Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. stops by to chat about the 2013 NFL draft.
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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Murph [via mobile]
How do you think the Skins did in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
I gave them a C-plus. You have to factor in RGIII to the grade. They got help at DB, which they needed. They got 2 RBs, which you have to give the benefit of the doubt with Mike Shanahan. Jordan Reed is a nice pass catching H-back, TE. Ammerson was viewed as a first round pick going into this year. He just struggled in coverage. If he can revert back to his 2011 form, he could end up a great pick.
Chris (Cape Cod)
Mel, the Jets 3 biggest needs were OLB, S, and TE, and yet they came away with no one at any of those spots. Milliner, okay maybe, but how can they justify a round 1 DL for the 3rd straight yr, esp one who doesn't fit the 3-4?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
They had needs everywhere. They couldn't get everything. I agree with that. Richardson, initially I had questioning. Strengthening a position of strength is good. It gives them some flexibility and versatility. The pick I thought Brian Winters is a hole filler at guard. I want to see if Rex can get the most out of Will Campbell. There is talk he might fit on the OL. Where does he fit in?
Who are the best undrafted free agents?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
The best would be: 1) Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers; 2) Kevin Reddick, ILB, UNC; 3) Brad Wing, P, LSU; Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee; Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State; Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech; Travis Johnson, OLB, San Jose State; Lonnie Pryor, FB, Florida State; Demontre Hurst, CB, Oklahoma; Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida.
Hi Mel, how much will the Dolphins regret passing on Lane Johnson later?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
It depends on who solifies that LT spot. What happens with Albert? They have Martin who can play there. I would have picked Johnson, that's who I would have targeted. Dion Jordan is a good player. Good upside. Competitive. I have no problem with them taking Jordan, but they have to hope they can solidify their LT spot.
I don't understand drafting Matt Barkley when the Eagles already have Nick Foles. Barkley isn't better than Foles, so what are they doing?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
I don't agree with that. I think he is better than Foles. I had a better grade on Barkley. The fact that he lit up Oregon the last few years when Chip Kelly was there. He drafted four Pac-12 players he knows well, becuase he coached against them. I think Barkley is a starter in a few years.
bob borho- new york [via mobile]
shocked that ej manuel went prior to geno smith + matt barclay. what happened?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
It was tremendous mixed opinion on QBs. Some had the sixth QB No. 1. There was no built in consensus with QBs from anybody. A wide range of opinion. Because of that, you saw a team like Buffalo reach for Manuel. I thought he'd be a second round pick. I questioned the move. They could have had Ryan Nassib in the fourth round. If I were Buffalo, I would still have drafted Nassib and let them battle it out. Nothing wrong with two young QBs coming in.
Will Atlanta regret not getting quality pass rush?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
They brought in some guys. They drafted Malliciah Goodman from Clemson. They brought in Osi. They needed CBs desperately. They drafted Trufant. When I did my mock draft the night before the draft, I had Alford going in the first round. Stansly Mopanga is another potential pass rusher in the fifth round.
What do you think was the reason Matt Scott didn't get drafted? Do you think he could be starting for the Jags at some point this year?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
It's just a case where a handful of teams really needed QBs. Once that handful drafted QBs they liked more than Scott...Tyler Bray didn't get drafted. I had him higher than Scott. Most teams didn't even consider a QB. Jacksonville didn't even draft a QB. Matt Scott needs some work. He has talent. He has upsdie. He has versatility. He can run. It's just the pool of teams that needed a QB was limited.
Christian W. (VA)
Who's the steal of this year's draft?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Barkley was a steal in the fourth to Philly. Steve Beauharnais, ILB, to NE; Shamarko Thomas, S, to Pitt; Dunta Robinson, RB/WR; Brian Schwenke, C, Tennessee; Lavar Edwards, DE, Tennessee in fifth; Sio Moore, LB, third round to Oakland; Manti Te'o, LB, SD; Ryan Nassib, fourth round to Giants; Reid Fragel, OT, Bengals in seventh round; Kerwynn Williams, RB, Indy; Jordan Poyer, CB, Philly in seventh; Cornelius Washington, DE, Chicago in the sixth; Eddie Lacy, RB, GB in the second; Charles Johnson, WR, seventh round to GB; Sharrif Floyd, DT, Minnesota at 23 in the first; Terron Armstead, OT, New Orleans in the third; Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona in the sixth; Quinton Patton, WR, SF in the fourth; Jesse Williams, DT, Seattle in the fifth; Chris Gragg, TE, Buffalo in the seventh; Travis Bond, OG, Minnesota in the seventh; Robert Alford, Atlanta in the second; Kenjon, RB Carolina in the sixth.
