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!
Mel, in 3 years down the road where do you see Poe? Probowl or backup, or out of the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
He's a boom or bust type. He could be a pro bowl player. He could be a space eating DT type. He has a ton of talent. He doesn't always play to the level of that talent. You could say he's an underachiever. The talent level is through the roof. He needs to be coached up to maximize those skills. But DTs in general have some boom or bust potential. He could go as high as 9 to Carolina. To KC. He could drop a bit if his lack of productivity doesn't go well with some people. His range is 9-15.
Best case scenario for Jax at 7,, Claiborne being there or trading back and getting a couple of extra picks?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
I think Jacksonville, the best scenario would be Justin Blackmon falling to them. A WR with that kind of capability. Melvin Ingram would be a 4-3 DE for them, although he's probably more suited as a 3-4 OLB.
sean (queens ny)
What quarterback outside of the top twon is ready to start right now in the nfl?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I would say Brandon Weeden is the most ready. Not only do I think he should be ready, but I think he has to be ready. He will be a 29 year old rookie. I think he'll be ready. He's a big strong QB with a good arm. He has to be one. If you draft him, you're going to expect him to be.
Hi Mel, I saw on twitter where you said one of the toughest teams to project was the San Diego Chargers. Could you elaborate a little on that, cause I believe the Chargers have to take the best avialable pass rusher unless Barron is available. Thanks!
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
They're one of those teams that doesn't have a glaring need, yet they didn't make the playoffs. They're always talked about as a Super Bowl contender because they have the talent. They've been active in free agency. They brought in 10 guys. They lost some key guys, like Vincent Jackson, Mike Tolbert. They added four WRs. They added a TE, fullback, LB. They need a pass rushing OLB. Phillips only has 3.5 sacks last year. They need a sack guy off the edge. A SS/CB, they could use help at those two positions. Also, the OL could use some help. It's a tough team to project because they did bring in some talent.
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
At the end of the day Chandler Jones, Stephon Gilmore are a couple of guy they could look at in the first round.
Coples would be a no-brainer for the Bears if he fell to 19, correct?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
It depends if they like him. There is some mixed opinion on Coples. He was very quiet during the season until late and then he had a good Senior Bowl week. They could use another DE. Plus they don't have any depth. Israel Idonije's sack total dropped from 8 to 5 last year. If Coples were there, that would make sense, as would Whitney Mercilous.
Mel, how would Jerel Worthy look as the heir apparent to Casey Hampton at NT in Pittsburgh with the 24th pick? Can he play NT in a 3-4 and be a 3-down DL that way?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
He would. If Poe slid down that far, he could fill that hole as well. They also need an ILB. The argument would be can you find a NT down the road. They might look at Hightower at ILB in the first.
Does Kendall Reyes have 1st round potential?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Yes, he does. Late first round potential. He's a three technique, one gap penerator. He needs a little more consistency. I could see him being taken between 27 and 40. That puts him in the late first, early second round.
Hi Mel! Let's say Russell Wilson grows 5 inches in the next week. Where is he drafted and how would he compare to the top QB prospects?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
If he could grow 2-3 he could be a top 15 pick. If he were 6-1, he would be a first round pick. If he were 6-2 or taller he would be a top 10 pick. He's only an inch shorter than Drew Brees. An inch shorter than Vick.
Anthony (Bronx NY)
The Giants usually go with the best available when its their turn, but this year what do you think the odds are they go after a Running Back at 32?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
That's a little high. I don't see value at RB, maybe Doug Martin from Boise State. Other than that, I don't see anybody that would fit the mold. If they went Coby Fleener at TE out of Stanford. Then they could come back at the end of the second round with James, Miler.
Scott (Only the FBI knows)
Mel, there's lots of talk about draft day trades among the top 10. Is this going to be the craziest draft regarding trades in years?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I'm not convinced there will be a lot of deals in the top 10. There is talk about Minnesota maybe trading back, if someone wanted to trade up to get Tannehill. You might see movement in the middle of the first. That's usually where you see movement. I could see somebody moving up to get Melvin Ingram. I could see somebody moving up to get Mark Barron.
