Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
We've got Mel!
Mark (Arlington, Tx)
Hey Mel, I never hear anything about Colt McCoy as an NFL prospect. Does he have what it takes to be a day one pick?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
I think it's a wise decision to go back, first of all. He's one of many junior QBs who have a chance to be a starter in the NFL. There are more highly rated junior QBs out there. He then becomes one of the higher QBs in the 2010 draft. If he came out early, he's probably a 3-4 round pick. If some of the juniors leave early, next year, he would move from a 3-4 round to 1-2 round pick.
Mindy (Wilsonville, OR.)
Mel, who do you like in the Oregon vs Cal game?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
On paper, it's a toss up. Max Unger and Alex Mack are two of the top centers in the game. Two potential, at worst, second round picks. But both of them have first round grades. You also have an outstanding CB Jarius Byrd, a junior from Oregon. Oregon has two excellent RBs. Cal has a lot of talent. It's too close to call on paper. But a lot of NFL scouts will have their eyes on the centers.
Mel, two questions for you: first, where do you think the Golden Gophers will end the season at and second, what kind of pro potential does Eric Decker have as a WR?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
They know they're going to a bowl, which is a huge turn around season for them. Minnesota is 7-1. Homecoming this week against Northwestern, a tough game. NU is coming off of a tough loss and they're 6-2. Two surprisingly good teams in this game. You should have some points scored in this game and a hotly contested game. If they can win 9 games this year, go 2-2 to finish out the year, with three of their last four at home. That would be a phenomenal year at 9-3. Their QB and WR have been the key entities on this team. The good thing about Decker is hopefully he'll be back for his senior year. This team went 1-11 and 0-8 in the Big Ten last year. They're 3-1 in the Big Ten right now. Their only loss is to Ohio State.
Mel Big Fins fan up in NY, looks like the Fish need a Shutdown Corner, DT, LB, WR and overall depth. Which direction do you see them going come April with t 3 picks in the first 2 round? (By the way, it was awesome not have included QB in the long list of needs).Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
The defense is Parcells. He will continue to upgrade the defense. Knowing the way he operates, he believes you win with defense. Last year, they started off with Jake Long. The most interesting thing is when will Chad Henne replace Chad Pennington. Henne has the big arm. I would think defense early.
Mel, big fan and I'm wondering who the Bengals will be targeting with their number 1 overall pick this year. OT, DE, LB? What's your thoughts on who is going to be available for them....
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
If you think about them, they have Carson Palmer. The QB issue is not there for them. For the line, Andre Smith, if he comes out early. And we'll have to see what direction they go with Marvin Lewis, there could be a change there. We have to see what system they go with before you decide what players they'd go after.
Bernard (Princeton, NJ)
Mel, what are your thoughts on Aaron Maybin? He is #2 in the country in sacks.
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
Third-year sophomore. He's been one of the guys that's been one of the big break out players of the year. Maybin stepped in there and has been a dynamic presence at DE. He's been a tremendous impact player. you hope that he goes back to PSU, but as a third-year sohpomore, he could enter the draft. They didn't have Sean Lee at LB this year. A couple of guys have really stepped up for PSU. Navorro Bowman has been outstanding.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Mel, the Lions are obviously in disarray, but now they're in talks with Culpepper? Which college guys do you think they should be looking at drafting?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
They have to get a QB. The time is now. Especially if a Matthew Stafford or Sam Bradford is available. They drafted Drew Stanton but that was by the previous management. Paramount is getting a QB.
What are your thoughts on RB's Donald Brown and Shonn Greene in regards to the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Greene, after being out last year, getting his academics in order, he is a star in the Big Ten. He's coming off a huge performance. Greene runs with power, he has good vision, good balance. He's not hte ultimate home run hitter. He's been an outstanding player for them. He's one of the top junior RBs in the class.
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
Brown is another one of those junior RBs. Brown is my fifth highest rated junior RB. Greene is my third.
Mike (Long Island)
Hey Mel, being a former D2 player/coach, give me some divison two names I could be hearing this coming draft? Bernard Scott of Abeline Christian, Brandon Swain of West Texas A&M, and Dre'Mail Hardin of Stillman all on my radar, who else you got?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
Here are some guys from lower divisions to keep an eye on: Ramses Bardon, WR Cal-Poly; Sean Smalls, CB UMass; Brian Mandeville, TE Northeastern; Jason Williams, LB Western Illinois; Herb Donaldson, RB W. Illinois; Nathan Brown, QB Central Arkansas - who could end up being the highest rated senior QB; Rhett Bomar, QB Sam Houston State; Domonique Johnson, CB Johnson State.
