Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:00 PM)
Mel will be here in minutes!
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
We have a lot of stuff to get to today. Let's get rolling!
Los angeles CA [via mobile]
Who has increased their draft stock with their combine workouts?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
Mark Sanchez, QB; RB, Glen Coffee; Deon Butler, WR; Darius Heyward-Bey, WR; Jared Cook, TE; Jamon Meredith, OT/G; Eric Wood, C; Jasper Brinkley, ILB; Clay Matthews, LB; Donald Washington, CB; Brandon Hughes, CB; Keenan Lewis, CB; William Moore, S.
I am sort of confused. How can the combine be stronger than game tape? I am really talking about Malcolm Jenkins. I have watched every game he has ever played in and bias aside, he was a helluva cornerback. And now he's not all the sudden? I know he also played some safety, but still more at CB. Can you explain this thought process?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
That's been the question for him since he stepped on the field. He didn't have great catch up speed. When you look at Jenkins, he ran a 4.55. He's not a little guy. He's a solid corner, physically. He looks like a safety. The question was always going to be was he going to run in the mid-4.4's, but he ran a 4.5. I think he is a corner, because there's no guarantee that he'll be a good safety. I think he's a system CB. And you don't have to have 4.3 speed to be a CB. I thought he would have been a top 10 pick, but now, I think it's 15-20.
Keith (St.Charles, IL)
I know you have DHB going to the Dolphins, but it's looking like he'll be off the board before the 25th pick. What other receivers is Miami looking at?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
The teams that could take a WR ahead of them are Chicago at 18, Tampa at 19, Philly at 21, Minnesota at 22. With all of these teams looking at WRs, he could be gone. I don't think Miami takes a WR. Hakeem Nicks could be a slight reach. I would be reluctant to force a WR. If you do it, you could get yourself into trouble. Miami could still look at a guy like Clay Matthews.
Hi Mel, I follow forty times closely every year. I am absolutely convinced that the new turf in Indy is slower than last years turf. 20 cornerbacks ran faster than the fastest time this year. Why is nobody mentioning the fact this track is slower than last years?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
Individually, they'll have a chance to run again. These guys that didn't run as well. They can look at that and assess that. That's when you have to be careful with the 40 times. You have to look at what the surface was. It's a tool in the whole process. I've talked to several NFL people after the combine and they were very disappointed in the DBs. One guy said that you can see why teams were scoring so much, because the DBs were completely overmatched. Whether it's right or wrong, this DB group was a major disappointment. There will only be about 2 in the first round right now. Then you can say if there's a guy that's been helped by it is Donald Washington. He's got good size, he ran well. He's athletic. He's benefitted. People questioned him for coming out early. He's at worst a second round pick and he could be a first round pick.
Matty Ice (The Burg, PA)
Mel, does Deon Butler's blazing 40 times help him get drafted in april?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
I'll tell you what. He can get off the ground. He plays taller then 5-9. He separates. He has good hands. He has outstanding footwork. Quick, athletic. This was my report before he ran at the combine. He did something in every game I watched. I watched him in 13 games in his career. I'm a big Penn State fan. I watch a lot of Penn State football. He did something in everyone of those games. I think he's a 3-4 round guy.
Alex (Boston) [via mobile]
Mel, given what happened at the combine, do you see Andre Smith slipping a bit and possibly being available to the Bengals at #6? Thanks!
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
He'll go way past the Bengals. He'll be thankful to be the sixth pick overall. He's slipping way past that. He could be slipping dramatically. It's always that kneejerk reaction. The last game that he was going to play in his career, he gets suspended for. Then he goes to the combine and it's completely mismanaged. At LT, there are two words that you need, dependability and reliability. You're protecting the QB's blind side. You can't have your franchise QB getting hurt. Even before all this, you had concerns. Can he manage his weight? To be a LT you have to manage your weight. You have the quickest players playing DE. You can't have a guy who will have his weight fluctuate. He might end up being a RT. He could get down a lot further then the sixth pick, even the teens or 20s.
Chris Doyle (Luxembourg)
Hi Mel, How dod Everette Brown do at the combine?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
I think he held his own. Cameron Wimbley had a better workout. Brown had a decent workout. I still think he could be a mid first round pick.
Sergio (Chicago, IL) [via mobile]
Which players considered 1st round talent fall to the 2nd round?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Rey Maualuga is now a borderline first. He needs a good personal workout. Hakeem Nicks. DJ Moore. James Laurinaitis. Michael Johnson, very gifted athletically, but his play this year hurt him. LeSean McCoy had the flu.
James Miami, Florida [via mobile]
Which player helped his stock in the NFL combine and which one hurt themselves?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
The group that hurt themselves the most - a lot of QBs. The majority of the QBs were very unimpressive. Derrick Williams, WR, PSU; Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Georgia; Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake; Victor Harris, CB, Virginia Tech; Coye Francies, CB, San Jose State; Kevin Ellison, S, USC; Nic Harris, S, Oklahoma. I thought Beanie Wells would run faster. Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa didn't have a great workout.
