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!
Poe seems to be moving rapidly up everyones charts...Since you are the Guru, what do you think. Any chance he is still there for Pitt?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
Right now? I'd say no. With the combine that he had and as big and athletic he is, his combine numbers were incredible. He was a productive guy too, not just a big guy at the point. I thought he could be there for Pittsburgh, but he could go as high as 12 to KC. He's a mid first rounder now. On my Big Board, he's my No. 11.
Hi Mel, have you ever seen a big guy look that impressive? I'm reffering to Dontari Poe. Is he a top 20 lock now and possible top 10 pick to someone like Carolina, Miami?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
Ngata was the last one that had that kind of workout. Poe is more suited to be the 4-3 DT, not a 3-4 NT. Ngata was the 12th pick overall and that's right where we're talking about Poe coming off the board.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How much will Kendall Wright's poor 40 time damage his draft stock?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
There has been some talk that he's not used to coming off of the 2-point stance. He'll have his pro day to improve the speed. It won't hurt him dramatically, but it effects you. And this is a kid who's not 6-3, he's 5-10. He was expected to be a 4.43 type guy. He has to do better in his pro day. Will it not make him a first rounder? I don't know.
Did Hill run himself out of the Niners range?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I think he's still there. I thought he was an early 2 going into the combine. Thomas at Denver helps him, because he came out and had a great year. And Hill had a great workout. He was very productive. I think he could be there for SF, Baltimore, New England, Houston. He's clearly a first round pick right now.
Justin (St. Louis)
Mel I am scared that the Rams might be out of luck when draft day comes. If Cleveland signs Flynn and Manning goes to Washington, what does that leave the Rams?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
If Cleveland and Washington were out, it would still leave Miami and Seattle. The problem is with those two, you probably lose out on Blackmon and Reiff and Claiborne. That's the problem. If you move down to No. 4 or 6 you can still get those guys.
Mark (Miami, FL)
Is Janoris Jenkins the 3rd best corner in this draft? Will he be taken in the first round? Or will off the field issues drop him to Round 2-3?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
Yeah, I think he is, barring anything happening between now and the draft. He has to be a good solid citizen and impress teams with his interviews. I think he's the third best CB in this draft. He was a great player at Florida. He proved his worth in the SEC against the best competition in college football. He had a lot of big plays in his career. He averaged over 20 yards per punt return. He had three punt return TDs this year. He think he could go 23 to Detroit.
Steve (Burlington, VT)
Considering team needs, on-field leadership, and his improving draft stock, where will Kirk Cousins go? Moreover, is he still viewed as merely a back up or could he have real success in the NFL? Has his draft stock improved enough to warrant a legimate conversation or am I simply a dillusional State fan?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
He will be drafted to be a starter. Is he a decent to good starter? I think he could go as high as a second rounder. We've had a lot of second round picks over the years fail to develop into starters. John Beck, Tavaris Jackson, Chad Henne, Jimmy Clausen, Kellen Clemens. He could be a decent to good starter or one of those guys that doesn't pan out. He's solid, not spectacular.
Coples seems like a good pick.. Where is he headed?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
His workout did very well. He did everything at the Senior Bowl and combine you'd ask him. to do. He goes no later than to Jacksonville.
What positions do you see the Bears addressing through the draft and what positions via free agency?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
An OT or a WR. You could be looking at a Michael Floyd, a Jonathan Martin, a Mike Adams. Those are some of the guys. They could even go Stephen Hill.
Jared (Bloomington, IN)
Is there any "safety net" factor for drafting RG3? If he would bust, could he excel at WR?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
You're drafting him to be a QB only. You're not paying him all that money and putting your hopes in him to be a Pat White. Pat White didn't make it at QB and never tried at WR. RGIII is 6-2 3/8. There are only two QBs in the league that are successful that are under 6-2, Vick and Brees. You know RGIII is a good athlete. Good communicator. He's being drafted as a franchise QB.
Did Lamichael James help himself with the combine workout?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
No question about it. Big time. He showed the multidimensional talents that you need to be a Darren Sproles type. He's explosive as a runner. He can catch the ball. He has the versatility to be an aggressive runner. He breaks tackles. He runs hard with determination. He's a very driven football player. He added weight late in his career and didn't lose any speed. He's a guy that Oregon knew they could count on to make big plays. Huge heart. I think he's the second best RB in this draft right now.
I hear that USC's Nick Perry is killing it at the combine. Where do you see him being drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
He's a potential late first early second round pick. He's an athletic kid. He can do the one thing you need to do: put heat on the QB. Little inconsistent. He's not as explosive as some of the other DEs. But he carved a niche as a pass rusher. He's got a chance to be a first rounder, but I'd say more of an early second.
