Which players great combine performance brought them into the 1st round discussion?
Tavon Austin, WR, WVU; Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington; Datone Jones, DE, UCLA; Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee; Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU.
Mel, with the breaking news that Alex Smith will be traded to the Chiefs when the new league year starts on March 12th is there a situation in which they will not draft Joeckel with the first pick and if so what is that situation? Maybe trading to the Jets for Revis and the #9 pick.
It depends on Brandon Albert. He's a free agent. Joeckel will battle to remain the No. 1 LT. Eric Fisher is right there with him. If Albert is your LT, they could go a different direction. They gave up their 2nd round pick to get Smith. If they can get anyone to trade to move up to No. 1, that's what you do, but you need someone to move up. There is not a perfect fit for them at No. 1.
If Tavon Austin were 6'3 would he be a top ten pick?
He would be the No. 1 pick overall, forget the top 10. In this draft, he'd be No. 1. I still think he'll be a mid first rounder.
How far does Tyler Bray's impressive combine performance move him up among QB's? Could he be the first QB taken?
No. He could be the 3rd or 4th taken, not the first.
There is mixed opinions on all of these QBs.
what are your thoughts on Tyrann Mathieu and other LSU players in the combine?
I thought he was impressive. I thought he did a good job. He helped himself. The interview process is different. We'll have to see how he did on that. He ran well enough in the 40. He's a good football player. I think he goes 3-4 round.
Do you think Manti Te'o's 4.82 40 time should hurt his draft stock given a player like Terrell Suggs also had a less than desirable 4.84 40 time? Terrell Suggs was described as an "instinctual" football player expected to be drafted earlier than 10th overall, but his 40 time hurt his draft stock just like Manti Te'o although it seems to have hurt Manti significantly more.
Laurinaitis ran a 4.76. Spikes ran a 5.10. Burfict ran a 5.09. It's not like all of these ILBs ran a great 40. Mayo ran a 4.5. Patrick Willis ran a 4.5. But they're the elite. Not everyone is elite. Te'o should go 25-32. It's being overstated what it means.
What round will Giovani Bernard go in?
Third or fourth.
Do you think the Lions would consider taking Warmack with the 5th pick?
I'd say no. They have more pressing needs. They need CB, S, DE. I think it's too early for Warmack at OG.
On your latest big board you have Eifert as the top tight end. What seperates him from Ertz?
He's a little more explosive athletically. Very similar from a size standpoint, pass catching ability. I think they'll both be very solid players and both in the late first round mix.
kenny vaccaro ran slow. Did that hurt him or is he just far and away better than other safeties that he wil go early anyways?
Matt Elam will be in that mix too. Some may like him better. But Vaccaro should run better. Joe Haden we saw run poorly at the combine and much better at the pro day. Banks from MS State needs to run better at his pro day.
And they usually do run better.
Hey Mel. After a good combine work out. Where do you see Shamarko Thomas from Syracuse landing in the draft?
I would say in that fourth round discussion.
Will someone get a steal in damontre moore, because its looks like his stock is falling despite the fact he was a great productive college player?
His stock has plummeted, he ran a 4.95 and did only 12 reps. That's enough to really hurt your draft position. He went from top 5 in the Big Board to out of the top 25. He's in the late first round mix, not the early first round mix.
With Ansah, Jordan, and Mingo all having great combines, what order do you predict they will be drafted in?
Jordan, Mingo, Ansah, I believe.
Jordan goes in the top 5, Mingo top 10, Ansah top 15. It wouldn't shock me if Ansah went ahead of Mingo, but Jordan is definitely the best of the group.
Hi Mel, do coaches view great pro day over poor combine?
A pro day will offset a poor combine. If you had a great combine, you're not running again. You're in the clubhouse. You're not doing anything else. Your pro day will be just to show up. The pro day is for those that didn't work out at the combine or need to again to improve.
Some of the key pro days: Matt Barkley, Jarvis Jones, Keenan Allen, Eddie Lacy, Te'o, Kenny Vaccaro, Johnthan Banks.
