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!
June [via mobile]
What position do you think will be a must for Cleveland
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
Certainly identifying an OLB, a pass rusher. A guy like Werner, Damontre Moore, Dion Jordan. That's something they desperately need, especially in a division that has the QBs they have.
hey mel, how does miliner compare to other top ten DBs in recent years such as peterson,claiborne & gilmore
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
Not as physically gifted. He's not in that league. Ironically, he'll probably go higher than some of those guys did. He could go very easily fourth overall to Philly. He's not as physically talented as his former teammate Dre Kirkpatrick, but he's got good fundamentals. He's been coached up. He's been forced up because there aren't that many elite players this year.
Matt (Indianapolis, IN)
Mel, Is there a potential top-5 player (non-qb) who you think could see a big drop due to team needs? Thanks.
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I want to see where Jarvis Jones goes. I have him No. 1, but I don't think he'll go 1. Some people think Moore could drop past the No. 2 spot that I have him going.
Who are you looking most forward to seeing at the combine? Per haps a lower college player to see how he shows or a hyped player for the same reason?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
The combine will be critically important for Manti Te'o and the 40 time he runs. Cordarrelle Patterson, Quinton Patton, it will important for. For the smaller school guys, Keith Pough, David Bass, Charles Johnson.
Adam (New York)
Who do u see Miami taking at 12
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
Patterson, WR from Tennessee.
Mark (Kansas City)
Do you think someone might trade up to the #1 overall pick for Luke Joeckel or one of the pass-rushers?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
That's hard to say until the combine and pro days are over. I don't think there will be a tremendous demand for the No. 1 pick.
What moved Jonathan Cooper ahead of Chance Warmack on your last mock?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
He's got incredible athletic ability, Cooper. You can see him making blocks 30 yards down the field. They're both great prospects.
Jacksonville's QB coach shot off today on how Blaine Gabbert would be the #1 QB in this draft...based on his 2011 grade, is that so?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
After you struggle, the luster is off. It's a hindsight. You have the benefit of hindsight. The QBs coming in haven't proven yet that they can play yet. Gabbert has struggled, does that mean he can't become better? No. But that's a ridiculous argument to get into. What about Brandon Weeden? He'd be the No. 1 QB in this draft. It's an argument that doesn't make any sense.
chuck (Turtle Creek Pa)
Which top 15 first-round players are likely to drop down due to physical concerns??
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
I don't see any. The only one might be Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia.
Alec Ogletree at 20 to Bears?, would he be a good replacement for Urlacher?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
I don't think he'll be there. I think he'll be gone. I think he goes in the top 10-15. I have him going 8 to Buffalo. He's too good to be around at 20. There's a chance Te'o could be there. I think they could look at DJ Fluker.
Milan (The Ville)
I'm interested in the big uglies, are we looking at a 1st round draft class with unrefined talent but high ceilings or some "step in and contribute immediately" type talent??
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
I think they'll be guys to step in immediately. Johnson, Joeckel. You don't draft guys to develop any more. If you look at last year's draft, you got major contributions from 26 of the 32 first rounders. You don't draft a guy in the first round without wanting to get an immediate return. There were positions years ago that you'd never think that way, but it's changed.
Greg (North Carolina)
What are your thoughts on Aaron Mellette? Heard he had a nice showing during Senior Bowl week but not at the game since he was only targeted once.
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
He has to work on transitioning from a lower level to the NFL. Route running will be an issue. He'll have to adjust to having great CB play against him every week. He has to work on separation. He's almost 6-4, 215. He could be a 3-4 round type of guy.
Is Keenan Allen a superior prospect to Michael Floyd?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
They'll all have similar grades. Both were projected to be mid first rounders. Floyd went 13. I have allen going 22 to St. Louis.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Mel, I was surprised to hear that the Vikings were considering trading Percy Harvin. It seems to me the Vikings need to add, not subtract, WR's. Don't you agree that getting rid of Harvin would be a bad move given the Vikings' needs at WR?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
He's a difference maker. He's a guy that's a scoreboard changer and a dynamic talent. Durability has been a problem. When he's on the field and 100%, he's as dynamic as any in the game.
