Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
We've got a lot of activity this week with the juniors entering the draft. We have a lot of questions about the draft and the final four in the NFL. Whatever you want to talk about.
Matt (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Would Terrance Cody be a good pick for the Falcons? The Falcons need work on run defense and I think Mt. Cody can fix their problems.
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I think it's smart for Cody to return to Alabama. He was hurt some this year. He needs a full year and to show that he can keep his weight at a manageable level. He's a huge kid, but can still dunk a basketball. He's a natural run stuffer. When he plays with proper leverage, he's impossible to move out of the interior. He could improve his draft position by 25-30 spots by going back.
Kelly Lee, Scranton PA
Mel baby, you're a Baltimorean, Ravens Eagles Super Bowl?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I'd love to see it. I'm a huge Ravens fan, would love to see that matchup. What the Ravens have accomplished this year as been great. To be a projected 5-11 team and to be one of the final four standing and have a rookie QB from the I-AA ranks, new coach, no third option at WR, injuries, to have all those guys out and still play how they have, this is a rough spot to play Pittsburgh again. Two brutally tough games the first time they met. Everything points to a Steelers victory, but everything pointed to a Titans victory last week. Tennessee won all the little battles, but lost the game. Won the battles but lost the war kind of thing. If you're asking me for a pick, I'm going against my heart and with my head in choosing Pittsburgh. I'll be on ESPN Radio on Saturday talking about my final predictions from 10a-1p.
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
The Eagles need to press Fitzgerald and put heat on the QB. You can't do what Carolina did and get more heat on the QB. I think it comes down to how much pressure they put on Warner.
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
I would love to see Philadelphia-Baltimore, but for the Ravens to beat Steelers, it wouldn't be shocking, but the Steelers are playing well.
What do you see the bears doing with the 18th pick. And what round to you see the penn state wrs going in?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
The Bears need offense. They have to start scoring. It used to be all offense that they needed. That's still true, WR, OL and if Orton is their QB moving forward. But they also need defensive help. This defense underachieved this year. A DE, S, this team needs to address the defense as well. You didn't say that in previous years, but you say it this year.
Derek (Kansas City, MO)
The Chiefs hold the #3 pick and now have a competent GM to use the pick in Scott Pioli. Pioli never used a high draft-pick on a QB in New England, so do you think he will take Matt Stafford with the #3 pick, or address O-line or defense help?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
If you look at Pioli, Tyler Thigpen was a late round pick and they hit with Brady and Cassel in the late rounds. They have to evaluate Tyler Thigpen. They have needs at DE. They did not make up for the loss of Jared Allen. The WR position, they have Bowe, but they need a little more help. They need help on the second line at LB. In Pioli's case, if he thinks Thigpen is right for the job, then he can address those other positions.
Hey Mel! Where do you see LeSean McCoy going in the draft?? Word is he's going to declare tomorrow, but do yo think he would be better served going back to Pitt for his junior season??
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
As a RB, you only have so much tread on the tires. He had a big year. He'll probalby be the second or third highest rated QB. Ball security was an issue early on. That's a concern. But you look at a guy that did a good job. He could really run the football. He has quickness and speed and is a good cutback runner. Runs with a lot of determination. What he will do at times is look for trying to hit the big run, instead of just lowering his shoulders and get the 2-3 yards and be done with it. Better decision making running the football, but he has a ton of skills.
Why are all these sure thing first rounders staying in school(Mays,McCoy)?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
Colt McCoy would not have been a sure first rounder. He was a 3-4 rounder. He has a chance to maybe win a national championship next year. Mays, he was a first round pick. That surprised me a little bit. Great size, great speed. I don't think he played to the level of his talent every game. If his gameday performance equals his size and speed and talent, he could be a top 10 pick. McCoy from Oklahoma surprised me a little bit. Ciron Black, another year will benefit him.
Justin (scottsdale, az)
Is Sam Bradford leaning towards staying or going?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
A lot has to do with where he thinks he'll go. If he doesn't think he'll be a No. 1 or 3 pick and more like the 10-15 range, he might go back for another year. From what I've heard if he's not going to go 1, 2, 3 maybe he'll come back. One of the factors of him leaving is that he loses a lot of his weapons. A lot of talent moving on. But OU has some top guys stepping in on those roles. I thought that he lost so many players on the offensive side, that he would come out. It would be a surprise if he didn't come out.
