Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

April 23, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Mel Kiper

Chris (Atlanta)

Could Sylvester Williams be a dominate force in the nfl?

Mel Kiper
  (1:03 PM)

I think he could be an outstanding player in this league. He's the fourth of this elite DTs. You could argue he's the third best or even the second best. He had a heckuva year. He played through an injury, so he wasn't even 100%. He can penetrate. He can split double teams. I wouldn't be surprised if he went earlier than people projected.

Ben (OK)

Any chance miami takes tyrann mathieu considering there cb situation

Mel Kiper
  (1:04 PM)

They could. Probably late second. They have two second round picks. Maybe at 54, that could be a possible. I have them looking at Robert Alford with that pick.

Mel Kiper
  (1:04 PM)

The mock draft that had Geno going No. 4 was from early April. I always thought EJ Manuel was in the mix. I could see Philly taking Manuel in the second round. That would make sense.

Alex (Chicago)

what are the Chicago Bears gonna do with the 20th pick in the first round

Mel Kiper
  (1:05 PM)

The Bears could go in a number of directions. Te'o. An OL. Tyler Eifert would be a great pick if he's still there.

Steve (Arizona)

What are the chances one of the 3 top OT is still available at 7? If not, do they go guard or Defense?

Mel Kiper
  (1:06 PM)

If the OT is gone, they could look OLB. That's certainly a need area. I think they have a chance in the second to get a 3-4 DE. Margus Hunt, Datone Jones maybe.

Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)

How much truth is there to the rumor Dee Milliner could be falling?

Mel Kiper
  (1:06 PM)

He's not falling. He's just a tough player to project. He's coming off the shoulder injury. Everyone knew he had the injury. He could go anywhere between 5 and 9.

J (NY)

Who do you think will be drafted first, Montori Hughes or Brandon Williams? Think either would be a good fit as a 3-4 NT for the Jets?

Mel Kiper
  (1:07 PM)

They are. I give the slight edge, if I'm ranking right now, to Williams. I have Williams going 77 and Hughes going 90 to Denver. They're both in the third round.

Thom (Orlando)

Who will be the better player in year 3 Hunter, Patterson or Rodgers?

Mel Kiper
  (1:08 PM)

I would say, three years from now, Patterson.

Lauren (Ill)

Mel who are you 3 best centers in the draft.

Mel Kiper
  (1:09 PM)

The top centers, Justin Pugh, if he plays there. But I'm projecting him to guard. He could also play center. There are some people that Cooper could be a great center, if he plays there, he's the best. But I have him as a great guard. Travis Frederick, Barrett Jones, Brian Schwenke are the top three pure centers.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Could you see any Bruce Irvin type of surprise pick in the 1st round this year?

Mel Kiper
  (1:11 PM)

Sylvester Williams is one of those kinds of kids. DJ Hayden. Datone Jones. Ryan Nassib, we have him going 8 to Buffalo right now. DJ Swearinger. Sio Moore.

Frank (Minneapolis) [via mobile]

Besides Lane Johnson and QBs which other players might teams be looking to trade up for?

Mel Kiper
  (1:12 PM)

Depends how far some players slide. That usually dictates where teams go. DJ Fluker is hot. He's somebody a team might trade up to get. Sheldon Richardson is hot. Tavon Austin. Tyler Eifert. Kenny Vaccaro.

Dave (Redding, CT)

What is the chance the Patriots trade out of the first with only 5 picks in this draft?

Mel Kiper
  (1:13 PM)

They could definitely do that. I think Baltimore could trade out of the first. Teams picking late in the first could definitely trade out of there. Move down, pick up an extra pick or two. The Pats will be targeting some DBs a WR.

Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)

How big of a difference do you see between Geno Smith and the next crop of QB's (Nassib, Barkley, Manuel, etc.)? To my novice eye there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference...so why reach for Smith if you're say Buffalo at 8? Or similarly, why would Nassib be a reach at 8 if Smith is projected to go high and there isn't a huge gap in talent between them?