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
Even with Harvin they still have a WR need.
Mel, do the Broncos go for DT or CB, S in the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I would think they look DT. I have them taking Kawann Short, Purdue. They could look at Banks, MS State.
Where do you see a good fit for Landry Jones in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
I think he's a fourth round caliber QB. That's where I project him. A team like the Bills, Jets, Arizona.
Kenny Tate at Maryland has struggled with injuries since being labeled a possible 2nd/3rd rounder 2 years ago. Would an NFL team take a chance on him for LB/safety depth?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
He's one of those guys that you think about late in the draft. 6-7 rounder or priority free agent.
Mel, Like your draft selections for the Rams, what do you think they will do in the second and third rounds to make the team stronger?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
They could add an OT or OG. They could add WR, OLB, TE. Those are some positions they need to look at.
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I think they look at a WR and OT in the first round.
Crash (Monterrey )
Why ddi Brandon Marshall tumble so far during the draft? Was it the character issues that continue to dog him - or was it something else?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
He came out of Central Florida. You can look back and guys and Owens didn't go until the third round. Vincent Jackson in the second. WRs have dropped a little bit. Andre Reed went in the third round. Even John Stallworth with the Steelers didn't go until the fourth round. John Taylor from the 49ers was a third round pick. Donald Driver didn't go early in the draft. Heck, Victor Cruz went undrafted. Miles Austin went undrafted. Marques Colston went at the end of the 7th round.
Keith H (Seattle)
Mel, what do you have the Seahawks doing at 25? Remember, these guys don't do what's "normal." (i.e. Bruce Irvin, Richard Sherman, etc.)
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
That's true, they've been unpredictable. They could take a guy like Johnathan Hankins. They could take a WR, OLB, OT. They have a lot of talent. They've done a good job. You have to give them credit.
Now that the Saints are going to a 3-4 who they look at?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
It definitely effects their draft strategy. They need a pass rusher. They need a versatile DL. A guy like Mingo, Ezekial Ansah.
Chris (Cape Cod)
Mel, the Jets have to finally take a 3-4 OLB at 9 right? Looks like a good year to do it with a lot of options...
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Yeah, it could fall perfectly. Dion Jordan. Jarvis Jones. Damontre Moore. Mingo. There will be some very talented OLB when they pick.
Michael (Spring, Tx)
The Texans definitely keep improving each year, the defense is a beast. It's no secret they need another threat to compliment Andre Johnson...But my concern is with Matt Schaub....so many times he just looks lackadaisical and doesn't seem to be a deep thrower...is it time to upgrade at QB?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
Teams always could look at a QB late. Some of the late round QBs you could look at, for any team, Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah; Matt Scott, Arizona; Nick Florence, Baylor; Jeff Tuel, Washington State; Seth Doege, Texas Tech; Sean Renfree, Duke, is going to be a great 4-5 round pick; Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State.
Mel (Colorado Springs)
Mel, if Jake Long is gone, could the Dolphins take a lineman at 12?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Yeah, if that happens, then you look at that. They have WR, DB needs. But you don't want to lose your LT when you have a young QB like Tannehill. Lane Johnson would be there at 12 if they had to go LT.
Despite Marcus Lattimore's injury, do you think his draft stock is helped by the season Adrian Peterson had following his own knee injury?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
The medical technology in general has helped immensely. These guys are coming back quicker and better. It's amazing what the medical field has done. They're bringing back these guys in record speed and you don't even know they had an injury. Some of these guys have had multiple injuries. Normally these were injuries that took 1-1.5 years but now it's 6-8 months. You're cutting 6-8 months off the rehab period.
