Did any of the Alabama players improve their draft stock Monday night in your opinion?
Chance Warmack, the OL. Dee Milliner bumped from from 15 to 10. Milliner proved to be a shut down CB. CJ Mosely announced he's going back. He played extremely well. Eddie Lacy improved as well. He helped himself dramatically. You could make the argument he's the top pure RB in the draft.
Do you like better at TE, Ertz or Eifert?
Eifert slightly ahead of Ertz. They've been neck and neck all year. They both can flex out wide. They're both good inline blockers. They're both sure handed. Both understand the passing game. This shapes up to be a pretty good TE crop, when you combine Eifert and Ertz. Sims is coming out. Reid is coming out. There are four junior TEs that have announced they're coming out. The senior TE group is a little better than we first thought. Travis Kelce, Vance McDonald, Ryan Otten are the top three senior TEs.
In 2014 draft, do you believe Aaron Murray has a chance to be no.1 or high 1st round pick?
The thing that would effect his chances at being a top first round pick is his height. He's only like 6-0 or 6-1. He had the good game against Nebraska, but they were 10 point favorites. There are some guys more physically imposing. But right now, Logan Thomas, AJ McCarron, Tajh Boyd, Bryn Renner, Aaron Murray are the top juniors returning for 2013.
I'd project Murray as a 2-3 round pick.
How bad did Teo hurt his stock Monday night?
Not dramatically. They got beat up front. When the DL is handled by the OL, that allows the LBs to not flow to the football. He dropped a little bit, but he's still No. 6 on my Big Board. He'll still go somewhere in the top 10, at worst in the top 15.
which Penn State players do you think have a chance of getting drafted.
The guys you look at immediately are the defensive players. There are no first round picks, more like 3-4 rounders. Gerald Hodges, OLB; Jordan Hill, DT. Michael Mauti, OLB, but he's had the injuries. Durability is a huge factor. He would have been in the fourth round mix, but the injuries cloud his projection.
I'm a Raiders fan. They have the #3 pick, and I feel they should select a pass-rushing DE in the 1st round. Ideally, Damontre Moore or Bjoern Werner. Do you think they should stay at #3 or trade back for another DE? If they address a different position, who should they select?
They definitely need that, along with WR and CB. Werner or Mingo. The No. 1 that you would target is Moore, but I think he'll be gone one pick earlier to Jacksonville at No. 2. I have a slightly higher grade on him.
Hi Mel,Ryan Nassib...starter material within a couple of years or career backup?Thanks
He'll have a chance to be a starting QB. Most of the guys that are backups had a chance to be a starter and failed. Chad Henne, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart. They were starters and couldn't get it done. Or backups are guys who are aging guys who used to start. Matt Hasselback. I think Nassib will be the 4-6 QB off the board, which puts him in the 2-3 round discussion.
Is McCarron a legit pro prospect after his showing in the NCG?
He's going back to Alabama, which is a smart move on his part. He's not a first round pick. He's got the size, the smarts. He's played a lot of football. Even when he's struggled, like against LSU, he's pulled out wins. Arm strenght does get stronger as you get older, so that should help him. He's a guy that you think about in the 4th round. I think he'll be the No. 2 rated senior QB next year.
The Bears have several needs (TE, getting younger on D), but obviously the o-line is the biggest concern. Drafting at 20, can they get Chance Warmack? How big of an impact can he make taking over at LG for us?
No. Warmack will be long gone. He has the potential to go top 5-10. The other OG Jonathan Cooper some teams like more than Warmack. This could be the first time in history that two guards go in the top 15.
The OLs the Bears will be looking at are Lewan, Fisher.
What do you make of the rumors of Dallas switching to a 4-3? Do they have the personnel to be successful with the 4-3?
It depends on the defensive coordinator. With Rob Ryan gone, it depends. Ware is a 3-4 OLB, Spencer is a 3-4 OLB, so your 3-4 is set with OLBs. All of a sudden Ware has to become a down DE. However the DC thinks they can maximize their ability. That's up to the new DC to do. It seems the 3-4 suits them better.