Hi Mel. If Patterson is available at #14, do you think the Panthers take him? Is there enough talent in this draft for them to get a quality DT in the 2nd?
I think they could. They could also look at Tavon Austin. He would be a great fit.
Do you expect either Sylvestor Williams or Datone Jones to be available at 29 and, if so, do you think either one would be a good choice for the Patriots at that spot?
Williams will be gone, but Jones could still be there.
With the 49ers possibly losing D. Walker in FA, do you see them going for one of the two top TEs with one of their first two picks?
They have some other areas to concern themselves with. They could use a WR, DL. It depends on how they feel about the players on the board. There are more than just those two TEs that can play.
Does Shariff Floyd and Matt Elam from Florida both go in the 1st rd?
Floyd goes in the top five and Elam goes late first. I have 11 SEC players in the top 25. 10 SEC players went in the first 25 last year.
Has your opinion on Geno Smith changed at all
He ran well. He ran in the 4.6 range. His accuracy isn't always what you want it to be. I have questions about how he went through his progressions. I think he belongs between 20-32. But knowing the way the QBs are overdrafted, I'll change that to 15-25.
As a Ravens fan, I am curious what position/players do you feel will have good value this year in the late first early second round?
They definitely need an ILB. I'm sure they're hoping that Te'o or Ogletree are still there. That would be the best scenario.
Do the Bears go O-line, TE, or trade back to pick up additional picks to fill needs?
They could look at a Lane Johnson OT, or they could look at Tyler Eifert. They could use both.
It is beginning to look like there may not be a CB worthy at #13 for Tampa. Would the be better served looking elsewhere? If so, where?
That's the problem. It might not fall great. CB is their big need. A guy they could look at and stretch a bit is Xavier Rhodes. It's too early for him or Desmond Trufant. A good option would be move down to 20 or 25 and get a Rhodes or Trufant or Banks.
Eddie Lacy to Falcons a good fit/Possibility?
He'd be in the mix for Atlanta. You also could look DE, OL. If Lacy has a good pro day, he could be gone.
What players really surprised you at the Combine, for the good or bad?
For the good, I think Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee; AJ Klein, MLB, Iowa State; Jamie Collins, LB, USM; Moore, OLB, UConn; Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia; David Amerson, CB, NC State; Earl Wolff, S, NC State all had strong workouts.
On the flip side, Demontre Moore; Gavin Escobar, TE, SD State; Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma; Johnthan Banks, CB, MS State; Gionvani Bernard, RB, UNC; Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson; Keith Pough, OLB, Howard.
Bjoern Werner has only been playing football for about 6 years and he just puts up combine numbers exactly like Chris long. So why did his stock drop?
Other guys, just moved ahead of him. Film evaluation grades play into it. He's still a guy that deserves to go 5-12.
Post Combine, who are your top 5 RB's?
No. 1 is still Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, Christine Michael, Johnathan Franklin, Kerwynn Williams.
If you're the Titans do you absolutely go for OL help in the first round? Is there a scenario where the Titans would go in a different direction?
You don't have to. You don't ever go into a draft saying you have to do anything. They have plenty of other needs. They could look at Vaccaro at 10. They could look at Ansah, Werner at DE.
Do you think Te'O would have been better off skipping the combine instead of going and watching his stock drop? His 40 time should not have been that surprising.
You could wait until your pro day. For guys who aren't fast, running at the combine is risky. I've always told juniors, you have to know what your accurate measurables are. I've had CBs tell me they are 4.4 and they run 4.6. Te'o said he was a 4.6 guy and he runs 4.8. You could make an argument that he could have waited until his pro day. Say your hamstrings are tight, you tweaked your ankle. Or don't say anything and just run at your pro day, if that's where you know you can run what you think you can.
Better tackle prospect right now: Joeckel or Fisher?