Mel, any RB in round 3 or 4 for the Broncos?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
There are a lot of them. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State; Jamison, Rutgers; Cierre Wood, Notre Dame; Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada; Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook; Mike James, Miami; Kerwynn Williams, Utah State; Michael Hill, Missouri Western; Onterio McCalebb, Auburn; George Winn, Cincinnati.
Will Tavon Austin be a first rounder? Would it make sense for the Bears to trade down (if possible) to secure his services and also a top G?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
Could be. He could be a late first round pick. He could even go earlier than that. Seattle has done that in past years, taking a guy with talent early. It wouldn't shock me if St. Louis took him at 22 or Houston at 27 or New England at 29.
Solomon (Queens, NY)
Which TE available in round 2-3 would be an adequate Dustin Keller replacement in your mind?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
There are several Gavin Escobar, San Diego State; Dion Sims, Michigan State; Ryan Otten, San Jose State; Vance McDonald, Rice.
Is there any player in the draft that has the highest draft grade of their position in the past 3 years?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper, those two guards have a very high grade.
Big D (Buffalo)
Hi Mel, I know you have Ogletree going to the Bills at #8, but do you see them reaching for a QB instead ?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
If it's going to be a QB, it's going to be Geno Smith and that's an amazing stretch. But we've seen reaches in years past. I don't think he goes No. 8, but Todd McShay does. I think he goes 20-32 with a team trading back into the first round.
DT in rd 1 then OT in rd 2 for Carolina? WR and CB are also big needs, but i think the trenches need upgrading - your thoughts?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Definitely a DT in the first round. Sheldon Richardson, Sharrif Floyd, Sylvester Williams would all be worth the 13th pick.
Arnell (Lancaster, PA)
Some peolpe said David DeCastro was the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson. Are Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack better than that?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
They have a higher grade than DeCastro did. They'll go higher. DeCastro went 24 to the Steelers. He finished up on my Big Board at No. 12. Right now I have Warmack at 9 and Cooper at 10. They're expected to come off the board at 11 and 18.
Chances you think the 49ers would take a chance on the Honey Badger with one of our third round picks? Also was thinking someone like Chase Thomas. What are your thoughts?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
They could. I think he could go as high as the third. He's more of a 4-5 rounder. He probably would have been a second round pick if he had played this year and played up to his talent.
On draft day, how much do the teams know about who other teams are going to take and how much is a surprise? Say the Eagles want a QB in the third round... do they know that he'll be there or that only one or two teams have the QB as high on their draft boards? Or is it a complete guess and you just hope your guys stays around?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
You're always trying to guage that. They look at all of the mock drafts. I talk to teams. They look at every mock draft that Todd and I do to see what people are saying. They try to get a census on where these guys are going to come off the board. There will always be surprises when guys get picked. I know teams look heavily at the mocks. Teams won't talk amongst themselves about it, but they know everyone's out in the media talking about it, so they're credible sources.
C.Patterson out of tenn is a flyer and has the size/speed to help minny,do you see the vikings maybe trading up a little or patterson falling to the vikings???
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
I don't think he'll fall to Minnesota, I have him going 12. But he's still a little raw. He didn't have the dominating games you'd like to see. He'd have to get past St. Louis at 16 and 22 to get to Minnesota. I don't see them passing on him twice.
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
If Minnesota wants to get him, they'd have to get up to 15 to guarantee him.
Mel, What RB could the packers draft first round?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
Yeah, that's a position the Packers could consider. I have them taking Eddie Lacy. But they also need a TE, depending on what happens with Finley. Ertz, Eifert could be there.
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
The only other RB that has a chance to be in the first round discussion is Montee Ball.
Who goes first for syracuse? Justin Pugh or Ryan Nassib?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I think it's definitely Pugh. He could be in the late first round. I have Nassib going in the third round.