Mel Kiper
  (1:14 PM)

Nobody is going to be reaching for anybody. You don't worry about reaching. If you like a QB, you take him. Christian Ponder went 12. It was a reach, but the Vikings liked him and they took him. We'll see how he continues to develop. Geno Smith graded out as a top 25 player, not top 5. We'll see where he goes. If there is a reach, then the only reach will be Ryan Nassib, and that's only because of Doug Marrone at Buffalo. If he's not there, then he's probably a second rounder.

John (NY)

Who are the Jets targeting for 9 and 13?

Mel Kiper
  (1:16 PM)

They could look at Mingo, OLB, LSU at 9. If Milliner is there, they could take him. At 13, they could go in a variety of ways. They have many need areas. Chance Warmack, Tyler Eifert, Tavon Austin, Kenny Vaccaro, Jarvis Jones. There are a ton of ways they could go at that point.

CC (Atlanta)

Atlanta at 30. Give me a CB, DE or OL they can reasonably expect to be available. And don't even mention TE... there is a 0% chance they go that route.

Mel Kiper
  (1:17 PM)

The OL would be Kyle Long. The DE would probably be Margus Hunt or Warner.

Larry (The Villages)

Who is more of Gronk type player, Kelce, Mcdonald or Escabar?

Mel Kiper
  (1:18 PM)

Escabar is a great pass catching TE. He has outstanding hands. He's a big guy, 6-5, 250. He has tremendous natural pass catching skills. Eifert can be an outstanding pass catching TE. Ertz is 6-5, 250. He's a tough guy to handle in coverage. He's a late first early second rounder. There are some intriguing TEs. Whether they'll be as good as Gronkowski, nobody knows.

Corey (D.C.)

What 4-3 OLB do you think Seattle be looking at in Round 2, and how will that group compare to who is left at DT.

Mel Kiper
  (1:19 PM)

You could look at Kawann Short, DT, Purdue. John Jenkins, DT, Florida. The OLB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers would be a guy to look at.

Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)

What's the ideal situation for the Browns?

Mel Kiper
  (1:20 PM)

They don't have a second round pick, so they have to make the first rounder count, or trade down. I think you have to look at CB. They have to find QB at some point. I like Tyler Eifert a lot. I would say those are some of the options.

J (NY)

What do you make of Corey Fuller with only one real year of college football, is he boom or bust?

Mel Kiper
  (1:21 PM)

I don't know if he's boom or bust. He's a developmental WR is what he is. He's got a lot of ability. He had a great year at Virginia Tech. He had 43 catches in 8 games. He only caught two passes in 2011. He was a backup. He was at Kansas on a track scholarship. A long jumper, triple jumper, sprinter. He walked on at VT. Limited opportunities, but became a consistent threat. He's raw, but he can run a 4.4.

Tom (Albany )

Are any teams willing to give Pugh a try at tackle? Or is everyone drafting him to be a guard/center?

Mel Kiper
  (1:22 PM)

You'll hold out a little hope that he could be a OT. He played LT very effectively at Syracuse. But he has the short arms and that's why he projects to the inside. If it wasn't for the short arms, he'd be a top 15 pick.

Dean (Duluth, MN) [via mobile]

It appears Rick Speilman seems enamored with Manti Te'o. Will the Vikings have to trade up from #23 to acquire him?

Mel Kiper
  (1:23 PM)

Maybe. Maybe because we don't know what the Giants will do at 19 or the Bears at 20. Those would be good fits for him. If they want to get Te'o they might have to move up.

Mel Kiper
  (1:24 PM)

They love Notre Dame players at Minnesota.

Dan A. (Rochester, NY)

Mel, does Dion Jordan fit as a 4-3 DE, like JPP? As a Raider fan, I think they need a pass rusher.