Hi Mel, Who impressed you most out of the possible 3-4 OLB's? Ingram looks to be the concesus #1 now, with Upshaw's stiffness but to me the guy who really stood out was Nick Perry. I heard he said he didn't want to play a 3-4 OLB, is that true?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Out of the 3-4 guys, Ronnell Lewis, Bruce Irvin, Shea McClellin, Melvin Ingram, Andre Branch.
Ryan (Cedar Rapids, Ia)
Which WR upped there stock in the combine, which one lowered there stock?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Michael Floyd. Stephen Hill. Those are the two that improved themselves the most.
whos the top tight end at this point? fleener or allen?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I think it will end up being Fleener. When he runs in his pro day in three weeks and he catches passes, he could end up running in the 4.5 range. He's 6-5, 240. If he is, then I think it's Fleener. He's productive, can stretch the middle. Allen ran the 4.9 40, he has to improve that time.
Mitch (Kathleen, GA)
With Atlanta needing help in multiple areas (OL, DL, DB) and no 1st rounder, is there likely to be any immediate help available with their 2nd round pick?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
DE, OT, CB. Nick Perry as a pass rushing DE or Whitney Mercilous could be there in the second round. Vinnie Curry. Some CBs could be Dwight Bentley, Trumaine Johnson, Stephon Gilmore, Josh Robinson.
With the Browns needing to fill so many holes, is it practical to give away the farm for RG3 at 2 or sign Flynn and use the multiple first round picks on other weapons to make them a contender in the AFC North?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
Cleveland needs a lot of work in a lot of places. They need WR help. They have the extra first round pick. They have ammunition to make it work to move up from 4 to 2. But they could also use that ammunition to go get Matt Flynn.
Where do you think Devon Still might land in the draft? How much will him only having one top-flight performance year hurt him?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
He had some injury issues at PSU. He had the one great year this year. He didn't wow it over at the combine. He's a late 1, early to mid 2.
How far up would Cincy have to move to get Richardson?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
It depends on how much competition there is. There's not a lot of teams that have a need at RB. The Jets could trade up to get him. Cincinnati could move up. Those are the two teams that you think about that could use a back of that caliber.
Do you think Peter Konz's dissapointing bench press numbers knock him out of the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
He plays strong. That's the most important thing. Functional strength is the most important thing. They pulled him a lot at Wisconsin. You can always get stronger. He's the best center in this draft. Do you need a center? There aren't many teams that need a center. Baltimore needs a center but other than that, there aren't many that would need him in the first round.
Mel, any chance that Russell Wilson could transition to another position, or does he not have the same kind of athleticism to be a wide receiver for example?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
No. He's a QB. I think he would have been a first round pick if he were 6-2. He has a strong arm. He can throw on the move. I think he's a QB. He's probably a 4-5 round guy. I'd like him as my QB. He can be a good effective change of pace QB. I don't think you can win with him as your starter at 5-10, but he's a solid backup.
Post combine, where do you see Jared Crick going?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
I'd say second round. When he was healthy, he was a productive player. He locates the ball quickly. He gets off blocks. He never varies his intensity. Certainly Day 2 and I could see the second round.
Josh (Washington, DC)
Generally speaking, few OGs are taken in the first round. Assuming a need at guard, how early would you take David DeCastro?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
I think he could go anywhere between 12 to KC to 14 to Dallas to 17 to Cincinnati. He's certainly in that range. Steve Hutchinson has had a great career as a pure guard out of Michigan.
Ruskin (Grand Forks, ND)
How could Vontaze Burfict have underperformed as much as he did at the Combine? Is that damage fixable with a good Pro Day? Do you think any teams completely removed him from their boards?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I had him in my Mock 2.0 not going in the first round. Post combine, following at 5.0 40, he'll have to improve that in his pro day, but he could be a 4-5 round pick. He could still be a second rounder, but he has to improve at his pro day.
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
Brandon Spikes ran a 5.0 40 at the combine and has been a good player. But he was coming off of a better year.
most improvement after the combine in your eyes?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Dontari Poe, Stephen Hill, LaMichael James, Kendell Reyes, Lavonte David, Demario Davis, Stephon Gilmore, Mychal Kendricks.
Do you see the eagles taking Luke Kuechly at 15?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
I don't think he'll be there at 15. My last projection I had them taking Fletcher Cox. I think Kuechly will be gone earlier than that. He could go 12 to KC. Someone could trade up to get him. He's got a great value now after his great workout.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How big is the gap between offensive tackles Kahli/Rieff and Adams/Martin? Will the ladder guys be taken in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Kalil is slightly ahead of Reiff. Then, you go Reiff ahead of Martin. So Kalil is my No. 2 ranked player and Reiff is No. 8. Martin is at No. 20. Mike Adams is at No. 26.
what is the deepest position in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
The combine really didn't change anything. You have to wait for the pro days. A lot of guys didn't workout at the combine. After the pro days you can give an accurate description of positional strength.
