We're getting Mel!
Who should be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft?
Either Andre Smith or Jason Smith should be the first one drafted. Right now it's individual workouts and preference. Andre has to manage his weight. Jason is an outstanding pass blocking OT. Run blocking, Andre gets the edge. Eugene Monroe should also go in the top 8.
Do you think that the Eagles could draft a guy like Percy Harvin and turn him into an heir apparent to Westbrook?
I think he's more of a WR then a RB. He's also a return man. I think he's a Reggie Bush type of player, but he's a WR. Percy Harvin could go as high as 17 to the Jets, 18 to Chicago. He could be gone by the Eagles pick.
What should the jets draft/or sign first?? QB , NT, RB, WR so many needs
The thing with them is who are the free agent QBs? There is not a lot of activity there. Kerry Collins will be back with Tennessee. If you want to target a Jeff Garcia. Kyle Boller. Or, the option is to stick with what you have. The under the radar guy is Brett Ratliff, the undrafted guy out of Utah showed some promise.
Clemmons has been a disappointment so far.
Another option is to trade for Derek Anderson from the Browns if they decide to trade him.
Do you honestly think the Packers will have a shot at Malcom Jenkins, with the 9th pick. If not who should they go after.
Yeah. I think he could be. I think he could be around later then that if he doesn't run well at the combine. He has to show good CB skills. If he doesn't, he could be around longer then the Packers pick and could be viewed more as a safety.
With the potential trade/release of TO, and the doubt surroundnig Roy Williams ability to be a true #1 WR, isn't a young playmaker at wideout the Cowboys biggest need?
WR is a need. They don't pick until late. They have a lot of need areas and they don't pick until late in round 2. Free agency will play a part and the draft will play a part. Iglesias from Oklahoma, Robiskie from Ohio State are two guys that might be around. Massaquoi from Georgia is another. There will be some options for them late in the second round.
What defensive player has STUD potential?
Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB out of PSU has that chance. He's a great pass rusher. He has a tremendous motor, great closing speed. I think, if used properly, has a chance to be a great, great player in the NFL. Ideal suited for a 3-4 OLB.
What positions of need should the Raiders consentrate on in this years draft?
First, the need is OT. They don't need one, they need two. WR. ILB. DL. Two guys to consider in the first round are Jeremy Maclin and Eugene Monroe.
Is Robiskie shooting up the draft boards?
A little bit. When you look at the Senior Bowl practices. He had a nice career at OSU. The problem with him was the period where they went from Todd Boeckman to Pryor, who was more of a runner then passer. Boeckman is more of an undrafted free agent tpye. Robiskie is a guy that's more of a second rounder. He would have gone higher if he had more of a passing QB and better speed. If he has good workouts, he could be a high second round guy.
Any late round QBs with big upside?
Drew Willy out of Buffalo; Curtis Painter, Purdue; Mike Reilly, Central Washington.
Stephen McGee, Texas A+M.
Will the Bears continue to draft for offense in the first round, or will they pick up a key defensive prospect?
I think they could go either way. They need offensive help desperately at WR. They also need OL help. They could also go DE, S. Percy Harvin, if he's still there or Tyson Jackson out of LSU.
And don't forget about QB either. They might not be sold on Orton at QB. Josh Freeman is another wild card to think about in the late first round.
earlier draft pick - pat white or coffee?
Pat White. I think he goes in the second round or third round as a WR/QB. I think Coffee goes more 3-5 round.
What positions should the Dolphins target with their two 2nd round picks?
I would say definitely WR, OLB would be two areas to address.
Percy Harvins health a big concern for you?
Durability is a concern with Harvin. He's not real big. He takes a lot of big hits, because a lot of his damage is done after the catch. He's explosive, versatile. He has to define, as a WR, his route running. He's going to have to be developed as a WR. He's going to be a lot like Reggie Bush. You can get him in the slot, reverses. He has a lot of versatility and potential. He's going to have to define a role.
Who do you think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft in the First to rounds?? What do you think there biggest needs are??
The Bucs would be looking at a QB, maybe Josh Freeman. Maybe a DL, WR. If Harvin were there, he'd have to be a possibility. Another position, RB. They have obvious need areas, but don't overlook DL.
Who's gettin' the luxury of draftin' Hakeem Nicks?
The Jets, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Miami, Baltimore, Tennessee. All of those teams could look at Nicks. I have him going to Minnesota at 22.
Who do you most likely see the chargers drafting in the 1st round?
