drop but will be a steal later in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Some guys who could be nice picks late who had injury issues: Ryan Broyles; Travis Lewis; Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A-M, had a hamstring injury all season; Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse, the knee injury forced him to miss 5 games and would have been a first round pick if healthy.
Who's been the hardest guy to evaluate in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Ryan Tannheill. Jared Crick. Crick is a guy that missed a lot of time with injury this year. He could go in the category of the last quesetion with his injury hurting his last year. Alshon Jeffery, because of his weight. It fluctuates. Whitney Mercilous. He's a one-year wonder. He was completely off the radar going into this year and he ended up as one of the nation's leaders in sacks and fumbles.
Who do you see then lions drafting in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I think the CB position is critical. Stephon Gilmore would be a good pick.
Travis J Wilson (Charlotte, NC)
What are the chances the Panthers can get Morris Claiborne?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
Slim and none. For them to see Claiborned on the board would be very very surprising. He's a heckuva CB. There are teams that need him. Minnesota at 3. Tampa at 5. St. Louis at 6. Carolina could definitely need him, but I don't see him slipping to 9.
Thanks for the chat Mel. Where do you see Janoris Jenkins going? Could he be an early second round option for Buffalo?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
He's a first round talent, but the off the field concerns are what might keep him out of it. He might be an option for Bill Belichick with that second first round pick. Size is a concern. He's not a big CB. Jimmy Smith was a big CB. There were some off the concerns about him, but he was at least a big CB.
Kyle (Rapid City, SD)
What do Cards do at 13? OL and LB and WR all have been talked about as an option for that pick.
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
OL, I just don't think it will fall that way. Riley Reiff won't be there at 13. He would have been a good pick. There is no other OT there. If you're going to help Kevin Kolb get better, you need more than Fitzgerald.
Chris (New Orleans)
With no pick until the 3rd round this year, what would be a best-case scenario for the Saints in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
An OLB would look good. In the third round Demario Davis from Arkansas State. Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State. Zach Brown, LB, UNC.
Everyone seems to think Quinton Coples wouldn't be a good fit for a 3-4 defense. Why is that? He has the same size as JJ Watt who excelled in a 3-4 and he's similar talent wise.
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
He's more cut out to be a 4-3 DE. He's not as stout as Watt was. Coples has the pass rush potential. Coples has to be more consistent finishing plays. Most of his sacks and tackles came late in the season. He got ofof to a slow start. He's going to go in the top 10.
What are the chances of Dont'a Hightower slipping to the second?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
Very slim. I'd be very very very surprised if a 260-pound LB that can run like he can and improved across the board slips. In 2010, he wasn't up to the level he had been due to his knee injury. This year he was back at it. He can run. I don't see him getting past the Steelers.
Is there any chance the Vikings pass on Kalil for Blackmon or Claiborne?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
There's a chance. They need help at every one of those positions. It would be a little bit of a curveball if they don't take Kalil to protect Ponder. You need to help his development and the way to assist is to get a LT.
Gianni FSU (NYC)
Where do you see CB Mike Harris being drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
Not a bad player. If I had to say right now, the CBs are going to get drafted. you need a lot of CBs. He's not real big, not real fast. Not really an outside CB. I think he ends up between the 5-7 rounds.
Dave (Texarkana, Tx)
Mel, what is your take on Case Keenum in the NFL draft, He is a system QB but, do you think he can buck the trend and be a productive NFL caliber QB?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
He was very productive. He's an accurate passer in the short and medium range. A lot of underneath stuff. System QB. I think the arm strength is a big concern. I would say undrafted.
What's your thoughts on Nick Foles? How do you think he will be as a player in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Foles comes into the league like Chad Henne did. I like him more than I did Henne. He's more accurate. His decision making is an issue. He didn't have a great supporting cast at Arizona. He's got the size, deep arm strength. He could be late second, early third. He's got a chance. You let him sit for a couple of years. If you handle him and develop him properly. I think after a year or two of that, you have a QB you can work with.
Who are some mid to late round offensive lineman in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Good question. Tom Compton, South Dakota; Jeff Adams, Columbia; Tony Bergstum, Utah; Amini Filatolu, Midwestern State; David Molk, Michigan; Jason Slowey, Western Oregon; Markus Zusevics, Iowa.