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
After the first 12-13 players in this draft then you get into a lot of boom or bust types. Those first 12-13 are pretty solid guys. From 14 and down, you're not as comfortable. A lot of boom or bust guys. There are about a dozen, the Dynamic Dozen without any red flags.
Whos the best 3-4 defensive lineman?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
Right now froma 3-4 DE standpoint, Kendall Reyes, Wolfe would be the top two.
Mel, at the beginning of this whole process, we heard talk about which team would trade up to make the move to get RGIII.....but now we're talking about teams moving up to get Tannehill...could you have predicted that?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
No. I'm still kind of amazed about the glowing commentary coming Tannehill's way. I think he's overhyped. I like him. I thought he'd be a late first, early second round pick. But then he didn't play well against some of the better teams. He didn't come through consistently in the clutch. He has talent, but he's a developmental QB. He only played 19 games at QB. He played 30 at WR. Never in my history of the NFL draft that there's been a QB rated this high that wasn't a QB until his junior year. The guy he played behind wasn't even draft.
John Elway (Mile High)
Will Brockers really fall to 25? If not can we trade down? none of the other DT's are worth #25 right?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Yeah, they would Brockers. Poe. Cox. Wolfe. Reyes. I think they'd be worth it. The DTs would be worth it at that point. Somebody is going to go 9 from that group. The range of those guys is 9-25. There will be a lot of DTs in the mix for Denver at 25. Some of those guys will be in the mix for Denver.
Does the draft change the most based on what Cleveland does with the 4th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
A lot hinges on that. A lot will be impacted on that. If they take Richardson, Claiborne and Blackmon are still there. If Cleveland takes Blackmon, Tampa Bay takes Richardson. Jacksonville could get Blackmon if Cleveland goes with Tannehill.
A year ago if you would have told me Lavonte David would be the first Husker picked (over Crick and Dennard), I would have said you are crazy. Crick.. injuries, Dennard... why he fall so far?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
He fell because he was injured as well. He had the injury too. Crick had the torn pectoral muscle. Dennard had a pulled leg muscle and a hip flexor at the Senior Bowl. Dennard is a little tight in the hips. He's not as smooth and doesn't flip his hips as easily as some of the other CBs.
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
David is one of the best players in the draft. He's an ideal 4-3 weakside LB. He'll be a great early second round pick. Tampa at 36, Cleveland at 37, St. Louis at 33.
Mel, in your opinion, who are the 5 surest-thing no-bust talents available in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
Andrew Luck, definitely. Robert Griffin III, he's just too smart. Trent Richardson. Melvin Ingram, he gives you a lot of versatility. Justin Blackmon will be a good player. Mark Barron. David DeCastro.
Frank (Minneapolis) [via mobile]
Mel, could you please explain Chandler Jones' sudden rise into the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
He missed the first five games with a knee injury. Once he came back he played well. He really impressed me in the games after that. He's strong in the run and the pass. He used his hands extremely well to get off of blocks. He's a good physical speciman. He has long arms. Good wing span. Great bloodlines. He could go as early as 18. There are a lot of teams that look at him.
Bret (St. Paul, MN)
What type of player can WR Brain Quick be?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
A very good player. I probably like him more than other people do. You're talking about a kid 6-4. 218. High jumper. Basketball player. He didn't play football until he as a senior in high school. He'll be a good special teams player. He'll drop a ball or two, his concentration wanes at times. He struggled at Senior Bowl practices, but got better as the week went on. He's a second round pick.
Billy (Eastchester, NY)
Mel,Is 16 too early for the Jets to take McClellin? If Ingram is gone, he seems like the second best OLB option for them and it's looking doubtful that he'll make it to the second round.
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
McClellin is deserving of being a late first round pick. That's exactly where you get a lot of offers. So if that's what they're thinking they can be smart to move down to the mid to late 20s.
Mel if Minnesota does not take Matt Kalil at #3 who do they take?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
If they did trade down, they probably would look at Riley Reiff. They have some need areas. CB would be the No. 1 need area. LT is the biggest need.