I look at them and I say OL, DE. You look at them and they could go RB. Knowshon Moreno from Georgia is who I have them picking. But the RB position is something they can address with Moreno. He's a good back. Catches the ball well, blocks. He's not a real big back, so he doesn't have ideal size. But he's big enough. The thing with him too is he has outstanding vision and balance. He plays with a great deal of enthusiasm. He's not that big and he's not tremendously fast. But he has great versatility. Great attitude, great approach. I'd think about him in the mid first round.
What Big 12 Quarterback will be taken first? Which will be taken last?
I think it will be Josh Freeman from Kansas State. He's 6-6, he has a good arm. Throws a nice ball. More mobile then he's given credit for. He's just inconsistent. More consistency and he could be a top 10 pick. No question, he's the best QB in the Big 12, from an NFL standpoint. There are others that have better stats and better winning percentage, but from a pro prospect, he's the best. Now, if Sam Bradford had come back, he would have been in the mix for the top overall pick.
Do you think the 'Niners are going to go with line help (either O or D) in the first round? If so, will they be able to fulfill their needs at WR on the first day?
They need it. They certainly need a RT on the offensive line. They could use either a DE or OLB guy. They need a FS, WR. They could use a QB. I think if Mark Sanchez, if he's there would make sense. If not, Aaron Maybin. That's who I have them taking.
Mel: Where do you see Macho Harris getting drafted?
He's probably a 3-5 round guy. He's an aggressive CB. His cover skills are average.
His stock has dropped a little bit from early in his career.
why do you think michael crabtree is so goo?
He's a big, physical, competitive WR. Big stong hands. Powerful type. He has a lot of Larry Fitzgerald in him. He doesn't have great speed. He has the ability to separate in deep routes. Very good hand-eye coordination. He's a tough guy to cover, even without great speed/.
Are there any staring caliber safety prospects?
No. Tayler Mays shocked me by going back to USC for his senior year. He would have been a top 10 pick in the draft. William Moore had a high grade going into the season, but now he's not even a first round pick. His stock has dropped. Louis Delmas from Western Michigan is a very underrated standout. He'll run in the 4.5 range. He's been around the ball a lot. 12 career INTs. Very good player. He's the kind of kid you want to keep an eye on. Moore is right in that mix as well. Patrick Chung from Oregon. Rashad Johnson. David Bruton. Kevin Ellison.
Michael Hamlin from Clemson is another one.
Would Myrone Rolle have been a factor in the NFL if he chose to go?
He would have been a factor. He would have been a 2-3 round possibility. I don't think he ever took his game to an elite level. I didn't see him taking his game to a super blue chipper but he's a 2-3 round pick.
Should the Broncos try to sign a DT or DE with their 12th pick?
They have to. That's definitely a critical need area. Mike Shannahan tried to improve the DL, but was unsuccessful. The moves that he made weren't able to pan out. He did a great job as a head coach, but very questionable job as GM. I have them taking BJ Raji out of BC.
How times a year do you and Mcshay debate you think? 300?
We are on every Thursday on ESPN TV from August through April. We do a podcast, Todd and I do, with Ryen Russilo, every Tuesday, starting last week all the way through the draft. I come on College GameDay every Saturday and debate. There's an awful lot of debates taht we have about players.
Cushing is getting most of the attention, but what about the other linebacker from USC?
Mauluga and Cushing are graded very close. Cushing is 22, Matthews 26 and Mauluga is 19. They're all pretty highly regarded players. Matthews has a chance to move up after great workouts at the Senior Bowl and a great season.
Was it a mistake for Maurice Evans to come out early? Up until his off field issues last season he was looking like a first rounder. Now we're hearing 3rd-5th round.
I think so. Another year at Penn State. With Maybin leaving early...Evans had a much better year the year before. He was suspended at the beginning of this season for an off the field incident. He's more of a power rusher. When he was at his best as a sophomore, he was a power rusher. You hope that he can return to his form as a sophomore.
Evans is a difficult evaluation. Do you put more stock in the sophomore year or junior year?
What will Bengals do with the #6 pick in the draft? Is there any chance they will draft Crabtree if TJ leaves?
I have Crabtree going 4 to Seattle. There's a chance, but I don't think it's going to happen. I have them taking Jason Smith. They need help at WR. If they wanted to take the next best WR, Jeremy Maclin is it.
Mr. Kiper: With kids now leaving early for the draft, do you foresee the all-star games allowing underclassmen who have declared for the draft to participate?
I've always thought they should. When I was affiliated with the Hula Bowl for one year in the 90s, we allowed juniors. The problem was some of the juniors didn't want to play in the all star game. They didn't want to risk injury. But that was the year that we had Marvin Harrison in the game, Damon Huard..we had a nice group of players in that game. I remember talking to Jon Runyan on the phone that year and he didn't want to play but he was still a 3-4 round pick. I've always thought that they should have the juniors in there. A lot of seniors opted to not even play in the Senior Bowl. That effected the Senior Bowl dramatically. The talent level was down this year. I think the juniors should be able to play. They're already pros. They've already declared for the NFL draft. I don't know why you're punishing them and not letting them play.
