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 Kiper (1:01 PM)
I'm here and ready for your questions!
John (Columbus, OH)
With Andy Reid in KC, could you see them reaching for Geno Smith or Matt Barkley at the No. 1 pick?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
No chance. Won't happen. He will hand pick his QB. It doesn't even have to be a first round pick. He will find someone he believes in and will want to move forward with, but not at No. 1. I don't see a QB going in the first 20 picks. Maybe 1 or 2 from 21-32. Geno Smith and Matt Barkley would be the two if it happens.
DG (San Francisco)
Do you think there will be more trades into the top 10 of the draft due to the new salary rules on draft picks?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
Trades are dicated by how desperate the teams are. There will always be trades. Maybe not trading into the early first round, but you never know. We didn't think it would happen last year, but it did with RGIII and Trent Richardson. Dallas moved up to get Claiborne. All this talk of not seeing trades may not be true. If there is a big drop off in a position after the top guy goes, teams will be more desperate to get that player. You just never know what will happen.
Do you think Michael Williams became a more attractive prospect after the Senior Bowl performance?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I think he is what he is. He's a very good blocker and experienced player. Adequate short range receiving threat. He's not going to separate and will have to use his size and bulk to get open. But in terms of TE's, he's a throwback who can block and adequately catch. He's not going to stretch the deep middle, but if you want a solid TE Williams is a good guy.
Do you believe that Keenan Allen is the next Anquan Boldin?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
He is an excellent football player. He was going to go to Alabama, don't forget that. He could have been another Bama first round pick. He has a chance to be an outstanding player. I wouldn't say he is a lock first-rounder, but I'm 95 percent sure. I have him going to Washington at 22. Minnesota at 23 might want him or Houston at 27. Even New England at 29. I could see him coming off the board in that vicinity. Even the Steelers at 17 might give him a look.
When's your next mock coming out, Mel?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
It will be out tomorrow morning! That will be 2.0 including everything from the Senior Bowl. 3.0 will be out in early March right after the combine.
In the draft the Lions creed is best player available. Do they change that strategy after losing Best and Titus so soon?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
I don't think so. LeShour ran the ball well late. They need to stay healthy, but this team has promise. The big needs for the Lions is CB and safety. They need secondary help bad as well as a pass-rushing DE and a receiver. They need an impactful player on the front 7. I think a late round add at RB would be nice. In the first round they will be looking at Jarvis Jones, Demantre Moore, maybe even Bjoern Werner. But I see them taking Jones who could be a Von Miller type in that scheme.
Anthony (Washington Twp, NJ)
Mel, what do the Jets do with their first pick? I would go with the best player available. They just need talent as well as picks to add depth. What do you think?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
Jets need to look at pass rushers ... Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo, etc.
How deep is the safety position this draft, and should the cowboys look there in earlr rounds. Have never replaced darren woodson
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
I think the influence of the juniors have helped. Three of the top four are underclassmen. Kenny Vaccaro should be the first off the board. But Matt Elam is a dynamic all-around player. Tony Jefferson is another good one. Some safties under the radar ... Jonathan Syprien and J.J. Wilcox both helped themselves at the Senior Bowl.
is there a NFL Pro bowl caliber Center in this draft? most people seem to be raving about the guards and tackles but not centers
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
There are a couple interesting guys. Some guards can flip to center like Barrett Jones. He has so much versatility. Three championship teams and a different position at each! Super smart and very tough. He could be a second round pick. Travis Federick will probably be the first off the board. Brian Schwenke from Cal is another to keep an eye one. All probably gone by third or fourth round.
Dave (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Mel - What's Jadaveon Clowney's NFL comp? What's his ceiling?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
His ceiling is as high as it gets. Through the roof. He would have been No. 1 this year hands down. Probably Top 5 after freshman year. Barring injury, he will be a lock for No. 1 next year when he comes out early. Clearly the best player.
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
By the way, I don't agree with the rule that you have to play three years when you could be a top pick in the draft. He will be risking injury every week with all that money sitting on the table. They are denying him the ability to make a living and forced to go to college. A kid out of high school can go work, but a football player can't? It makes no sense to me.
Ravens Fans (Baltimore)
Did you go to the parade? If so where? This is definitely a football town !!!