Will Myron Rolle slip in the draft because of his performance and the posssibility of him accepting a Rhodes Scholarship? If so how far ?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
The guy that is interesting from FSU is junior CB Patrick Robinson. He's coming off a big game. When he's at top of his game, he's a very good CB. He's the 7th highest rated CB as a junior. Tony Carter, senior CB, who could end up being a 4th round pick. He's not real big, but he gets the most of out of his abilities. Rolle is a kid who is a solid player, he's not a great player. Rolle is the 4th highest rated junior safety.
Where do you see Micheal Oher being drafted, maybe top 10?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
He should be in the top 10. He's an outstanding tackle. Andre Smith, if he comes out early, he's the top guy. Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith and Oher, you could have four OTs picked in the top part of the draft.
Where would Brady Quinn rate with the Juniors and Seniors?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
He wouldn't be as highly regarded as a Stafford or Bradford. But this is going to be very interesting to watch. The Baltimore game this week will determine Cleveland moving forward this year. They're 3-4 right now. If they lose, they'll be 1-3 in the division and 3-5 overall. This is the game of the year for them. They played outstanding football the last three weeks. They need to continue. They're at home, the last time they were at home, they beat the Giants soundly. This could determine moving forward, when they want to get Quinn in there. At some point, you have to see what you have with Brady Quinn. They could go into the 2009 season with the two of them.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
As good as Penn State is I haven't heard much of anything from their team in terms of draft prospects. Any first-rounders on that team?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
PSU has a lot of very good players, a lot of which are young. If you just look at the offense, Daryyl Clark is a junior QB. Evan Royster is a sophomore RB. Aaron Maybin is a third year sophomore DE. Navorro Bowman is a sophomore LB. Sean Lee, remember, he would have been one of their top prospects, but he got hurt in the spring. Right now, you'd say their best prospect is Derrick Williams and AQ Shipley, Gerald Cadogan, Deion Butler, Jordan Norwood. Lydell Sargeant and Anthony Scirrotto, Josh Gaines. Those are the prospects. A lot of them are 3-4 round types. They'll have a lot of draftable players, not first round types, but the most of them will go 2, 3, 4 round.
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
They could end up with eight players drafted.
Mel, do you see an influx of juniors declaring for the draft so they can get in before the rookie salary cap is implemented?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I don't know about the decision. Have you maximized your abilities? Will you be a first round pick? QBs first Stafford, Bradford, Sanchez, Freeman. RBs Moreno, Wells, McCoy. WRs Crabtree, Maclin, Heyward-Bey, Harvin. TEs Gresham. OTs Andre Smith. DEs Hardy, Maybin, Selvie, Brown, Hughes. DTs Cody, Marks, Jean-Francois, Atkins. ILBs Spikes. OLBs Colbin. CBs Davis, Moore, Byrd. S Mays. Those are the underclassmen that can impact the draft this year. Some are third year sophomores.
Randy (St. Paul)
Hey Mel, who do you have as the better pro QB? Stafford or Bradford? I know Stafford has the bigger arm, but you can't argue with the numbers Bradford has put up.
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
They're both neck and neck right now. They both basically have the same grade. You have the big arm with Stafford, but not hte gaudy stats. The gaudy stats are with Bradford. He's got time to throw. He has three outstanding linemen in front of him, outstanding TE, WRs, RBs. He has all the components. He's more precise with the football, but he has more time to throw. Stafford has the stronger arm. He's more mobile. Bradford can throw on the run. Both have ideal size. There are a lot of things to look at. This will be like Leinart-Young, Mirer-Bledsoe, Manning-Leaf. We've had this situation before. Those are the two that everyone is going to be judging at the top fo the board.
Dan (Iron City)
Mel - Pitt at ND this week. Who ya got? And how good do you think Jonathan Baldwin can be?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
This is one of those swing games for ND. It could go either way. So far, in those swing games, ND is 3-2 and 2-0 in the other games against San Diego State and Washington. I thought originally they would be 4-1 in their other games and the remaining seven are swing games. Right now they're 3-2 in those, they ahve to play BC and Pitt. The Pitt game is a toss up game.
Dee (Greenville, NC)
The Chargers obviously need an upgrade at the MLB spots. Who are your top ILB prospects that could play in a 3-4 defense? Also do you think Taylor Mays will stay a DB in the NFL of be converted to a LB?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Ray Maualuga is the top MLB type in the senior class. Brandon Spikes is the top in the junior class.