Which first day DE/OLBs project well into Green Bay's new 3-4 scheme?
The guys that project into that, the best 3-4 OLB/DEs would be Larry English, Clint Sintem, Aaron Maybin, Cody Brown, Connor Barwin, Phillip Hunt, Clay Matthews, Jovan Belcher.
Any way New England gets rid of Matt C before the draft?
No. I don't think there's any way they can do that. They have to make sure that Tom Brady is ready to go 100%. Matt Cassel is a hefty insurance policy. That's what he becomes. KC, Detroit would love to have him. But it's a case where New England has to pay him. The only other option they have is Kevin O'Connell. Cassell saved this team this year. This is a team that knows with Cassell, they can go a long way. If he's traded, I think it will be later in the process. Right now, I don't think they feel secure enough to trade him.
What are your thoughts on Wisconsin DE Matt Shaughnessy?
He has ability. He just didn't have the great year. Where he started didn't really maintain with where he ended up. He's a tall DE. He has a quick take off. He has height, wing spand. There were games he was able to make his presence felt as a pass rusher. I think he's probably more of a 4-6 round guy.
Is this the weakest class in the past 10 years?
No. It's not a high profile draft, because we don't have many seniors. We don't have the dynamic senior QB, the Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco. We don't have the dominant RBs. We have some good WRs. The DL could be the stars of this draft. You don't have the super, elite LB, other then Curry. When your No. 1 senior player is from Wake Forest..You have two high profile QBs, but I thought Mark Sanchez should have gone back after starting only one year. The depth at certain positions is pretty good. You're going to have sixth rounders that are going to be stars, as will some undrafted free agents. The draft is a crapshoot. Every draft will provide quality players to the NFL. This year might not be the super high profile names. Last year, there were people that questioned Matt Ryan. They questioned if Joe Flacco should have gone in the first round.
Who are the top Guards in this draft?
It's not a bad group. It's pretty good. Duke Robinson. Herman Johnson from LSU. Andy Levitre, very underrated; Kraig Urbik. Greg Isdaner came out early, the top junior guard. A couple of others: Ray Feinga, BYU; Tyronne Green, Auburn.
Does Matt Stafford have a better arm than Palmer and Jamarcus russell?
Stronger then any QB to come out in recent years. Jay Cutler will tell you he has a stronger arm then John Elway. Some people might say Stafford's arm is stronger then Cutler's. Stafford has elite arm strength. What he needs to do is not show off the arm, but show off some touch and that he's a pitcher not just a thrower. He needs to show that he can take some off. He needs to show some touch and some accuracy.
He's not where he needs to be just yet. His instincts in the pocket aren't what you look for. He's not adept in the pocket like Ben Roethlisberger is. He didn't have a great offensive lineman this year. He's the kind of guy that I think is worthy of being in the discussion. He went to being a high school senior having that kind of ability to a college junior showing the same ability.
How do the Chiefs begin rebuilding? Where do they start?
They had a good draft last year. They brought in a lot of good players. They need a QB. Thigpen showed promise last year. I thought he did a nice job in that offense. I thought he showed good future potential. He makes it very interesting the discussion about where they go for QB. Do they think they can upgrade and grab Stafford? If Pioli thought he could get Cassell out of New England, they would. They could take an Aaron Curry from Wake. They could take a Crabtree. No question. But they have to decide if Thigpen is the right guy moving forward. That's the $1 million question.
Will Austin Collie of BYU be drafted?
Very good possession receiver. Very good hands. Tremendous pass catching receiver. Knows how to get open. You're waiting to see how fast he is. At BYU he was an outstanding football player.
If Kurt Warner leaves/retires can Matt Lienhart really continue to keep the Cards playing at a high level? Can they even win the division again?
The Leinart situation is interesting, because this team if Warner retires, they might have to find another WR if Boldin leaves. They'd have Fitzgerald and Breaston. They do really like Early Doucette. Losing Boldin would be a big hit to that offense. Todd Haley coordinated this offense. Not only do you have a new QB, but you'd have a new coordinator. This team would change dramatically if they lost Boldin as well.
People are set to jump on Leinart. They are tremendously negative about Leinart. People are not high on him. For whatever reason they don't have a high opinion on him.
We covered a ton of ground today. Next week, we'll be able to preview the combine. We'll be able to talk some free agency as well.