Please Answer My Question. Can you see the broncos drafting Kirk Cousins in the second or third round?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
They could. There is talk about the Broncos could look at Osweiller in the second. But I think that could be a luxury pick. If you're talking third round, then yeah, I think Cousins would be of value.
I heard talk of Hightower being drafted as an OLB. Specifically for a team like Dallas who deeds an OLB, but also needs depth on the inside. Do you see that as a possibility?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
No. I think he's more of an ILB. He did move around in Alabama's scheme. That lends itself to some versatility. He's two years removed from the knee injury. 14 is too early for Hightower. The great pick for me at 14 would be Mark Barrom. At 14, you need to get one of the top 10-12 players on your board.
How many QB's get drafted in the first round? Not how many should, but how many will?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
I would say three. The top two and then Tannehill. They all go in the top 8. After that, maye Weeden. But I think you see him in he second. Osweiller in the second. Foles in the third. Cousins in the third.
Andrew (Riverview, Canada)
As unpredictable as Bill Belichick has been, this year he has to draft some pass rushers, ...right? The cupboard seems pretty bare right now.
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
This is a team that's been very active. They've signed 12 free agents. They signed three WRs, a TE. They got some guys. They also added Robert Gallery, Steve Gregory. They added a couple of DL, FB. In the first round, they have two picks. They need an OLB, DE, S. Shea McClellin is in the mix for them. Derek Wolfe, Kendall Reyes, Harrison Smith, Janoris Jenkns. They have some areas of concern still. Defensively is where they have to address. They have to get another defensive lineman, OLB and safety.
how scary could the packers offense be if they added LaMichael James?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I think James is a fear factor RB. He can hit a home run at any point. He plays with great heart. Great desire. He's a TD waiting to happen. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield. He's a 2-3 round pick. They also need a LB. They need a pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews. He only had 6 sacks last year. They didn't get much help with the pass rush. Nick Collins was hurt most of the year. He's coming off a neck injury. You don't know his status coming back. But they could also bring a CB in. They lost Wells at center, but they added Jeff Saturday.
Rashad (New jersey)
At what point in the draft does the mark barron sweepstakes take off and would team trade down to the top ten to get him?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I don't see him getting past 15 to Philly. They've drafted a safety in the later rounds the last couple of years, but I don't care. It doesn't matter who you've drafted, are they top players? Mark Barron is much better than those twos. They still have a need in that area for that reason. They have all of those CBs, they need a safety. They added Ryans, but they still need an OLB. Barron at 15 would be the lowest he drops. I think he goes 14 to Dallas.
Where do you see Seattle going with their first pick?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
If you look at their needs going into the draft, LB, DE, WR, RB. I would say right now Quinton Coples, if he's there. They're a team that could also look to trade down off of that 12 spot.
Kipey, Vinny Curry making a push for the 2nd? Where do you project him?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
He's in the second round. I have had him there all along. I have him going to the Titans. Good pass rusher.
After watching John Elway draft last year, what do you think of his drafting style?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
You have to look at it as a group effort. They got Von Miller out of the draft last year. He's a good player. Gettin Peyton Manning, that move makes or breaks John Elway. He'll be remembered for that. You hope to get three excellent years out of Manning. You added a couple of DBs. But they need a good draft. They don't have Eddie Royal any more. Denver has some defensive needs. They need a DT. They can rush the passer, but they don't have stout DTs. They also need a RB. Manning had Edgerrin James, Addai. They need a RB. McGahee exceeded expectations.
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
Another CB. Another WR. Thomas and Decker are good, but they need some depth. The things they need the most re DT, RB, CB.
Mike (Idaho) [via mobile]
Who do you see Baltimore taking in the first rd?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
They need a center/guard. They could draft Peter Konz, play him at guard initially and them move him to center. They could go with WR. Safety, like Harrison Smith. Kevin Zeitler at guard from Wisconsin if they trade down. They could trade out of 29 and move into the 30s.
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
We'll be back next Wednesday! Thanks for chatting!