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
Oh my! My daughter and her friends tried to go but it was too many people! It just reinforces how great a sports town this really is. People are jam-packing every stadium here and it speaks volumes. This is the second best homefield advantage in the NFL behind only Seattle.
Do you think Manti T'eo will be available when the Giants pick at 19? Do you think he's a good fit for them?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I'll reserve judgement until after the combine and pro day. If he runs a good 40, he probably won't be around at that point. Right now I have him going 13 to Tampa Bay.
In your opinion, who was a bigger disapointment this year - Michael Floyd or Justin Blackmon?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
Both of them had their moments. Blackmon had a QB issue which impacted him and he came on late. Floyd had QB issues as well but still showed promise. Both have shown the ability to be outstanding. Crabtree took some time to really show what he can do. He started blossoming after Kaepernick came onto the scene. Arizona and Jacksonville have been a rotating door at QB so it takes its toll on the receivers.
Which player help his stock the most during the senior bowl?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I would say LT Eric Fisher from Central Michigan... I had a Top 12 grade on him before the Senior Bowl but he shot up to No. 8 after the Senior Bowl. Also LT Lane Johnson from Oklahoma, DT Sylvester Williams from N. Carolina, WR Quinton Patton from La. Tech and CB Desmond Trufant from Washington.
MEL- Why no love for Kevin Greene for the HOF? His career numbers compare favorably to Michael Strahan. Your thoughts?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
I don't worry about it too much. I like Hall of Fame-caliber ... that's all I care about. I don't even really know who is in and who isn't. I suppose it's important to the individual and the city, but isn't it enough to just know he was Hall of Fame caliber? There's no arguing that. Strahan didn't get in either. Ray Guy, the greatest punter of all time, isn't in. There is a lot of nonsense involved in the Hall of Fame so you can't get too worked up about it.
George (New York)
Does fast 40 time always translate to fast game speed?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
Sometimes it gets overvalued. But you want a player to be within a range. They are going to slow down some in the NFL anyway. So you want to see it in a certain range to gauge longevity. You'd be amazed how much guys slow down after 3-4 years. You want to start high so when they slow down they are still fast enough. But sure, sometimes it will get overvalued and not necessarily translate to how fast they are in the game. But the same thing happens with everything you evaluate. You just have to make more good decisions than bad decisions over time.
Stephen (New Jersey)
If he could of left last year David Amerson would of been a lst round pick based on his sophmore season, im hearing he is a 2nd to 3rd rounder. Anyway he sneaks into the late first round with a great combine performance?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I think he can solidify a second round pick with a good combine and pro day. He has very good ball skills but took a few too many chances this year and got caught peaking a few times. Overall he is a guy who with a good 40 could solidify second or third round. Yes, he was a first round grade going into the season but he dropped.
With the Ravens losing potentially a big chunk of their defense to free agency/retirement. Who do you think would be a good fit with their selection at number 32?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
They will have to look defense at 32. They lost players last year, but made up for it because they planned ahead. Nothing surprises this team. They plan for everything. They have patience which many teams don't have. They will wait out FA, not jump right in, and sometimes hit the jackpot. Jacoby Jones, ironically, had a poor game when Houston played Baltimore, but then Baltimore brings him in and he's a key guy to getting to the Super Bowl. Bernard Pollard was a great pick-up. Bart Scott .. Priest Holmes .. they have been amazing at bringing in undrafted free agents. Where would they be had they not brought in Justin Tucker? He was lights out all year. It's amazing how good they have been at finding undrafted guys. Corey Graham is another one!
Jamal (North Carolina)
Romo isn't getting any younger and 8-8 seasons aren't cutting it in Dallas. Should the Cowboys draft a quarterback in this year's draft?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
You can always find a QB in the middle rounds. Tyler Bray will go somewhere .. talented but inconsistent. Landry. Renfree. Lots of guys available. In the middle or late rounds they could certainly bring in somebody to try out. Remember, Tony Romo was an undrafted free agent.