Matt (San Diego)
Who does denver target at 25?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
I could see a DT like Jerrel Worthy, Kendall Reyes. Those would be the two big ones. They have to go defense. They have to go defensive player. It would be tempting to look DE or TE or RB, but they have to get a defensive player.
What QBs raised and lowered their stock during the combine?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
I don't think anybody lowered it at the combine. No one was off their game that much. Kirk Cousins is the guy generating the most positive buzz. You're throwing to guys that you've never thrown to before. I don't put a lot of stock into the combine for QBs.
Mel, is RG3 worth a "sell the farm" package that a team like the Redskins would offer?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
He's got a very high grade. He won't have Andrew Lucks grade, but he has a high grade. It all depends on if you think he's your guy or not. It will be a nice package. It won't be an all time great package, but it will be significant.
With the 14th pick who do you see the Cowboys picking?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
They have to get a DB. They had too many guys running wide open in that secondary. They have to get a CB or safety. They could look Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick. They could trade up to get Morris Claiborne. If they want to trade off of 14, they could look at Janoris Jenkins.
Can you comment on the Houston Texans draft needs? Who do you see available at pick 26?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
The big thing for them is WR. A NT, versatile DB. But WR or NT are the two big ones. Jerrel Worthy. Stephen Hill. Kendall Wright.
Who is the best receiver in the 2nd rd
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I like Mohamed Sanu out of Rutgers. I think he's a good football player. He doesn't have the great 40, but I like good football players. He had a ton of catches. I like the way he snags the ball out of the air. He'll battle for the football in traffic. They used him in a lot of different ways. I think he'll be a good pick for somebody. Another second rounder, if Kendall Wright drops, he would be a great pick. I don't think he will. Once he runs at his pro day, he'll re-establish himself as a top flight WR.
any chance ND safety harrison smith sneaks into the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I've been thinking he's a first rounder since Feb. 14 with my Mock 2.0. He's the No. 2 safety in the draft behind Mark Barron. He'll be attractive to a lot of teams in the first round. I have him going to Green Bay. But if he does slip, there's no way he slips past No. 40.
Do you think the Vikings have any chance of drafting Stephen Hill?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
Yeah, he could get to the Vikings in the second round. He didn't get a lot of opportunities to catch the ball at Georgia Tech. He only had 26 catches. He did average 30 yards per catch. I think he's a late first. I think he goes from 19-30. But it wouldn't shock me for him to go early second. But the Vikings have a lot of needs. If they get Matt Kalil at No. 3 and Hill in the second round, that's a nice draft. I just think Hill will be gone.
robert(br,la) [via mobile]
Did Brockers hurt his top 10 status with the poor showing at the combine?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
His weight was up from where it was. You thought it would be lower. He needs a good pro day. He has his best football ahead. He's just touched the surface of where he can be. I thought he could go as high as 8, but now I think more of a middle of the first. He could go to Philadelphia at 15, Denver at 25.
How much did Josh Robinson increase his recruit stock yesterday?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
When you run the fastest 40 time of anybody at 4.33, there were a lot of talented players there. He was on my radar as a freshman. He transitioned to college right away. He was a possible second rounder going into the combine, now he's a solid second rounder.
How does your grade on RG3 compare to other QB's drafted in the last 10 years?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
He'll be right in the mix of those QBs in the recent drafts. He'll be right in line with Bradford and Newton
Justin Raney (New jersey)
what do you think the pats will do in the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
They have to get defensive help. They could use a defensive lineman. They could use a 3-4 OLB. They could use DB help. They need a true WR. They could look at Kendall Reyes. They could look at Andre Branch at OLB. If they want a WR, Stephen Hill.
how many D-Linemen go in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
If you include combination guys that could be 3-4 OLBs or 4-3 DEs.......
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
I could see 10 DL types.
Any chance the Lions go Defensive Line for a 3rd year in a row?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
I would be very surprised if they went DL. This is a team that needs help at secondary at CB. They could use OLB, OT, RB. But CB is the biggest thing. Janoris Jenkins, Dre Kirkpatrick.
Do you like Mike Martin? Seems like a very under the radar player who could be an instant impact on a team like the niners or steelers who would have good ends and linebackers around him.
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
He's a good, solid college defensive tackle. Former high school wrestler. Uses his hands very well. Very intense. Focused. He played a lot of football at Michigan. He battled Moak every day in practice. Moak is a 4-5 round guy. Martin can help you. He's a third round pick.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
We have a new Big Board up on ESPN.com as we speak. Mock 3.0 will be up in the middle of next week as the post-combine mock. We can discuss that during next week's chat!