Chat with Mel Kiper
Send your questions now and join Mel this Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:00 PM)
We've got Mel!
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
We can talk about Jay Cutler, the draft situation. As well as how free agency affects the draft.
With the Chiefs getting Cassel, how do you see the first 5 picks in draft going now
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
Well, you would think it would be Aaron Curry. I think he's arguably the first player in the draft. They need a LB. To get Curry at 3 would make sense. He's a smart football player. He's the kind of guy Pioli has always liked. He would be someone they have to look at. There's no DE to look at. They could think about a WR, a Michael Crabtree.
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I said this on Saturday. I am amazed and astonished that they only had to give up a 2nd for Cassel and Vrabel. Not many teams can do that.
I don't believe that Jay Cutler is *really* off the market, do you? I think there is just no one to trade him for right now.
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
I don't know how you can trade Jay Cutler if you don't have one. They were going to trade him for Matt Cassel. He was Josh McDaniels guy. More so then Scott Pioli. The guy who worked with him on a daily basis was McDaniels. Cutler is the only one in Denvery. Cassel would have been an upgrade over Cutler. So, he's not on the trading block. If you're not getting Cassel, who else are you going to get. Jay Cutler needs to settle down. He overreacted to what happened. He gave a kneejerk reaction. He gave legs to a story that had no legs. He made it an issue with McDaniels when he didn't need to. It's not like he was going to a team as a backup. He would have gone to Tampa as their savior. To be whining and complaining about it opens up the questions again of what kind of leader he is. Last year he said he had a better arm then John Elway. You don't do that in Denver. John Elway is a legend. Think before you speak. Also, his facial expressions and body language is very important. That type of thing is very important. There is more to being a great QB then having a great arm. Jeff George is a great example. He didn't have a bad career, but he wasn't a winner. Right now Jay Cutler has a below .500 record.
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
I stand by what I said. I thought he was overrated coming into the NFL. The reasons that I thought he was overrated still exist. Those that jumped on the bandwagon during the draft are starting to have a little egg on their face.
Brian Norder, Fairfax, VT
With the number of day one picks the Pats have, will this be draft that keeps them near the top for the next few years?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
It can help them, sure. If they make those picks count. New England has need areas. They added Fred Taylor, which could add a boost like Corey Dillon did. CB, WR are areas they could add a player. They lost Jabar Gaffney. He had some drops. You need another WR if you're NE. And another CB. I thought they could have had a higher pick in this draft. If they had made the trade, they could have gotten the 12th overall pick. Then you can trade down and get extra picks if you want.
I think Cutler needs to settle down as well. It's said so many times it's almost a cliche at this point, but, the NFL (and every other pro sport) is a business. There have been far bigger names than him in trade talks and actually traded, he's just going to have to get use to life in the NFL.
Ben from Morgantown,WV
Who do think Pat White will play for I think Houston would be a great fit
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
Well, in terms of Houston, they are a team, like a lot of teams, that could add a WR. He's your Wildcat QB, your slot receiver. A return man. You could put him in the shotgun. The opponent will always have to know where Pat White is. People say he's a third round pick. Well, if you're picking in the late second round, you're not going to see Pat White in the late third round. So I could see some teams taking him there.
What is the best-case for Andre Smith now? Could he go as high as #7 to Oakland?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
Oakland would be a team that would make sense. I think he could go 7-13. The furthest he would drop is Washington at 13. They could use him. I could definitely see the 49ers at 10. The Jags at 8 or Oakland at 7.
Following the Giants FA signings, what is their #1 need going into the draft....WR? If so, who do they target late in the 1st?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
Depending on Plaxico Burress. They re-signed David Carr. They helped themselves on the DL with Chris Canty. He can generate some occasional heat on the QB. He's just a solid player. And Michael Boley. He should help them at LB. So, I would say right now, WR. Even if Burress comes back, that still could be an area they look at. Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks are two guys they could look at.