Michael (Spring, Tx)
So the 49ers came close. Do you see Kaepernick taking them to the Super Bowl next year?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
I have no reason to believe he can't do it. He was tremendous in all his games. He made some great throws in the Super Bowl. He was on target, made great decisions, ran effectively. I think he should have had the pass/run option even more. No reason to believe with that OL and overall talent that they can't get back to the Super Bowl again. A great rivalry developing there between the Niners and Seahawks. That rivalry will be one for the books. Fun to watch.
You're starting a team. Since most analysts favor Luck, I'll ask you a question about the rest. RG3, Wilson, Newton, or Kapernick?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Wouldn't be Newton or Wilson. I would take Kaepernick. He knows the game. He is smart. He knows how to protect his body. I've seen him angle his body, sacrificing 3 yards, just to get out of bounds and save his body. He's very cerebreal. And he's stayed healthy. RGIII needs to take a page out of Kap's book and keep his frame out of harm's way. RGIII once said "you risk every ligament in your body" when you play, but that shouldn't be true for the QB. You have to get down and get out of bounds. He has to learn to ratchet it down some. He's not lacking competitiveness by angling out of bounds or sliding. Especially now coming off injury.
The Rams took a chance on the troubled Janoris Jenkins and he produced in his rookie season, do you see Tyrann Matheiu getting the same opportunity? If so what teams would gamble on him?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I think he is a definite wild card. He was a great college player, but his size is an issue and he has had off-field issues. He has played for a year. There will be lots of mixed opinions about him, even what position he plays. I think the ceiling for him is probably third of fourth round.
Any chance the Bills can get their "QB of the future" with their 2nd round pick? If so, who do they look at in the 1st? (please don't say te'o, please don't say te'o....)
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
They were one of the teams that could trade back into the first round ... but don't think about Barkley in Buffalo. Do you really want him in the cold weather most of the time? It's not conducive to a guy like him. I don't think it's a good fit. I think Geno Smith would be a better option. Glennon from NC State as well. Tyler Wilson or Tyler Bray even. Barkley would be better suited for a team like Arizona.
Are there any darren Sproles-type smurph backs in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
Always... Giovani Bernard could be that guy in the second round. Kenjon Barner from Oregon. Andre Ellington from Clemson. Theo Riddick from Notre Dame. Onterio McCalebb from Auburn.
Is Montee Ball dropping because of his heavy workload the past 4 years, timed speed, or something else? His production definitely warrants a first-round grade.
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
I don't think he is dropping. Third highest back right now. Not much separating him from Bernard. Ball is a pure RB. If you had him No. 1 or No. 2 you could make that argument as well. He will probably be a second round pick, third round at worst.
David (Austin, tx)
Mel, I don't like K.C's draft position because there is no one worthy of the #1 slot worth taking. I hope that KC can trade down. If they can find a viable team to trade down who are the candidates and how far do they go back? Thank you
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
It remains to be seen until after the Combine and pro days. I see 6 of top 7 players as underclassmen. I think 6 of the first 8 drafted will be underclassmen. I have 19 in my first round mock right now. We don't have real accurate measurables yet on these guys. Until we get that, it's hard to say how highly rated they will be.
Nick (San Francisco)
Does KC go with the "sure thing" in Joeckel or a defensive player in this year's draft?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
I have him going No. 1 but it's no sure thing. There are other options for K.C. Their No. 1 need is QB but none to take there. The have lots of needs at other positions. If they are forced to pick at No. 1, he would certainly make sense.
Larry ((Buffalo NY))
After the combine, do you think that Ogletree will move ahead of Te'o?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
I think he will go ahead of Te'o anyway. I have him going ahead of Te'o in my new mock going up tomorrow.
What can I expect from the Chip Kelly era for the iggles?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Will he get the right personnel? That is what will dictate the Kelly era. It's never automatic that a coach is going to win. It's about what personnel he can pull together. If they bring in the right personnel, he will win. Nick Saban couldn't win with the Dolphins. But he goes to Alabama and puts together personnel to win three championships. There is never a guarantee. Especially coming from the college ranks to the NFL for the first time.
vic (no cal)
I don't see Leon Sandcastle in your mock draft. Explain yourself.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
He still has to prove his 40 time at the Combine! I want to see him back up his talk! Thanks for all the questions! I'll be back next Wednesday! Remember, new Top 25 big board and mock draft tomorrow!