It's a push. Do you like vanilla or chocolate chip or strawberry? Take your pick. I've been on Fisher all year and I pushed him slightly ahead. They're both top 5 guys.
What is your order now for the top 5 CBs. It seems pretty jumbled except for Milliner being no.1
It's fluid, but it's coming together. Desmond Trufant is No. 2. He had a great Senior Bowl week and he needed to run well and he went sub-4.4. Xavier Rhodes is next. Johnthan Banks is still at 4. He needs to run better at his pro day. David Amerson is 5. He's a great story. He started high at the beginning of the year, dropped during the season and then had a great combine.
Chances Codarelle Patterson goes at number 8 to the Bills?
I think that's a little early. He would be a good fit, but he's still raw. He won't come in and be a Julio Jones or an AJ Green. He's a developmental WR. He's a freakish talent, which warrants him to be a top 10 pick.
Who will be this year's Bruce Irvin pick? Also, Giants, what the heck is going on there, cuts left and right, cap space, draft prospects.
Tavon Austin could, but I think everyone is going to be talking about him. He was in that range, but then he tested out as he did. I've always said shocking first round picks are shocking because you don't predict him. The guys I could see going a little higher than some think: DJ Fluker, Datone Jones, Brandon Williams, AJ Klein, Trevard Williams, Johnathan Cyprien.
Mel, it seems like EJ Manuel had a tremendous Combine. As an FSU fan I question his ceiling as an NFL starter, but what do NFL evaluators think of his potential at the next level?
I think he'll probably get drafted in the 4-5 round area. I have concerns about whether he'll be a successful starter in the NFL.
Can Dion Jordan create enough pressure off the edge to be considered a top 3-4 OLB?
Yeah, definitely. That's where he'll definitely figure. To me, he's a top 5 pick right now.
You can't not be a big time player when your name is Dion Jordan!
is Tavon Austin as good of a prospect as Percy Harbin
He'll draw comparisons. They're very similar explosiveness, both stars at major college and dynamic high school players. Austin is drawing those comparisons.
Where would Denard Robinson be if he was playing WR the last four years at UM instead of QB?
If he had been a WR, he would have been a first round pick. If he had shown a natural catching the ball and with his speed and production, he would have been a first round pick. But right now, he's probably a third rounder. He could still end up on the defensive side of the ball or as a return man.
Chris Gragg still a top 5 TE prospect?
I think he is. He's my No. 5. I think he has a chance to be a 3-4 rounder.
deepest position? change with the combine?
It didn't really change. I think this draft is without elite players. There is no consensus No. 1. All of these guys would normally be 10-32 picks. I don't think there are any legit top 10 picks. But from No. 10 and on, there are a lot of quality players. There are 15 safeties that have a chance to be starters in the NFL. Last year we only had 5 or 6. You can always find RBs. I say every year you can find RBs in the 4-7 rounds.
With the 12th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select... ?
Obviously it depends on Mike Wallace. If he signs with the Dolphins then they don't have to take Patterson. They could look at DB. They could look at Kenny Vaccaro. That hinges on Mike Wallace. There's also talk about Greg Jennings. Jake Long, they also have to bring him back. If they don't, they could be looking at Lane Johnson
With 15 picks in this years draft, do the Niners make a trade to move up in the first round?
The 49ers are a talent laden team. They don't really have a glaring weakness. DL is an issue they have to target. If they move up, they could target a DT.
How many WRs get picked in the first? How many are truly first round talents?
I think 4 go in the first: Austin, Patterson, Allen, and either Hunter or Patton.
How did Ryan Swope's combine performance effect his draft stock, and with the Chief's supposed aquisition of Alex Smith, how confident are you with them drafting an offensive lineman?
He was spectacular. He doesn't have the big hands or the reach and the length, but he was productive and consistent. He made some monster catchings. He has outstanding ability after the catch. He's tough. He'll go over the middle. He's a slot receiver. He could go third round. He helped himself by at least 2-3 rounds.
Who will be available at the Safety/CB position for the Redskins in Rd. 2?