Mel, Do you think Barret Jones will still be on the board when the packers pick?
I think Jones is more of a 2-3 round guy. He doesn't have the real long arms. He's played LT, C, G on three different national championship teams. He was hurt late in the year. His versatility will help him. He went up against several great DLs in practice.
Who do you see the Giants drafting at 19?
The Giants have to make a decision. They need a CB. They need an OL, DE. They like to take DEs in the first round. They could be looking at Dion Jordan, Eric Fisher, Lewan. There isn't a CB at that point. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU is another one. He compares to Jason Pierre-Paul.
Guys who will blow the combine up: Ziggy Ansah, Margus Hunt, Jordan Reed and Eddie Lacy; Tyler Bray if he throws.
A lot of those guys could be work out warriors. Travis Kelce, Cincinnati; Denard Robinson, Michigan; Zac Dysert, Miami (OH); Andre Ellington, Clemson; Dion Jordan, Oregon; Kawann Short, Purdue; Sheldon Richardson, Missouri; Sean Porter, Texas A-M; Terry Hawthorne, Illinois; Alex Ogletree, Georgia.
Mel, knowing you are a Ravens fan, what do you think of their chances Saturday in Denver?
I root for the Ravens, but I don't think it's a good matchup. It's going to be cold, a high in the 20s. Denver is rested. The Ravens have had significant injuries during the year. I would say they'll have a tough time. Indianapolis couldn't protect their QB. I think Denver can win the game by more than 2 TDs.
How deep is the OT class? Can Dallas pick a defensive player in the first and still find an upgrade for Doug Free in the second?
Overall, because of the junior influence, Joeckel, etc. helps. The senior class is suspect. If you want a OT you have to get one early.
What's the buzz on UNC rb Giovani Bernard? Will he sneak in to the first round?
I think he has a chance to be a second round pick. Great speed. Great ability to hit the home run. Dynamite job. I think he'll be an outstanding second round pick.
Mel, What's T. Bridgewater's ceiling? Watched him all season, and while his accuracy stands out, I think the think he does better than anything is stay out of bad situations. Doesn't take a lot of sacks, throws the ball away, checks down when he has to. On the next level, how does that skill set translate?
He's only a sophomore. He has a high ceiling. He has a huge future ahead. That's one of the reasons why we see what Charlie Strong can do. He's set for at least one more year. He has a bright future.
When is your mock draft coming out?
Next Wednesday, January 16. The first one for this year. That's the day after all of the juniors delcare for the draft.
Who do you think the chiefs pick at number one?
They need a QB, but there is not one there to pick No. 1. They need a OL, CB, ILB. Luke Joeckel could be the guy. Or try to trade down.
Best SS in the draft?
A couple of guys there. Matt Elam, Florida; Phillip Thomas, Fresno State; Shawn Williams, Georgia; Daimion Stafford, Nebraska; Earl Wolff, NC State; Robert Lester, Alabama.
Who do the Phins take at 12? WR, CB? Or do they look at Warmack if available for Eifert?
The main thing is WR. You have to help out Tannehill. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee is a guy you could look at.
is Jarvis Jones strictly a 3-4 OLB or can he play in a 4-3? Lions have a big need @ OLB and he seems like the only one projected in the top 5 range ...
He could. He could be a guy that fits there, but I think he's ideally suited as a 3-4 OLB. That's where he'll fit best at the pro level.
I think he's the best player in this draft on ability. The question will be on the medical part of it. That will have to be checked out.
How good of a chance does Denver have to win the Super Bowl?
Denver, being where they are with the seeding and knowing everything goes through them, they have a chance. I think it comes down to Denver and New England. Brady-Manning once again. It would be a great end to the AFC season. That matchup, I think everyone in the NFL craves right now. In the NFC, you have to say it's pretty wide open. Green Bay is only a 3 point favorite and Atlanta is a 2.5 favorite. In the AFC, Denver and New England are 9-9.5 favorites.
are there any Alfred Morris's in this draft?
