Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, NFL draft Insider 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 2 p.m. ET!
Gray Hairs (Atlanta)
Atlanta needs a safety.....Is there a possible starting safety available after the first round?
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
Yeah, there are several. Right now there are potentially three second rounders. Jimmie Ward, Terrence Brooks and Deon Bucannon. They are second or third rounders.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Mel, If the Oakland Raiders don't come up with a quarterback in the free agent market, Michael Vick or Matt Schaub, will they go the draft route with the best available at the time of their selection in the first round?
Mel Kiper (2:03 PM)
They certainly could. They have to get better at QB. They're in a division with Manning, Rivers and Smith. They can't be a distant fourth. They could be looking at Bridgewater, maybe Bortles and Manziel could still be on the board then. They might like one of the second rounders like Garoppolo or Carr. They could use the first round pick on an OT. They have some options to debate. But they have to get better at QB.
Brad (Kansas City)
After losing 3 offensive linemen in free agency, do the Chiefs now look there rather than wide receiver?
Mel Kiper (2:05 PM)
There are more picks than in the first round. If you don't get your needs filled in the first round, you're not done. Free agency is not over with either. You can't obsess with one position. Think about last year's draft, some of the key guys didn't go in the first round. Kiko Alonzo went in the second round. If the right receiver is there, like Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr., getting a WR would be a good option for them.
Hi Mel - I just read your latest mock....why would the Texans pass on Clowney and take Mack? I know Mack is outstanding, but if they want a defensive player, why not take the best PLAYER in the draft? Thanks!
Mel Kiper (2:06 PM)
Better scheme fit. You need that type of attacking OLB, which Mack provides. He tests out off the charts. He's intense. He dominated against Ohio State in the season opener. That would be the second straight year of a MAC player going No. 1 overall. That'd be amazing. They could either go with one of the QBs, Mack/Clowney or trade out. Those are their options.
Mel Kiper (2:07 PM)
Mack had a better year than Clowney. And he's a physical freak, like Clowney.
Bill Polian has said he thinks Jimmy Garoppolo will get drafted in round 1. First do you agree? Second, what teams that pass on a QB in the top 8 do you see as a fit that could trade back into round 1 for him?
Mel Kiper (2:08 PM)
A team like Cleveland at 26 could pick him too. If they go with a guy like Sammy Watkins at No. 4 could take a QB at 26. Houston could look at him. Jacksonville. Cleveland. Oakland. Minnesota. Any of those teams are probably going to look at QB in the second round.
Jean Claude (Vermont)
If the 49ers trade up into the top 15, will it be for a WR or a CB?
Mel Kiper (2:09 PM)
If they move up for the WR, it would probably be somebody like Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham Jr. If they moved up for a CB, it would be either for Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard. They have needs at both positions. It depends on who they feel they need to go up to get. Both are positions of need. If they stay where they are, they're probably looking at Kyle Fuller or Kelvin Benjamin.
Mel,The only way the Jets, Phins and Bills can deal with Revis twice a year, is if they have a good #2 on the opposite side of the field. Do you think that increases the odds that all three might draft a WR/TE in the 1st rd this year?
Mel Kiper (2:11 PM)
If they Jets feel like Decker is a No. 1, they could fix another position. I think he's a 2. They could still pick another WR. Buffalo has a need at WR. They got Woods and Goodwin last year and they could add another one this year. Miami, their needs are on the OL. I don't think they're desperately going to be looking at a WR right now. They need a couple of OL, RB. I wouldn't think WR supercedes that.
Ryan (Green Bay)
Mel, who is more likely to fall to the Pack... HA HA or Mosley???
Mel Kiper (2:12 PM)
Right now, Mosley, which is surprising. He doesn't fit every scheme. He's not the pass rusher. If you look at a 3-4 OLB dropping down just a bit, he could be there at 21. Because of need, Clinton-Dix, as a safety, could go as high as 13 or 20. I think he's off the board before the Packers pick.
Just read your most recent mock draft and feel that #13 is too high for Rams taking Dix. Don't you think they would be better off trading up to #9 and grabbing Evans?
Mel Kiper (2:13 PM)
Well, yeah. If they can get the OT at 2, then trade up to get Evans and get a safety in the 2-3 round, that'd be good. If they arne't successful doing that, then Dix would make sense. They need a big No. 1 WR. Evans fits that bill.
Would Cleveland be better off using their second first rounder on Garoppolo to address the need at QB, and instead using their first pick on whoever remains from the Matthews/Mack/Watkins group?
Mel Kiper (2:15 PM)
It depends on how they feel on the QBs. This is all contingent on how they feel on the QBs. They're another team that's a long distant fourth in the division at QB. Shanahan is the new OC and he has to decide who he loves. If they don't like any of them, you wait until 26. There is still a flicker of hope they could trade for Cousins at QB. They have to get better at QB, no matter what.
Do you see any way Watkins falls to the Lions?
Mel Kiper (2:15 PM)
What are your thoughts on Jerick Mckinnon? Any thoughts on where he could end up and what round. He absolutely punished Florida.
Mel Kiper (2:16 PM)
I like him. When you're able to do the things he did and you've shown you can run the ball and tested out in all the drills. As a developmental back that you can get in the 5-6 round, it makes sense.
Do you think Eric Ebron would be a good pick for the Bills with the 9th overall pick?
Mel Kiper (2:17 PM)
He's right in that mix. For 9, 10, 12, 17.
Jay (Washington DC)
Since they are seemingly never on your round 1 mocks and they have holes everywhere, who do you think Washington will pick with the number two pick in the second round?
Mel Kiper (2:18 PM)
They could go one of several ways. OL, RT, Morgan Moses. WR like Jordan Matthews. CB, like Jason Verrett. LaMarcus Joyner, FSU.
With Atlanta's apparently transition to a 3-4 defense immnent, which is more importance to them:pass rushing LB or OL?
Mel Kiper (2:19 PM)
OL, I think. Then DE. They could be looking at Jake Matthews at OT. He's been a quality RT and LT.
Mel Kiper (3:16 PM)
Thanks for the questions! We'll do this again next week!