Mel Kiper
  (1:24 PM)

He fits with Jacksonville, in the way they would use him. Otherwise, I think he's a 3-4 OLB.

Quinn (Apopka)

Any Alfred Morris types in 4-7?

Mel Kiper
  (1:26 PM)

Yeah, there are a number of them. The guys that could be are: Montel Harris, Temple; Jawan Jamison, Rutgers; Mike James, Miami (FL); Stepfan Taylor, Stanford; Joseph Randle, OK State; Cierre Wood, Notre Dame; George Winn, Cincinnati; Dennis Johnson, Arkansas; CJ Anderson, Cal; Michael Hill Missouri Western.

Greg (Lincoln)

What are the Nebraska prospects looking like?

Mel Kiper
  (1:28 PM)

The two most intriguing guys are late rounders. Rex Burkhead had a great career at Nebraska. He was incredibly durable until spraining his knee in the opener. He's a complete back. He's tough. He's got decent hands. Throwback runner. He had a 39 vertical at the combine. If you get him in the 5-7 round he'd be a good find. Also, Eric Martin made a ton of plays. He had some huge games. He was dominant against Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa. He'll also be a great special teams guy. He's a late round pick, priority free agent.

Tim (Detroit)

Denard Robinson goes where in the draft?

Mel Kiper
  (1:30 PM)

Third round. I think he'll end up being a situational running back. He's a natural running the ball. He showed better hands at his pro day. You can throw some screens and short passes to him. He's tough. Whether he evolves into a return man remains to be seen. But his best chance to contribute is as a situational running back.

mike (tampa)

Where does Sheldon Richardson rank among the defensive tackles in the draft and wheres the best fit for him?

Mel Kiper
  (1:31 PM)

He's arguably the best. He's probably the best three technique DT in the draft. Penetrator. Very quick. Gifted. Strong. I would not be surprised to see him go in the top 10. Long arms. Strong. He could be a five technique. Three technique.

Andrew (NY)

Is there a team in love with Geno Smith?

Mel Kiper
  (1:32 PM)

You have to really like a QB you're drafting. You don't draft a QB you're luke warm on. But you can cut ties with these QBs earlier because you're not paying him as much any more. But you don't take a guy that you're not in love with that early.

Dave (Wayne, NJ)

Where does Marcus Lattimore go in the draft?

Mel Kiper
  (1:33 PM)

I'd say 4th or 5th round. He's going to have to be redshirted the first year, coming off the knee injury. I think he's a 4th or 5th round pick, an early Day 3 guy.

Dan (NY)

Any chance Shamarko Thomas goes to the Cowboys in Round 2?

Mel Kiper
  (1:34 PM)

I'm not sure he'll be there. If he is, that will be a possibility. I think there may be a safety that slips through. Swearinger. Cyprien. A safety could fall through to them in the second, I just don't know who it will be.

Mike (FL)

Is Tavon Austin the real thing, or more likely to be a bust?

Mel Kiper
  (1:35 PM)

He should be. He's dynamic. Versatile. You can use his skills in a lot of ways. Punt returner. Kick returner. You can put him in the backfield. He should be an immediate impact player.

ty (nc)

Is Shariff Floyd the number one DT because of upside? because there's guys i think are better than him

Mel Kiper
  (1:36 PM)

He had a very good year. It's not just upside. He's explosive at the snap. He could be NT in the 3-4. He could be a 3-4 DE. He could be a DT in a 4-3. He's not a great pass rusher. He has short arms. But he's a productive player. I think he deserves to be a top 5 pick.

Jeff (NY)

Who are the Rams targeting at 16 and 22?

Mel Kiper
  (1:36 PM)

I would say Tavon Austin at 16 and Kenny Vaccaro at 22.

