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 (1:03 PM)
We're closing in. Just over 2 weeks away. We're almost to draft day! I'll have a new projection, of the first four rounds, up on ESPN.com tomorrow morning. Along with a new Big Board.
Kyle (Hackensack, NJ)
Last year seemed as though teams refused to pick WR's in the first round. Are the WR's that much better this year that two may be taken in the top 15?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
You should. I think you could have as many as 6 in the first round. Two in the top 10, 3 in the top 17. I think you will. The guy moving down a little bit is Percy Harvin and Nicks. Moving up is Kenny Britt from Rutgers. Solidly in the second are Mohamed Massaquoi and Igelias.
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
As is Brian Robiskie. You'll have 6 in the first and at least 3 in the second and if you throw Pat White in, that will be 10 in the first two rounds. A sleeper WR for the later rounds is John Matthews out of San Diego.
Mel, would the Chicago Bears be better off picking up a restricted wide receiver from the market such as Miles Austin or another wr... or drafting the best available wr in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
When you look at where they're picking in the second round, they could be looking at Massaquoi or Igelsias. Both will be heavily in the mix.
Clay (Little Rock AR)
What do you think about Mike Singletary's remark in a recent radio interview that since Stafford was uncomfortable talking about his parents' divorce with the team's shrink at the Combine, he doesn't belong on the 49ers?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I can't speak for Mike Singletary, everyone takes things differently. Everyone will evaluate differently. They'll put more stock in certain things than other things. That's nothing new. With Stafford, I don't think it will matter. He's not going to be a 49er anyway. And if he doesn't go No. 1, he'll go 2-4.
Ryan (Eagan, MN)
How many "elite" players are in this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
That's a hard question. There will be elite players that won't go in the first six rounds. Or won't even be drafted. No one's smart enough to predict that. If they tell you that, they're arrogant. If you knew that, bottle it and sell it. Who should be? Anyone in my top 10 should be. Will they all be elite players? Probably not. If you can guarantee me 10 players who will be elite, let me know. Lawrence Sidbury, who will be a 2-3 round pick, who's to say he won't be better than Brian Orakpo. Who's to say that Kyle Moore won't be as good as Everette Brown? Gregory Toller better than Darius Butler? DJ Moore might be better than some of the first round CBs. That's just the nature of the draft.
What are the chances of Louis Delmas slips to the Cowboys at the 51st overall pick?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
I have Delmas going to the Cowboys in the second round. If you check out my projection tomorrow, you'll see that. He's not that big and I think people were concerned about his durability. He only checks in at 5-11 and 202. When you're a safety and have to make those big hits and taking on those big guys, durability is an issue. Size is definitely a concern.
John (La Canada, CA)
The steelers O-line and D-line are aging as well as their defensive backs. What position do you see them targeting and what player might be worthwhile in taking?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
I think Pittsburgh looks at a center from Louisville with their first pick - Erik Wood. Jarius Byrd in the second round. Then in the third round, a WR/KR Quinten Lawrence.
Mel, Can you envision Andre Smith possibly falling out of the Top 10 picks? If so, Should the Bills draft him?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I think Andre Smith could go to Cincinnati at 6, GB at 9, San Francisco at 10. I thought at one time I thought he could be there for Washington at 13. Buffalo could address the OL, but I think they have a need at DE. I have them taking Robert Ayres in the first. Jared Cook in the second. And in the third, TJ Lang.
Mel whats up! With the signing off Rolle with the Ravens, which direction do you see the big purple birds going?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
The Ravens still need a big CB. They still need a big physical CB. Vontae Davis. People thought that after they signed LJ Smith, they don't need a TE. They do. They need a big blocking TE. Nothing they've done at CB has changed the fact that they need a CB. If you're thinking WR, Hakeem Nicks. Heyward-Bey will be gone. I have him going to the Jets at 17.
What are your thoughts on Ramses Barden? Is he athletic enough to make a difference in the NFL or just a big plodding guy who won't be able to get open?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
That's a concern, when you come out of a lower level. He's big, has some talent. Getting open, providing that window. When you're big, the concern is that you gain too much weight and become like Mike Williams. I have him going to Dallas in the third round.
Mike (New Brunwick, NJ)
Mel, what do you think the Giants should do in the draft to address their wide receiver needs?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
I have them taking Hakeem Nicks, the WR from UNC. He's 6-1. In the second, Kaluka Maiava.
Kyle (Hackensack, NJ)
Thank you for all the hard work you put in. I read that the Patriots are looking to take Darius Bulter CB from UCONN with their first pick. Would that be a stretch at 23? Aren't the Patriots known for taking players that make you think, was that guy worth the pick at that point.