John Appleton, WI
Why would P.J. Hill declare for the NFL Draft with such a good RB class? Do you think he will turn out to be another Ron Dayne in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
I have no idea. That was one that left you scratching your head. I thought he was the 10th best RB from the junior class. With those guys coming out and PJ Hill, granted the seniors aren't very good, he's a power back at full strength, but I thought that he would have stayed at Wisconsin.
Jason (Troy, AL)
What direction do you think the broncos will go this year?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
I think they have to go defense. They need DL help in the worst way. They need help in the secondary. They also have to get a RB. They desperately need DL and DB help.
Do you believe Brian Orakpo will have the kind of influence in the NFL the, like he did at Texas?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
I think he can. I think he'll be drafted to be a pass rusher. He's very underrated at playing the run. He's got tremendous upperbody strength. He bench presses 515 pounds. He's 6-3, 256. 42-inch vertical jump. He will hold up against the run. He's strong at the point. He could be a 3-4 OLB. He certainly could be a 4-3 DE. The team he could be perfect for is Houston, opposite Mario Williams. They pick 15 in the first round, a spot for Orakpo.
Which direction will the Vikings go in the first round? I've seen alot of possibilities, OT, QB, WR, CB even OLB. Will they draft the best player available out of those positions?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I look at that team, the big thing they have to decide is, do they have the right QB. That's the same question from last year. All these other need areas are inconsequential if they don't have the right QB. Is Jackson the right QB? Their QB position in the playoffs was not good enough. You know Green Bay is going to get better. Chicago, jury is still out on Orton. Detroit, a lot of problems there. So, Minnesota has to figure out their QB problems, because Green Bay has their QB for a long time in Rodgers.
Shep (Ridgefield, CT)
Beanie or Knowshon? I say Knowshown, his speed, vision and cut-back ability are second-to-none.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
I haven't made any final determination on that, it's too early. We have no measurables on juniors until the combine. I don't make my final ratings until late March. I can't make any final determinations in mid-January. I don't think there's much difference in the speed. Don't underestimate Beanie Wells' speed. He was injured this year. You look at Moreno right now and he had a better overall year, but don't underestimate Wells. You could argue he was OSU's best football player. Excellent vision.
With Larry Johnson asking to be traded,do you see the chiefs trading him on draft day? If so what type of value does he hold?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
I would think so. You look at the situation there and Tony Gonzalez and Johnson. If Johnson can benefit another team, we've had backs move on. Marshall Faulk. You can have guys that leave one organization and on to another and produce. Cleveland is pretty desperate for a RB. Denver. New England. Seattle.
Mike, Orlando, FL
Mel, Is Percy Harvin a definite 1st rounder and do you think he is going to declare?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I think he's a first rounder and he's Reggie Bush. He reminds me of Reggie Bush. You can say he's a WR, but he lined up in the backfield. He's a tremendous all around threat. He can change the scoreboard any time he touches the football. With the way he catches the ball. The only concern with him is he gets banged up some. The durability concern. He's a Reggie Bush type. Not saying he'll go as high as Bush at No. 2, but he's dynamic. He can change the scoreboard in a variety of ways.
Mel, How is Marlon Lucky's stock looking for the upcoming draft? Is he a situational third-down type back in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
He could be a No. 2 back. He's a solid No. 2. I think he can get it done. He's 5-11, has some versatility. You pick him up in the 5-6 round and he'd have a chance.
Christian (Toronto, ON)
I think the Colts need to get a replacement for WR Harrison. Any recievers in the round 2-4 range you think would be a good fit in Indy?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
I'll give you some 2-4 round receivers. Pat White, WVU, will get some looks at QB, but also as WR; Brian Robiskie, OSU; Brandon Gibson, Washington, St; Derrick Williams, Penn State.
Mel, who does Crabtree compare to in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Andre Johnson, the former Miami Hurricane is kind of who you would look at him as. He's big, physical, tough, strong hands. Competitive. That's who you would look at him as. He'll go in the top 10 overall.
Eric (Houston, TX)
Any idea where the Pats are going with their 3 picks in the first two rounds??
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
When you look at the Patriots, the RB is something they have to address. They need a CB, that's something they could address early on. Samuel's loss to Philly was felt. I'd give you a couple of guys: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest. WR is another area to look at for them. Maybe a Derrick Williams from PSU. RB, Donald Brown, UConn. Great character. Smith is a very interesting guy. He's a true playmaker. Lot of INTs over his career. He's not that big. He's only 5-9, 193. He was one of my favorite players in the nation this year. I really like Smith. He would be a Patriot style of player.
Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)
Did you envision DRC becoming this good, this fast for Arizona?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
I had him as the top CB in the draft. My final comment on him was, he'll go in the early to mid part of the first round, based on his ability to cover man to man. The lower level of competition for him wasn't a factor, based on his performance and his week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. He nailed every part of the draft process, including a stellar effort at the combine. He ran a 4.29. I graded him out as the 13th best player in the draft and he went 16 to Arizona. In the draft report book that went out in April, I had 8 direct hits. He was one of them.
Do you think Rey Maualuga would be a good fit for the Buffalo Bills with the 11th overall pick?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
The Bills are a team that has needs in other places. He's much more consistent then he was in 2008. Very good sideline to sideline. When he's on the field, you know he's out there. Once the juniors come in the draft, I think he still figures in the mid round 1st area.
What position is the hardest to judge for a draft?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
The most difficult to evaluate is DL. They're still very very tricky. WR's aren't easy. QB's are very difficult. The easiest are RB, 3-4 OLBs, OT, pass catching TEs, CB.
Mel, as a Penn Stater Ill root for Maybin, but Im sensing a Gholston like flop. I know its a different base defense, but do you see this as a possibility. Or does Maybin have an unstoppable motor even if hes not in the Big Ten?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I like Maybin. He is kind of a one-year wonder type of guy. But at the snap of the ball, he explodes off the edge. He's a smart football player. Great awareness. He's very athletic and fluid in his movement. The third-year sophomore year thing bothers me a little bit. Coming out so early. He wasn't even expected to be the guy this year. He evolved into an impact player. He came out of nowhere to establish himself as one of the most dominant defensive players in college this year. He's going to be a top 10 pick He could end up in Cleveland, Green Bay, San Francisco.
Ryan (San Diego)
How do you rate the 1st round rbs and where do you see the first one coming off the board?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
The first running back coming off the board will probably be Moreno, Wells, McCoy in no specific order right now. Those are the three elite backs. I could see the first RB coming off the board at No. 5 to Cleveland, 12 to Denver, New England.
Do you think the Eagles will be able to defeat the Cardinals on Sunday?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
The main thing you have to do, the primary thing for Johnson's defense is to get after Kurt Warner. Attack and hit and don't let him sit back. Make sure he only goes to his initial option. When he drops back and deals with adversity immediately, you can beat them. If he can go through his progressions, he will eat you up. They need to press and be aggressive with Larry Fitzgerald. Make him work to get into his routs. You have McNabb playing good football. If they don't get after Warner, they'll suffer the same fate as the Panthers.
Ponte Vedra, FL
What do you see the Lions doing with that #1 pick? Also, why are we hearing very little about their search for a head coach?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
Nothing on the coaching end. You know they have to think about QB. They have to get a QB in this draft. They also have the 20th pick from Dallas. Who would they look at there? Josh Freeman, Kansas State. Or the other need areas are: LB, DB, OL. That's where they really need help.
David (Houston, TX)
With Mays apparently staying at USC, what top safties are left?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
It leaves William Moore from Missouri; Louis Delmas, Western Michigan; Patrick Chung, Oregon; Rahsad Johnson, Alabama; Michael Hamlin, Clemson; Sherrod Martin, Troy; Courtney Greene, Rutgers; David Bruton, Notre Dame; Nic Harris, Oklahoma; Darcel McBath, Texas Tech.
Bengals have to go OL in the first right? Or could you see them going for Crabtree if he falls given the TJ/Ocho situations?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
No, I think they really do need offensive line help. They need to draft two or three OL. You've got to draft a DL. RB, not as much. Cedric Benson played well for them. He did a nice job for Marvin Lewis. They could look for a RB, but not really early. They need a couple of defensive linemen. They could use a WR, but not that early.
Mel, Will Aaron Curry be a TOP 10 pick in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
Yes. He's been the No. 1 senior on my Big Board since mid-October. He's an outstanding player. He would be intriguing to St. Louis at No. 2, Kansas City at No. 3, Cleveland at No. 5, Green Bay at 9, SF at 10.
Do the Chargers look at a power back in the draft? Someone to team up with Sproles could be interesting considering LT's injury troubles
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
They could. They'll have to make a determination of what to do with Sproles. This is a team that's right on the cusp of being a great football team. They finished 8-8, beat Indy and lost to Pitt in the playoffs. They lost their best defensive player in Merriman.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
We'll have my first first round projection coming out on Tuesday, Jan. 20. It will be up on ESPN.com. It will include all the juniors that declared. We'll have who's staying and who's coming.