Matt Elam will be gone. If he were there, he would be interesting. Johnathan Cyprien, FIU and Earl Wolff, NC State are getting a lot of talk right now.
Who are the Workout Warriors in this draft? Great without pads but when pads come on they dissappear.
Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia would fit into that category. Knile Davis, not because he didn't have the production but because he wasn't durable enough to have a lot of it. Margus Hunt, because he is raw. Michael Buchanan, Devin Taylor, Zaviar Gooden, Johnny Adams, Darius Slay.
Hey Mel,Do you have any idea as to where Steve Williams will be drafted? He is a better CB than most and faster as his 4.25 40 time indicated.
He is fast. He ran great, a phenomenal 40. He could be a workout warrior too. I think he's a 2-3 round pick.
Did the Chiefs trade their most valuable pick (34th overall) of the draft? And do you think Alex Smith was worth it?
What you have to ask yourself is would you feel better about Matt Barkley? Mike Glennon? Landry Jones? Ryan Nassib? Tyler Wilson? Those are the QBs you're looking at at No. 34. Would you rather have one of them or Alex Smith? Geno Smith is not going to be there at 34.
Do you think there is a slot type receiver the Broncos could pick up at 28 that would trump their needs on defense?
I think you could wait until the 3-4 round to get a slot receiver. Tavon Austin will be gone. Connor Vernon, Denard Robinson, Ryan Swope, Chad Bumphis, Skye Dawson, TJ Moe, Zach Rogers, Jasper Collins, Alan Bonner, Anthony Amos are some guys you can get in the 3-4 rounds.
Do you think a big part of Cornelius Washington's lack of production had to do with him being too big for OLB and too small for DE in the 3-4 at UGA? If you're a 4-3 team, wouldn't you take a chance on a guy who is 6'4", 270 lbs. and can run like he just did (and hope he's just a better fit in your defense?)
I think he's a 3-4 OLB that can put his hand on the ground. He was impactful in some games. He had a great Senior Bowl week. He had an incredible combine across the board. With all of that in mind, he did unbelievable. He ran 4.5-4.6, did 36 reps, 39-inch vertical. Those are remarkable numbers. He can be disruptive. He can run and chase. He tested like a first round, he played like a 3-4 rounder, so you average it out and I think he goes in 2-3. Could he be a shocking first rounder? Yes, he could. This is where a coach down in Mobile and fall in love with him there and then see him at Mobile and love him more and drive to get him in the first.
Mel, Do you see the Bengals going for S in round 1, or if Te'o is there do you see them drafting him to help replace Rey who is probably leaving in FA?
It's definitely a key need area. I could see them going for Kenny Vaccaro or Matt Elam. They could also go for a RB like Eddie Lacy. But safety is a big need.
what do the eagles do with the 4th overall pick? possible for a trade up or down?
They could go a variety of ways. They have big OL needs so they could go Joeckel or Fisher. Dee Milliner. Those would be the options.
Hi Mel. Big Rutgers fan. Does Logan Ryan go in the back end of the 2nd round?
He could. He's a nice player. Solid player. Had he gone back to Rutgers, he would have been a first round type of guy.
Hey Mel. I like the idea of Vaccarro to the Bengals at 21, but the team (notably Zimmer) seems like he wants a CB or LB. Is this a mistake? Can they get the Syracuse S later and find a steal?
Vaccaro may be gone. He will run at his pro day and if he runs well, he could be gone. There is no guarantee. Matt Elam could be another guy in the mix.
Mel, what are the NY Giants biggest needs this draft and free agent season? Also, are there any chances of a Nittany Lion being drafted this year?
The big thing with them is CB, DE, OL and TE. Those are the four areas that I think they'll be looking to fill needs at.
They could look at Desmond Trufant at CB. Tyler Eifert. If one of the DEs dropped that far. They tend to not draft OL in the first round.
Good discussion on the combine. A new first round projection coming out next week as we put the combine stuff to bed!