Christopher Phoenix, AZ
Does Alex Mack make sense for the Cardinals?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Yeah, I do. I think he's going to be an outstanding anchor at center. But first round center is not usually how it goes. Remember Jeff Saturday wasn't even drafted. There's a strong argument about drafting a center that high. I do think they need a RB though. JJ Arrington is gone. I would look at maybe a Donald Brown. LeSean McCoy. There will be a very good RB staring them in the face.
Ryan (America's Finest City)
How was Cutler supposed to react? Maybe I'm just a homer but I see nothing wrong with the way Cutler handled this situation. A new coach comes in kissing his behind, telling him, the media and the city how excited he is to work with Cutler. He then goes out and tries to trade for an okay unproven QB who had ONE decent season for one of the best teams of all time. He then lies to everyone about the situation saying they weren't shopping Cutler. Is Cutler really supposed to just take that with a smile on his face? ESPN releases an article telling Cutler to stop crying. REALLY? Is there anyone alive that would have been completely fine if their new boss did the same to them?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
He was just supposed to shut up and say nothing. Just keep his mouth shut. He doesn't need to say anything. Matt Cassel worked with the new coach, that's all. Matt Cassel is also a better QB in my opinion. Cassel played in the system. The familiarity that he has with McDaniels. Matt Cassel won games. He didn't just have a mediocre year, he had a great year. He completed 63.4% of his passes. He didn't make some of those bad interceptions that Cutler did. Plus, the familiarity he had with McDaniels. What's Rex Ryan doing with the Jets? He's bringing in players that he worked with. Scott Pioli with the Chiefs? He brought in Vrabel and Cassel. You can't take that as an insult if you're Jay Cutler. He was going to be the guy in Tampa Bay.
At #24, what LB or DB will the Falcons will be selecting from? Do you think DT Peira Jerry will be available?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Jerry is an excellent football player. He can be a penetrater. He has good size. Outstanding technique. They could go a variety of ways. They could go for a pass catching TE at some point. The common pick there is Louis Delmas going to Atlanta. I raved about him, I had him high up there all year. I just don't know if he's more of a second round pick then first round pick. He would be a possibility for Atlanta. I suppose if a Brandon Pettigrew fell into their lap, you'd have to look at him. LB, maybe a Clay Matthews if he falls that far or Brian Cushing.
Is Sage Rosenfels just going to be yet again another flop for the Vikings. Will he just waiste all the talent we have right now for the remaining years?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
When you don't hit on your QB of the future, Tavaris Jackson is one that they can't feel like they hit on yet. He's still young. Then you keep doing this veteran deal, Gus Ferrotte to Rosenfels. I think Sage is better then Gus. But he's been prone to the bad play. He's been prone to the big mistake. You can't be making crucial, game-changing mistakes. Sage has talent. He has ability. He's got some playing time. He's an improvement over Ferrotte. He's security because Jackson has not shown yet that he can do what needs to be done to be consistent. Is he the best? No. But is he an improvement? Yeah. Could they have been more aggressive in getting Matt Cassel? Yeah. I'm astonished that teams like Chicago, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Minnesota wouldn't have had an interest in giving up a first round pick for Matt Cassel.
Does Dallas look to help the very thin secondary with their 1st pk?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
They don't have a first round pick, but they could. They traded Anthony Henry. This team's OL underachieved. This is a team that has some holes right now. Not having a first round pick impacts them. The DB position overall, especially CB, has unraveled. The players' grades have dropped because they didn't run well. But they don't have many draft picks. Unfortunately there's not a large margin for error because they don't have a lot of picks.
Mel, last year we saw the offensive tackles go early. Guys like Baker and Brown went higher than expected. Do you see the same thing happening with this year's second tier tackles like Britten, Meredith, and Beatty? Could they go in the first round due to the important of the OT?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I think Britton, who was a LT at Arizona and could play RT, could be a first round pick. Meredith, is he a OT or OG? I think he's more of a second round pick. Loadhold is a late one, early two. Beatty, athletically, yes, but I don't see him being a complete LT. He has some things to work on in his run blocking. I'd say second round. Right there you have the big three, then after that, Michael Oher and Britton. To add a sixth, it's Meredith, Beatty, Loadhold. But there's always a reach.