JL (Hoboken, NJ)
Where do you project DJ Moore out of Vanderbilt?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
I like him. He's right now my second highest rated junior CB. He has shown very good coverage skills. He doesn't have great size. When you look at him, he has outstanding hands, great ball skills. Good return man. Phenomenal athlete. He's only about 5-9, 5-10, 185. So, not ideal size, but we've seen in this league you don't have to be.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Vanderbilt has got to scratch and claw to get to 6 wins. That game against Duke, they lost 10-7. That was a huge loss. They have to play Florida, Kentucky, Tennesse, Wake. They have to win one more game.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
They're now 5-3, with three straight losses. They have to get back to winning games. Remember, they never got to a bowl with Jay Cutler.
Mel, Who has the best offense in America?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I would say Oklahoma/Texas Tech. I say it for this reason. Oklahoma has the big time QB and they ahve all the great skill talent you need. Everything is in place. They have that fast pace, no huddle offense. They have scored 35 points, which was their lowest output this season. They've scored over 50 points in four games. As for TT, they have an outstanding college QB, two RBs they have the best WR in college in Crabtree. Detron Lewis is a developing star. A spunky, elusive senior in Morris at WR. The OL is getting the job done. Baron Batch has been effective out of the backfield.
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
Tech has scored over 50 in three games. Their lowest output was 35 in two games.
We really need more pass rushing 3-4 DE's. Ricky Sapp the best one?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
The guy that would be perfect in that system is Tyson Jackson from LSU.
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
He's a big physically talented DE. He's 6-4, 298 pounds.
Mel, do you still have Laurinaitis in the first round? If you do that is a travesty to all the other LB's with actual talent out there.
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
Yes. He's a very consistent player, very reliable player. He's a top 15-20 guy.
John (Watertown, NY)
With the Raiders' possibly looking at another top 5-10 pick, who do they go after? Now assume Al isn't picking, who SHOULD they pick?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
The Raiders need front seven help on defense. They need WR help. If you look at Russell right now, if they could get a Michael Crabtree, he would be a phenomenal addition. Defensive line, Brian Orakpo, Terrence Cody.
Will J (Portland, OR)
Mel, do the 49ers dare drafting another QB? None of their current options look very appealing at this point.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
You have to assess it all. Alex Smith is not the answer, neither is JT O'Sullivan. Shaun Hill is the starter now. If you get burned once, do you come back again? You almost have to. The senior QBs, none are going to go in the first four rounds. If these junior QBs don't come out, this could be one of the worst QB classes in a long time. Stafford, Bradford, Sanchez and Freeman could all come out. The juniors is where the intrigue is. If they do come out, the first two picks in teh draft could be QBs.
If Texas, Penn St., and Alabama all go undefeated, who plays for the national championship?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
Well, Texas has to be playing, if that happens. They run the gauntlet of Oklahoma, Texas Tech, they win the Big 12 championship. Then it's up to Penn State and Alabama. I would say Alabama, because they would have to win the SEC championship game. They will have to win at LSU and win against Florida or Georgia in the SEC title game. PSU's only signature win would be at OSU.
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
PSU could benefit by not having a conference championship game. If Texas and Alabama lose in their title games, they will be in the BCS game. Teams can get hurt by that and sometimes not.
Dan Monrovia, MD
Do you think the steelers can make it to the super bowl once they get all of their starters back?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
They're in the mix. The AFC is pretty wide open right now. You can't really write everyone off right now. Indy is a flawed team right now. Tennessee is an undefeated team, but they look beatable. They don't have the passing game. They have the running game. Good defense. New England without Brady. Three teams below .500 Jacksonville, Cleveland, Houston, I like all three of those teams. I think they're good teams. Cleveland has been competitive. You could see one of them getting hot. Remember, at the midpoint last year, New York was not considered a very good football team. In the NFC, the Giants are the best team, but they ahve a tough remaining 9 games. They peaked at the right time last year, did they peak a little too early this year?
DJ - CT
Any players from UCONN's defense getting a look? Randy Edsall was once an NFL assistant I believe...
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
They have a couple of guys that will get long looks. Senior CB Darius Butler is a potential first round pick and DE Cody Brown are the guys to watch.
Mel, Who has the best defense in America?
Mel Kiper (2:03 PM)
Penn State. They haven't given up more than 24 points all year. That was to Juice Williams and Illinois. They've given up 14 or less points in seven of their nine games, including in that is Oregon State's 14. They scored 27 against USC. PSU shut down OSU. USC over the last four weeks, has given up 10, 0, 0, 10. So I would say those two would get my votes. USC has given up 10 or fewer in six of their games. Ironically, PSU doesn't have the guy who would have been their best player, Sean Lee. Pretty ironic.
Mel Kiper (2:04 PM)
We have two big games this week - Cocktail Party with Florida and Georgia and Texas Tech and Texas. Two great games. We'll separate Georgia and Florida. Should be a heckuva weekend.