Could Marcus Lattimore have ended up in a better place than with the niners? It seems like a very strong possibility that in a couple of year we will be saying what a steal the pick was.
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Could be. SF had the luxury of drafting Lattimore because they had those extra picks. They drafted 11 players. They set themselves up well for next year's draft. They can redshirt Lattimore and he'll almost be like an extra pick next year.
Kurt (Wisconsin )
Do you think Green Bay made a mistake in the fourth round by not taking a center when Barret Jones and Khaled Holmes wer both available?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
JC Tretter from Cornell was one of my top sleepers in the draft. They drafted him in the fourth. He was an OT at Cornell. He could be a OG/C. Bakhtiari was also a nice pick.
Is Jacksonville a good fit for Denard Robinson?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
I think he's a great fit for anybody. We don't know what position he'll play. He could be a situational RB, a WR, a returner. I think he'll end up a RB. I think he could be a 2-3 round pick. To get him where they did is a good fit.
Mike (Kansas City)
Your thoughts on John Dorsey's first draft in Kansas City?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I thought it was a solid B draft. You have to factor in Alex Smith. They used the second round pick in him, into a proven NFL QB. Fisher is going to be a RT or LT. He played both at Central Michigan. Kelce can catch the ball and do some damage after the catch. Johnson is a 3-4 ILB who will play in the 3-4. I thought Kush was a nice sleeper. Wilson was one of the best blocking full backs in the country. Solid B grade for them. Especially if Knile Davis can stay healthy.
Do you think the Raiders made a smart decision passing up on Shariff Floyd and getting DJ Hayden with the their 1st round pick?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
I would have taken Floyd. Hayden is a nice CB. He's a good cover CB. He's not the most aggressive, but has good ball skills. They didn't really get a DT until the sixth round and that was a key area. They didn't need just one, they needed two DT. Sio Moore is a true Raider, I love that pick. Tyler Wilson, can he challenge Matt Flynn? I think Flynn will be the opening day starter. David Bass, their 7th round pick was a nice sleeper who can get after the QB.
How big of a reach was Kyle Long for the Bears? How much further down could the Bears have traded and still had a good shot to get him?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
I would have taken Tyler Eifert, I said that all along. He went one pick later. Long was aided by two things: He's Howie Long's song and Chris Long's brother. And despite only starting four games last year, he shows he can play RT, LT or OG. He has great feet and a defensive mentality.
Who has the longer, more successful career: Tavon Austin or Stedman Bailey?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I gave Austin the higher grade. He was the better player. Bailey's numbers were right in line with Austin. What Austin has is he's a more dynamic presence. He can do some damage after the catch. But those are two great WRs to bring into the fold.
Hi Mel, tell me that the bears draft was a solid one, everyone said they reached for kyle long and bostic, but they are pretty good prospects right?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
They are. No question about that. The problem I had is not getting a TE. I like Long's potential. Green was a nice fourth round pick. I liked Mills more than some people in the league did. Washington I thought could go in the second round. He just wasn't productive. He's an incredible talent. He should have had double digit sack numbers. Very miniscule sack numbers, that's why he dropped, he's considered an underachiever. Wilson, there were games he was looking like a 2-3 rounder. I would have given a B or B-plus if they had gotten Eifert.
Chargers had a solid draft, but do they see Fluker as a LT with a year or two of experience?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
Some teams I spoke with thought he was a RT. One thought a LT. I didn't talk to all 32, and I thought he's a RT. He's an average pass blocking RT and he's a dominant run blocking RT. He did a good job against Mingo this past year. That game made him a lot of money.
Devin Brooks (Detroit)
Mel, do you think Detroit Lions did enough to make the playoff run..? they did get to me four starters in this draft.. and if Stafford play better watch out..
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
Stafford's not the problem. He needs some help. He needs a better OL. He needs the defense to improve dramatically. It will be interesting to see what they get out of Ansah. He only played one year at BYU. Slay should help them at CB. Warford, I love that pick. Taylor was a little bit of an underachiever. I really liked the Corey Fuller pick. He has the track background. I like the Theo Riddick pick. They hit their three big needs. The key will be how much they get out of Ansah the first year.
Do you think that Philip Thomas or Baccari Rambo starts at FS week 1 for the Skins? Either one of those guys has got to be a huge improvement over Madieu Williams.
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
Right now, one of them could. They got two of the top ball skills safeties. Thomas was an interception machine. These are the two guys leading the nation in big plays. Both will make the team, one will probably start. It's a tough call to say which one.