TOM (TITLETOWN)

Should the packers go d-line in the 1st rd. who's the best available @26? What rbs. or safetys will there in rd. 2 for them? I want M. Ball

Mel Kiper
  (1:37 PM)

They could look at a RB like Eddie Lacy in the first. JJ Wilcox at safety in the second round. They could look at WR at some point, DL. They have some areas of concern. But I think Eddie Lacy at 26, they need a RB, would make a lot of sense.

matt (springvale maine)

who do u think is a hidden gem at linebacker in the late rounds like zach thomas

Mel Kiper
  (1:40 PM)

ILB in the late rounds: Vince Williams, FSU; Nick Clancy, Boston College; Brandon Hepburn, Florida A-M; Herman Lathers, Tennessee. OLB in the late rounds: Phillip Steward, Houston; Ty Powell, Harding; John Lotulelei, UNLV; Jake Knott, Iowa State; Steven Means, Buffalo.

darnel (missouri)

If tackle is the need for the chiefs why not trade out of number one and still get one of the top left tackles since they all have similar grades?

Mel Kiper
  (1:41 PM)

The problem with that, if you trade down beyond four you probably aren't going to get one. If someone up jumps up to get a OT, then Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia all could look at OTs. If you leave the top 5, you might not get one. You can't fool around much if you're KC. I have the three OTs 1, 2, 3 on the board right now.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Do you think the Giants have a specific player in mind they are hoping is there when it is their turn to pick?

Mel Kiper
  (1:42 PM)

I think all teams have specific players in mind when they pick. You know who fits your system. You know who you want. You know who you think will realistically will be there. The Giants could look at OT. They could look at CB. They could look at Te'o. He's an interesting guy for the Giants.

Milton (Illinois)

Who are the Cardinals targeting??

Mel Kiper
  (1:43 PM)

They could look at one of the LTs, if he slips through. They could look at Cooper to play OG/OC. They could look at Mingo. OLB like Jarvis Jones.

Ryan (Spokane)

What are the Broncos needs areas? Trade out of the first?

Mel Kiper
  (1:44 PM)

They are a team that could do that. THey're in a position where that's a viable option. They could look at MLB, DL, CB, S, RB. Those are their need areas.

matt (springvale maine)

who is pats targeting?

Mel Kiper
  (1:45 PM)

Where they are picking at the end of the first round, maybe a WR like Robert Woods, USC. He'd be a nice pick at that point. A safety like Matt Elam. They could go CB. I think in the second round they could look at Tyrann Mathieu from LSU.

Dan (Delaware)

Any players who you have felt are "lock" top 10 picks that you could see falling into the 20's or out of rd1? Seems like there is always 1

Mel Kiper
  (1:47 PM)

I don't think they'd fall that far, no. Some people are saying Dee Milliner might fall to 9. Jarvis Jones. Star Lotulelei. I don't see any big drops. Geno Smith is now projected 20-32. I don't know if that's a drop, because I always projected him there.

Mike (Miami)

Do you think B Albert is worth the 42nd pick? Or the 54th? Or are both too high?

Mel Kiper
  (1:47 PM)

If I'm Miami, I'm looking at maybe drafting DJ Fluker at 12 and put Martin at the other OT and move on like that.

Corey (D.C.)

Lately Ive read some prominent scouts say Bernard is the best RB, while others say Franklin is the best RB, and of course most say Lacy is. How close are these 3?

Mel Kiper
  (1:49 PM)

I think there is a slim separation between Lacy and Montee Ball from Wisconsin. Then a nice separation from Ball to Bernard, Bell, Franklin, Ellington, Michael. Those are the guy. I like Kenjon Barner. I think he's being underrated. Kerwin Williams is being underrated. Those guys have ability. Ellington is a good football player. You're going to find backs. Backs are going to be a great bargain in every draft. They always do.

Mel Kiper
  (1:51 PM)

We'll have our draft review on Monday in the chat at 1 p.m. ET. Tonight, there's a great 30 for 30 covering the 1983 draft, one of the most intriguing and interesting drafts in the NFL. It's on tonight on ESPN. Check it out.