Greg (Richmond) [via mobile]
Mel, why isn't DeAndre Hopkins being talked about more in the first round he's probably the best route runner of anyone in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
Very good player. I had him in the late first round in an earlier projections. I want to see how he runs. He's a solid 2 who could get into the late first round.
Rich Lane (Corcoran, Ca)
Is there an opportunity for San Francisco to find a D-line starter and a starting FS in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
A big space eater like John Jenkins from Georgia would make sense in the first round.
How do you think the Jets will address their WR concerns?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
There are a lot of free agency WRs this offseason. That's a way to get talent. Stephen Hill was raw last year, but you expect a jump in improvement. They could add a WR in the draft. A couple of guys that have helped their stock at WR: Markus Wheaton, Oregon State; Aaron Dobson, Marshall; Marquise Goodwin, Texas; Jasper Collins, Mount Union. Alan Bonner, Jacksonville State; Anthony Amos, Middle Tennessee State are two guys I like.
Do the Broncos make a play on Ed Reed?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
Possibly. New England is another possibility. But CB is more of a concern for me for Denver. They have a DT need. They could add a LB at some point.
If you're Jadeveon Clowney, do you sit out next season and wait for the draft? A physical stud like that is not dropping out of the Top 3 if he does ...
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
You don't want a year of inactivity. He should be in the draft. This whole rule that prohibits players from coming in until they're three years out of high school, that's not the American way. You finish high school and go and get a job. He's more than qualified to be the No. 1 pick. If you're qualified coming out of high school to get a job, you get a job. How can we prevent him from getting a job? This is wrong that we're even having this discussion. The whole thing is ridiculous.
What are your thoughts on the Jets moving Revis? would they go for a draft pick or a quaterback?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
Revis is coming off an injury, but he's a great player. What level he comes back at, we'll have to wait and see. If you give big money to a guy coming off an injury, there's big risk there. Rex Ryan is under pressure to win. It's hard to give up your best player when you need to win.
The Giants' biggest needs would seem to be along the offensive and defensive lines, and at LB. Considering they never go OL or LB in the first round, should we just assume they're going to take the best available pass rusher again?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
They could. They're a team that could look at Ezekiel Ansah, BYU. They could look at TE Ertz from Stanford. Their organizational history tells us they won't look OL.
Is Geno Smith a legitimate potential NFL starting QB or is he another Jamarcus Russell?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
He has a chance. He has ability. He can throw the ball to any point on the field. He'll force the ball. He'll lock in on a receiver. But he's a smart kid. He added weight. He added arm strength. He's worked on getting the ball out quicker. He's worked on accuracy. He did tail off late in the year. There are some questions. The big one is he a top 10 pick? I don't think he is. I think he's in the late first round. But can he play? Yeah, I think he can play. But it gets into the debate, should you overdraft for QBs? Guys like Locker and Ponder.
Is Tavares King a mid-rounder? Solid WR at UGA.
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
He's the kind of kid that has ability. He's 6-1, good size. He has ability. He has a chance to fall into that second tier WR category. He'll never be your No. 1 option. He's a good route runner. He's not a burner, but he has good hands. He had a nice Senior Bowl week. He's a veteran. He looks to me like a 3-4 round guy.
raul (rio grande city)
Mel, Dallas needs OL help but I bet they end up taking Ezekiel Ansah...I bet they are intrigued by his potential and dont want to miss out on the next JJP.
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
They need an impact safety. They need interior line help. Kenny Vaccaro, safety, Texas; Chance Warmack, Cooper at OG. Guys like Ansah are going to have a lot of interest because he has pass rush potential. He has to develop some technique. He's got raw talent. He wasn't even the starter until the fourth game of the season this year. He had no sacks until this year. He's very raw. Limited football background. But he's tough. He made his presence felt midyear and on. He made himself known at the Senior Bowl. He might be a guy that teams stretch a little bit for.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
Good stuff today. We had the mock first round up last week. The new Big Board is up today. Next Wednesday, we'll preview the combine.