Mel, did Juaquin Iglesias help or hurt his draft stock with his combine numbers and what round do you think he?ll go in?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
I think he went from maybe a 2 to a 3. I thought he was a second round pick going in and now he's a third round pick. With pads on, he plays and looks better then in a workout. He was tough enough to come across the middle with his routes. He always showed very good hands. He's just not going to wow you with a workout. He's the kind of guy in the right situation, could be a better pro then people think. I think he has a fairly productive NFL career.
Ed pittsburgh [via mobile]
Mel i know the steelers o-line problems but with this draft being deep at o-line shouldnt they look at the cb position in the first round and who will be avaliable
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
They could take a center like Alex Mack. He's the best center in the draft. If you can get a guy like Mack who's talented and has some versatility. You could still look at him at that point.
Zack (Cedar Rapids, Ia.)
Do you think Mitch King could fit in as a DE in a 34 defense
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
He could be. He kind of reminds you of the Steeler type of player. When you look at his motor and uses his hands. Playing at Iowa, he made some plays. He's a 5-round pick. He could be an interesting guy. He's an overachiever. He did it against some good football players. He's tough to block. He understands hand placement. He seeks out the run. He's a guy that never stops playing hard. When you look at that as a 5-6 round pick, that's when you start to think about him.
Swike [via mobile]
Where do u see brian cushing goin? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Cushing did OK. But the thing about him is that he didn't do as well as his former teammate Clay Matthews. They saw Clay Matthews outdo Cushing. But Cushing has versatility. He can get after the QB. He can play inside or outside. Cushing did what he was supposed to do, he just didn't do better then his teammate. They're both going to go in the first round.
Ricky Brush CO [via mobile]
The eagles may need to draft a safety to replace brian dawkins. who would be the safest choice to replace him?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
If you're looking at safety, I think William Moore is the best safety, even though his stock has dropped. He wasn't 100%, but he battled injury. He didn't make nearly as many plays this year. I think he's the best safety. I don't think he'll go until the second round. Now, he did run a 4.52, but his stock has dropped and now he's a second round pick. Ironically that's where Dawkins went.
TD (columbus, oh) [via mobile]
As of now, who do you see rams take at # 2 and who potentially at top of rd 2? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
They would be looking at Aaron Curry, the OLB from Wake or Jason Smith from Baylor. Depending on how it goes, that pick will impact your second pick. I think they'd be better off taking Curry with the first pick and then in the second round, you might see Michael Oher still there or Eben Britton.
Drew Tampa Fl [via mobile]
Should the buccaneers draft a first round QB in this years draft or should they build up their defense?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
That's the two things they need to do. They need DE, DT, QB, RB, WR. They could be looking at a DL. If they want to look at a pass rusher, they could. Josh Freeman could be interesting, but that might be a little early. If they see Mark Sanchez sliding a little bit, they might want to try to move up to get him. They might want to try to go from 19 to 11. If he doesn't go 3 to KC, he will probably drop to 10 to the 49ers. At that point, I'd make a move to go get him. Chicago might make a move, Tampa, Jets would all try to go get him.
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
Those teams are picking 17, 18, 19 and Detroit is picking 20. If the Lions don't pick Stafford at No. 1, they might be looking at him too.
Chad (Las Vegas)
The Saints only have 4 picks and with Morgan coming back and the likelyhood of resigning Vilma it has to be DB in the 1st rd. Who will that DB be and why?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
I had them taking a DB, Vontae Davis from Illinois. But based on his workout, I would say he's still a possibility. He was inconsistent and didn't always play to his ability. But he has a lot of potential.
Steve- Denver [via mobile]
How does Moreno compare to the running backs from last year? Wells?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Well, to last year, he wouldn't have been in the top group. Last year there were 20 RBs that contributed from the rookie class. Forte, Ray Rice, Kevin Smith, Charles, Slaton, Choice, McFadden, Jones, Hightower. So many guys that contributed. Chad Simpson. People forget how many RBs were just able to get on the field and do something. It was an amazing group. Even James Johnson. Moreno, if he's in last year's draft, where are you going to put him? Moreno, forget his 40 time. It wasn't important. You knew he didn't have speed. He never showed game-changing speed at Georgia. The 40 time was the least important thing for Moreno. He is a very good RB. He has good vision, he breaks tackles, he'll catch the ball. Emmitt Smith was a 4.55-4.6 guy coming out of Florida. Tashard Choice was one of the slowest backs last year. Steve Slaton as well, he didn't have 4.3 speed. Kevin Smith was only in the 4.5-range. You look at the speed thing and there have been plenty of backs to be successful in the 4.5 range.