How does Tannehill compare to Gabbert?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Similar in that both needed time. Gabbert should not have played as a rookie. I said that before the draft. He proved that he needs work and time. Tannehill is more equipped to play right away than Gabbert, coming out of that offense. I think he'd be a good fit in Miami, with his coach being there. But I think he'll be a little overdrafted. Gonig in the top 10 is overdrafting him. It should be more like 15-25.
What would you do with the #5 pick in the draft if you were the Buccaneers?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
They already did some nice things in free agency. Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright. I think they have two positions to fill. The RB in Trent Richardson to go with Blount. Blount is not the receiver that Richardson is and he fumbles too much. You get that RB insurance. If you pass on Richardson, you're taking a corner in Claiborne.
What do you think about CB Josh Robinson out of UCF? He proved in the '11 Liberty Bowl he can gaurd high caliber reciever like AJ Green.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
I like him. I liked him early in his career. I love his recovery speed. I like that he's a little bigger and not 185 pounds. He checks in at 200. Great speed. Great athleticism. Solid second rounder.
who do you have the giants takeing at 32?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
OT. Now that they have Bennett. Do they still look at Fleener? Now, maybe a OT, Mike Adams if he slides through?
Brian (Boston, MA)
Does Brandon Weeden make sense for the Eagles in the 2nd rd?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
I wouldn't do that, because you drafted Kafka. The Eagles have needs at some key spots. The biggest is LB. They still need another LB after Ryans. And OLB. Nickel CB. They need a safety. Maybe a TE/FB type. But early on, LB or DB.
Hottest guy on the board?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
Good question. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina. He had another strong workout. He's solidly in the top 10. Stephon Gilmore. Another SC kid. Dont'a Hightower. He's red hot. Fleener. Ben Jones. Dwight Bentley. Trumaine Johnson. Brandon Taylor.
From what you can tell, who is the guy that is going to get drafted way too high in the first round (other than a QB)?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
You could see Mike Adams going too high. Jonathan Martin. Stephen Hill. David Wilson. Orson Charles. Jayron Hosley.
Sergeant E (WI)
Could Russel Wilson possibly not get drafted at all? Do you see him as a fit in GB?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
I think he gets drafted. There's always a chance, because he's only 5-10.5. He has a strong arm. Very mobile. Throws well on the move. If he was 6-2, he would be a first round pick. He's a Day 3 guy, maybe 4-5 round.
Luke Kuechly put up Ray Lewis-like numbers while at BC, any chance he jumps up to a top-8 pick?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
He could be. It's hard to find teams that would take him over other positions they have needs at. I could see somebody throwing a curveball or a team trading up. He's my 7th highest rated player.
Do you see another reaching for QBs landslide again? Could Foles Weeden, etc all follow Tannehill (if he goes 8th).
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
There is a lot of mixed opinion on these QBs. I think Weeden goes in the second. Osweiller probably goes in the second. Foles, third round. Cousins, third round. Day 2, I think you see those guys go.
What do you see the Bengals doing with their two picks in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
They could look at Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama. Gilmore. David DeCastro. Cordy Glenn. CB/OG are two areas they could look at.
Matt (Portland, OR)
Do you think LaMichael James could slip into the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
No. He's more of a Darren Sproles type of player. If you're looking at the next Sproles, that's who you look at. Tremendous versatility. I love his heart and his desire. Catches the ball well enough. But Sproles was the 140th player taken, in the fourth round. The second round would be a nice spot for James.
Who are the best FCS prospects in this draft? Any chance Richmond QB Aaron Corp gets drafted?
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
He's more of an undrafted free agent. He's the old USC QB, turned Richmond Spider. Same school as Todd McShay. He'll go undrafted like my buddy Todd. As for the best I-AA guys: BJ Coleman, QB, Chattanooga; Jonathan Grimes, RB, William and Mary; Moemil Igwenagu, FB, UMass; Brian Quick, Appalachain State; TE, Phillip Supernaw, Ouachita Baptist; OT, Tom Compton, South Dakota; C, Jason Slowey, Western Oregon; DL, Akiem Hicks, Regina (Canada); CB, Trumaine Johnson, Montana; LB, Shawn Loiseau, Merrimack.
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
Also, the top kicker is Missouri Western State, Greg Zuerlein.
Mel Kiper (2:02 PM)
We'll be back again next Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!