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
The reason they could reach a little bit. If you're picking in the late first, you're not going to see a good LT in the late second. There's not the depth at OT as in the past.
Dave (Long Island)
Mel, with all the defensive moves the Jets have made in the past week, where do you see them going with their Day 1 picks?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
I think they have to figure out what they're doing at QB. You've added Sheppard, Bart Scott. I would say WR and QB are the areas now. And you're really adding Gholston to this defense because he did nothign last year. So, I think it has to focuse on offense. They need to figure out the QB and add some at WR. They could look at Darius Heyward-Bey or a Percy Harvin. What are they going to do if Mark Sanchez is therE?
Who will make the best 3-4 OLB: Orakpo, Everette Brown, or Maybin? Orakpo looks very ordinary on tape to me - I think he's close to his ceiling as an athlete. Your thoughts?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Orakpo, to me is a 4-3 DE. You could put him as a 3-4 OLB, sure. He's an outstanding pass rusher. He has some durability issues. Can he stay on the field for a 16-game period? He's a pass rusher, doesn't matter 4-3, 3-4. Now, Maybin, he's quick out of the blocks. He never quits on the play. Aaron Maybin to me, some people got down on after the combine. He's quick, athletic. I could see Green Bay taking him at 9. The 49ers taking him at 10. Maybin to me is a guy that's going to be a good DE/OLB in this league. He's early to mid first. Orakpo is early first. Brown, he's only 6-1. He didn't run well at the combine. I would have liked to see him run faster. When you look at him, he doesn't have the speed and explosiveness that guys like Freeny do. I think he's more of a late first.
Caleb (West Palm Beach, FL)
The Chicago Bears have some pressing needs on both offense and at least one on defense. Do you think it is more likely that they will draft a WR 1st Rd. and DE the @nd round or the other way around?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
The DE I look at there is Tyson Jackson. He's a complete football player. He's not a great pass rusher, but good enough. He's got excellent skills. He works hard. He's battled tested. I think he's a guy that I would look at if I were the Bears. If you don't want to look at Jackson, you probably want to look at WR. That's where you look at Harvin or Heyward-Bey. You've got to help out Kyle Orton. So one of those guys or Tyson Jackson. However, don't rule out Josh Freeman. Or if a guy like Mark Sanchez drops down. But I would say WR more then likely.
You seem pretty high on Heyward-Bey. To me he seems like another Troy Williamson, a thin WR with a fast 40 time. How would you compare and contrast the two? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
I think he's better then Williamson. Williamson went high too, in the top 10. Heyward-Bey is projected to go 17-25. Plus he had some good games at Maryland. The QB play wasn't always that great. I thought he caught the ball better. He's worked on his route running. He's coming out early. He doesn't have a tremendous amount of experience. I think there's a lot of upside with him. He'll work hard. I think he's worth being a mid first round pick. I think he goes 17 to the Jets or 18 to Chicago.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
It wouldn't shock me if the Jags at 8 took him.
Jake (Columbia, MO)
Hey Mel. Where do you see Ziggy Hood going in the draft? Any chance he can sneak into the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
I would be surprised if he went int he first. But I don't think the second round is a possibility. There's a lot of good about Ziggy Hood. I like the kid. He was an outstanding player for Missouri in a lot of games. High effort guy. He's a 3-technique DT guy. In the second round, someone's going to look at him and see that the DT depth isn't there this year.
Mel, I kepp hearing the bucs are in love with Freeman. I am not sold. Help me out, I think they should look at Peria or other D line help or WR, Bey for example.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I had Tampa taking Josh Freeman with my first first round projection. This is a team that tried to get Jay Cutler. So, they know they have QB issues. However, you're not drafting Josh Freeman to be the QB in 2009. They're drafting him to be QB in 2010.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
The next first round projection will go out Thursday, March 12. It will be the second projection.
if they raiders seem like they are signing guys that are almost nobodys are they preparing to work on the line in the draft unless crabtree is there
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
All I would say about Oakland is that their need areas are OT, WR. That's why if you're looking at Andre Smith in the first round, you have to consider him. Or a Eugene Monroe. Suppose Michael Crabtree falls into their lap. If he is, you have to take him. I heard today that Cincinnati really likes Jeremy Maclin.