Codeman (New Orleans)
Mel, given the Saint's defensive needs (across the Board) was Vaccaro the right choice given Jarvis Jones was still on the Board?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
It probably got down to one of the two. You can't pick the both. They desperately needed someone on the back end. Not having the second round pick really hurt them. They could have had Arthur Brown, LB, KState; Jamie Collins, LB; Sio Moore, LB, UConn. Not having that pick really hurt them. One of my favorite choices was Armstead at OT. People said he's from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but when they won the Super Bowl, they had Bushrod, also from a small school. Jenkins looked like a late first round pick at point.
What so you think the Broncos picking Ball in Round 2? It seems a number of teams had Lacy down a bit on their sheets. Just the injury or was that massive Alabama Line part of it?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
I spoke to some teams that thought Ball was the best RB in the draft. Nobody was more productive, more reliable. He can run, catch, block. Ball has a lot of tred on those tires, but he should be good for the Broncos. He's a good fit for what they do.
Honest opinion on Bjeorn Werner to the Colts. Great move or big miss?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
He'll play on his feet as an OLB. Bryce Paup played at Northern Iowa was a name Jon Gruden brought up. He had a nice career in the NFL. He certainly has a great work ethic. He has pass rush ability. If he can play on his feet, he could be a good fit for them.
Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)
How in trouble is Geno Smith in, in NY? I hope he succeeds, but talk about a high pressure, toxic situation to go into.
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
You just hope he doesn't have to start right away, but he might have to. You hope he doesn't get thrown in there. It could effect his confidence level if he's forced in there. I hope he can sit and learn and transition into the NFL.
How would you grade Bill Belichick on the third day of the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Boyes was a good pick. Buchanan from Illinois has the athletic ability to play on his pick. He looked like he could be the next Mercilus and step it up, but he didn't. He played in a lot of defensive systems. He has a lot of athletic ability. Beauharnais, the ILB, Rutgers. All he does is make tackle after tackle. I love that pick. I thought he could be a 3-4 rounder and they got him in the 7th.
Hadn't heard of Gavin Escobar until Dallas took him round 2. Will he allow Dallas to run 2TE sets or is he just another backup to Witten?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
He's an outstanding factor in the passing game. He's a great route runner. He's got the height and ability to make catches that look uncatchable. He has great hands. He's just not a great inline blocker. His blocking needs work. But as a one dimensional pass catching TE, he has some value.
Margarita (New York)
Are the Ravens going to make some other moves to address the loss of Anquan Boldin, since they did not draft a top WR prospect?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
The WR position, Doss, they hope he can step up this year. Thompson, they like him as an outside WR. I thought they had a great draft. They had 6 defensive players drafted. All of which will make their team. Kapron Lewis-Moore could be redshirted. He's coming off an injury. He'll be like a pick next year. If he had been healthy in the draft process, he probably would have been a 3rd rounder, but they got him in the sixth. They addressed DL, LB, DB, OL. Wagner a OG/OT out of Wisconsin was a nice pick. I wasn't as high on Mellette as some, but in the 7th round, you can't argue.
Was Pugh a reach
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
Some teams felt he went right where he should have gone.
How will Tyler Eifret fit in with the Bengals offense? I'm assuming they will use more 2 TE sets?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Tremendously well. Jay Gruden has himself a heckuva player. To have Green and his talent. Eifert is basically a glorified WR at Notre Dame. He also improved as a blocker. I think he'll be a huge addition.
Obviously, the Browns new front office decided their first move was going to be addressing pass rush and defensive line. But is there any way we can keep all the defensive lineman currently on the roster? Who do you see going if not?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
Mingo is an OLB in their 3-4. Bryant can play on his feet as well. They got a CB in McFadden who can play nickel. Also, you have to factor in Bess and Gordon, who they drafted in the supplemental draft last summer. You have to factor them in as well.
Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)
Thoughts on Tyrann Mathieu? I think he deserves a second chance and that Arizona is the right team for providing it. However, I was not wowed by his post-draft interview as some were. The fact that he said he had everything and it was "taken" away, when in fact he let it slip away shows points to him still not being mature enough to recognize his responsability in what transpired.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
He's got a great support staff with him there. Plus Minter coming in with Patrick Peterson. I think it's an environment where he'll thrive.
given we now know how the Pats used their trade down picks, did they outsmart themselves by not taking Elam?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I don't know if they outsmarted themselves. I would have liked to have Elam. He would have been a nice addition to the Patriots secondary.
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
We'll see you back in August. Have a safe and happy summer. It's been a fun year all the way around. We appreciate all of your loyalty and questions. Get them ready for the 2014 draft!