Shanahan did that in Denver with Davis and Mike Anderson and then getting Morris in Washington. Intriguing later round guys could be: George Winn, Cincinnati; Mike Gillislee, Florida.
Will Adrian Peterson's incredible comeback from injury change teams' consideration of Marcus Lattimore?
It depends upon when he'll be back. Willis McGahee was drafted despite injury. If you have to write off the rookie year, you're drafting him for the second year. The combine and medical part will be critical for Lattimore. He's got first round ability. I would say 2-3 round right now as a guesstimate.
Who are you higher on as 3-4 OLB, Barr from UCLA, or Greene from Rutgers?
First of all, I think Greene is more of a 4-3 OLB. Barr is going back to UCLA, which surprises me. I thought he could be a top 15 pplayer. He was as good a pass rusher as Moore and Jones. Surprisingly, he opted to go back.
For Greene, I would say late first, early to mid second.
What does Buffalo do at #8? QB, WR ???
QB. They have to figure it out. They're in a division with Tom Brady. They need to get a QB. Fitzpatrick is OK, but he's not going to be spectacular. They need a WR and they need to help out that defense. They addressed the defense last year. They need to figure out the offensive side. They need a QB and get another WR.
Who do you have the Eagles taking with the 4th pick in the draft?
They're a team that you think OL. They get a lot of guys back on the OL. Andy Reid was usually hesitant to draft OL that early. They need a big time safety in the worst way. You could be looking at an OL. They need to figure that out.
Is this the worst year in recent history to have the No 1 overall Pick?With no clear cut No 1 out there even trading the pick wont bring much. Just take the best guy out there that fits your biggest need and hope for the best?
You're going to try and trade it, but you need a partner. Who will it be attractive enough to go up and get? KC would love to trade down, but they need a dance partner. They could trade down a little bit and still look down at Mike Glennon in the 10 area. If you look to the second round, Matt Barkley, Geno Smith could be there. WR, LT, CB, ILB, but QB is the most significant area that they have to improve.
They're a QB away from being a good team.
Mel... Steelers don't pick in the teens too often. is this a critical year for Colbert to restock D & not have too many misses? Hood
It's always that way. Pittsburgh has a good history in their personnel department. They need another WR and they could use another CB. They have been adding some younger guys on defense, but they need some guys to step up.
What are the needs of the Seahawks? Do they draft a big receiver like Justin Hunter?
Sidney Rice has done a good job for them. He made some great catches. Miller at TE made some catches. They are one team that doesn't have a glaring need. They don't have a specific need where they're in trouble. They're a solid football team. They could dangle Matt Flynn out there.
If Clowney were draft eligible right now is he number 1 on your big board?
By far. There wouldn't even be anybody close. He's the best DE prospect since Bruce Smith in 1985 when he went No. 1 to Buffalo.
Is this the draft the Bears finally take a backup/future replacement for Uhrlacher?
Yeah, I think it's the year where they would look at that, but they have other needs, specifically OL. They need to better help out Jay Cutler. They need two OL in their first five picks. They have a lot of need areas.
Niners are the favorite Mel! And do you see any way they don't go DL round 1?
They could. They have some areas they could look at. The problem they have free agents on the DL. You don't want to force anything. It's a key need area, because they have some free agents coming up. You have to hope Jenkins does something next year. They need him to help this football team. DL is the key need area, but you have to see who is available. They're a team that could look at John Jenkins, Datone Jones.
The college season is over. This is when you get the best out of the NFL. This is a great final grouping. It's clearly the best 8 teams left. It's great. Every favorite won. We had four playoff games last year and all four favorites won. This week you have four outstanding matchups. Two coin flip games in the NFC. I'll have my predictions on ESPN Radio's Dari and Mel between 8a-noon ET on Saturday.