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
If Detroit takes Stafford, then St. Louis Jason Smith, KC Aaron Curry. Seattle could take Eugene Monroe. If that happens then Cleveland would take Crabtree at that point, I think. Cleveland's debate would be Orakpo or Crabtree. Then Cincinnati with Maclin. So with Oakland at 7, Andre Smith or Crabtree, if Cleveland goes Orakpo.
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
BJ Raji will be in the discussion for some of these teams too.
where do you think Rey Maualuga end up? how far do you think his stock has gone down?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Not a lot. It hasn't dropped a lot. People now know you have to go back and look at tape. Go by what you've seen on film. Don't get wrapped up in combine numbers. He needs a little bit of coaching. If you're Detroit at 20, you could use a Rey Maualuga. I think he'll be a first round pick. He might not be a top 10 or 15 pick, but he's somewhere between 20 and 32.
German (San Juan, PR)
Are people getting too carried away with Curry's combine, like they did with Vernon Gholston a year ago?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
This kid was tremendously productive at Wake. Let's not write Gholston off. He was a good football player. He didn't do anything as a rookie, I'll give you that. But Curry was tremendously productive. He got after the QB. He showed great instincts and awareness. He's smart. He prides himself on making everyone around him better. He had a great workout. He showed better speed then people thought. For KC at 3, you've got to think he's not getting past there.
What do you think about the 49es situation right now? What are their goals in the draft? If they were to sign Kurt Warner, how does that change their goals?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
I think Shaun Hill and Alex Smith are two QBs that can battle it out. And what if Mark Sanchez is there? At some point they have to compete against Kurt Warner at that offense in Arizona. They could get Sanchez at 10. You have to think about it. Also, at that point, Andre Smith if he's there. They're a team right now that could use that combo DE/OLB. Aaron Maybin would have to be in the discussion. The big question is what the QB situation?
Mel, how come I have not heard anything about Marko Mitchell, WR, Nevada? The guy has ideal size at 6'3", the production, and ran in the 4.4's at the combine. Sounds like the next Brandon Marshall to me. Where do you project him to go?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
When you look at him, I had him graded out as the 20-25 best receiver. That puts him in the 6th round area. He's a big receiver. He's tall. Athletic. But he needs to be more precise in his routes. The quickness and burst out of his break. Does he have the ability to be an NFL WR? Yes. Josh Morgan out of VT was a sixth round pick and I thought he would be a 2-3 rounder. But this draft isn't like last year's.
Mel, big fan...how about a Dolphin question: what does MIA do at #25? Do they go after Brace to play NT with one of their two 2nd rounders?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
Brace, I wouldn't argue with him late first. That's a little early. He's 6-3, 330 pounds. He stays on his feet. I'd have no problem with him. At WR, look at some guys there. Would Kenny Britt look good in a Dolphin uniform? Or Hakeem Nicks. Not a bad place to go.
Gary (Savannah, GA)
What would you do with the QB situation in Cleveland? Would you keep both, or trade one for draft picks? If you had to choose, who would you trade?
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
You're moving forward with Brady Quinn. He's the QB. But the problem is that Derek Anderson's value has dropped with his performance. And now Matt Cassel only gets you a second round pick. Sage Rosenfels only got a fourth. Does that make sense to you? Trying to figure out value is very tricky right now. I thought some teams like Dallas might want him as a backup. But they got Jon Kitna. If you're going to trade one of the two, you trade Anderson.
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
We'll be back next week. We'll be talking about the next projection. Free agency settles down a little bit. Lot of trades. Lot of signings. Think about the trades we've had. Lito, Rosenfels, Cassel. Some surprising cuts as well. The Redskins got rid of Jason Taylor. Lot of intrigue.