Seems like the UConn players all acquitted themselves well at the combine and senior bowl. where do you see Donald Brown, Beatty, Butler and Cody Brown going?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Well, Donald Brown is a back who gives you everything he's got on every carry. He carried it almost 30 times a game. He's patient. He's a dependable receiver. I think he's going to be a very good second round pick for somebody. Beatty, the OT, is a solid player. He's another 2-3 round pick. You could have a couple of second round picks right there. Cody Brown, DE/OLB, had a very good workout. You conceivably have all four of those guys go before the third round ends. UConn will be well represented. Randy Edsall has done well at Connecticut.
What free safety would be a good fit in the Bears cover-2?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
Lewis Delmas from Western Michigan is a very good player. He's a ballhawk. He had a lot of tackles. He had 12 career INTs. He runs a consistent 4.5. He would be a very good second round pick for somebody.
Isnt it funny that the highest rate LB out of USC (Maluaga) had the slowest 40?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
He's an ILB. That's the thing. When you're an ILB you're not going to be as fast as the outside guys. I made the mistake of downgrading Chris Spielman because of his 40 time. But he came out and had a great career. Jack Del Rio ran a very slow 40, had a very good NFL career. People forget how good a player he was at USC. There were many who thought he wasn't going to be a good pro. After 31 years, I can tell you a bunch of players who had questionable 40 times - Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Spielman, Tom Brady, Emmitt Smith. Tom Brady ran a 5.2, are you kidding me? Matthew Stafford ran a 4.8. Sanchez a 4.88. Tom Brady ran a 5.2. Can you imagine if one of them had run a 5.2? It leads you in the direction of the athletes who aren't good football players, and away from the football players.
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I've always said that the combine has gotten a lot of guys fired. The combine has been responsible of a lot of mistakes on draft day.
Mel, what do you see the Skins at 13 doing? I have seen so many projected picks that I have no idea what they will do. I hope they take the best OT on the board, I would also be happy with Sanchez, Jenkins, Maualuga or Orakpo. Thoughts?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
You've got to keep in mind that Friday starts free agency. Sometimes there's that big rush out of the blocks. Haynesworth is a great, great player. If you see the Redskins bring him in...he's this big interior presence against the run, but he has recorded 14.5 sacks the last two seasons. He's going to get a big payday. Who has a history of doing that? The Redskins. They have a history of coming in and making a splash. If they can get him, they can do some different things in the draft. They need to get younger on the OL. They don't have a true No. 1 WR. They could use help at LB.
Now that the combine is over, Who do you see the Jags taking with the 8th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
No. Eugene Monroe and Jeremy Maclin were the two I thought about. Oakland at 7 and Jacksonville at 8. I thought about the two of them for Oakland. Whoever they take, Jacksonville takes the other. You never know, Michael Crabtree could fall due to his injury. It probably won't happen, but I'm sure Jacksonville would love to see him drop to 8.
With all the qb's who are coming from spread offenses, how will that change the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
The NFL is running spread offenses. Let's face it. They have the shotguns, 4 WRs, the TE spread out. The NFL is becoming a pass, pass, pass league. That's why the Cardinals were in the Super Bowl. The CBs can't touch the WRs after 5 yards. You can't be physical with the WRs. It's almost a pitch and catch environment. Colleges are all running the spread, except for a few. Mark Sanchez was playing in a pro offense. At the beginning of the season, that offense was questionable and he brought it along. Matthew Stafford came out of a more conventional offense.
pat (Haskell NJ)
do you think the titans will pick a wide reciever if someone like harvin nicks or even kenny britt is available at there pick?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
Yeah, they could. They're picking at 30 and that's a key need area for them. They don't tend to force things. I don't think Heyward-Bey will be there and I don't know if a WR high on their board will be there. They could go DL or go WR to fill a need.
The Browns are in a tough spot at number five. Currently, I don't see a defender who can make as much of an impact as the Browns need them to do. I'm sure Curry would be a great run stopper but we are in dire need of a pass rusher. What should they do? Gamble on Crabtree or Smith?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
You don't have to worry about Curry, because he'll be gone. He is a good pass rusher. He's an outstanding player. The Browns won't have a shot at Curry. They need a RT, CB, RB, but there aren't any of them to take at No. 5. They need a pass rusher. If they want to take Jeremy Maclin for a WR.
Mel, which postiions do you think the Jets will address in the 1st 2 rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
They need a QB at some point in time that will have to be addressed. Unless they feel a guy that I like, Brett Ratliff, and want to move forward with him, they'll have to move up to get a guy like Mark Sanchez. If they can't get up to get him, I would lay off of QB. Then they could look at CB, WR. For CB, Vontae Davis or Jenkins. Or for WR, Harvin or Heyward-Bay.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
We covered a lot of team today. Next week we'll react to free agency. The next first round projection will go up Thursday, March 5 on ESPN.com.