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
No, it wouldn't be a stretch. He's going to go in the late 20s, early 30s. I have New England taking Donald Brown, the RB out of UConn. In the second round, I have them taking Connor Barwin. Then with their other second round pick, I have them taking Sean Smith. In the fourth round, Cornelius Ingram and Scott McKillop.
What do you think the lions are going to do in the first 3 rounds? Do you think a contract has to be in place in order for them to take Stafford??
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
It seems that they would like to get a contract done before the draft. I don't think there's an issue with working out a deal. If I felt that Stafford should be my pick, I wouldn't let that sway me. Stafford has said all along that he wants to be a Lion. You have to be adamant that this is your guy. Signability should never determine who your pick is, unless you think there are 3-4 guys completely equal.
What are some key differences between Britt and Nicks, and would Britt be to early at #22 to the Vikes?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Britt's a 6-3, 216 who can jump, stretch you vertically. Outstanding route runner. Nicks is not as fast and more polished. Britt will still have an occasional drop. I think right now, I think Britt goes ahead of Nicks. The reason Nicks has dropped is he went from 212 to 226 after the combine. That weight gain was somewhat of a red flag. Britt has moved up. I think he's solidly in that 22-26 area. Nicks is in the 29-32 area. I have Britt going 22 to Minnesota and Nicks going 29 to the Giants.
If Raji drops to Oakland do they take him and go after a WR in round 2 like Ramses Barden or who do you see them going after in round 2?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Raji is going to be in the discussion for a lot of teams. When you look at Oakland, you look at Jeremy Maclin. You need to help your QB. Russell needs some help at OT and WR. Their leading WR had 22 catches. That's awful. You're leading WR with 22 catches? Brandon Marshall for Denver had 18 in one game! I'm not saying that Maclin won't have some issues adjusting to the NFL, but he has some explosiveness. Phil Loadholt in the second round. They need a safety. Rashad Johnson maybe in the third round.
Adam (Columbus, OH)
Mel, with the recent legal action against Donte Stallworth and the trade of Kellen Winslow and the talks of trading Braylon Edwards. What do you think the chances are of the Browns using the #5 pick to draft a Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin to be the number 1 WR for Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
I have them taking Crabtree for that reason. Edwards is a free agent after the 2009 season. Plus they had a ton of drops there. You need to help Brady Quinn. They also need to address RB at some point. They have high hopes for Martin Rucker. They need someone like that. The Stallworth situation and Edwards becoming a free agent. In the second round, they could address the LB situation with Clay Matthews. With their second second round pick, they could look at LeSean McCoy. You've got the young RB and the big WR. Plus a LB to help the defense.
Matt (Columbia, MO)
Mel, should the Chiefs draft an offensive lineman to build support for Cassel or should they stick to the defensive strengthening they've been working for the last few years?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I'd try to keep improving the defense. This notion that Aaron Curry isn't a good fit or isn't a good pass rusher, I don't buy it. I bring up Jerod Mayo, who was a great pick by the Patriots last year, who Scott Pioli drafted last year. Curry is a strong, smart kid. He could have an impact like Mayo did in New England.
Mel: Will NT R>Brace be there for Denver at #48?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I have Brace going to Denver at 48. Someone's stealing my information before it comes out. I have Denver picking Tyson Jackson at 12. At 18, I have them taking Everette Brown, who would be an OLB in their 3-4 defense. Then I have Ron Brace in the second round. In the third round Asher Allen and Louis Murphy.
Laura (St. Louis)
Minus the OL and some D... are there any good fixes that could help the Rams pick it up this next season? Can Avery be the only primary target?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
When you look at the Rams, do they take a QB? They'll be looking at Mark Sanchez. He'll be intriguing to them. Marc Bulger's numbers have dropped over the last two years when he hasn't had the quality supporting cast. Bulger would be the bridge to get to Sanchez. If you took Sanchez at 2, you still need that LT. You could still get William Beatty early in the second round. In the third round, maybe Lawrence Sidbury. Now if you take Jason Smith with the second pick, then I think you're looking at Darius Butler with the second round pick.
Dylan (New York)
Any way the Jets trade up for Crabtree if he starts to fall past 6 or 7? How much would it take for them to trade up into the top 10?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
Usually, the 8 spot is where you see activity. 7, 6, 5, I don't see activity there, because it's so pricey. It costs a lot to get up there and then you have to pay a lot to sign the player. I don't think Crabtree is getting past 5. With the Jets, I think Heyward-Bey.
Now that the Bears have traded for Jay Cutler it seems like WR is the most pressing need, but if they they don't like the Receivers still available with their second pick, do you see them going for a Safety or somewhere else?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
When you look at the Bears, if they don't take a WR, they're a difficult team to really figure out where they go. For their need areas, I went with FS, OLB, DE, after WR. If you're looking there in the second round, you're looking at Rashad Johnson, Sidbury, Delmas. And I have Delmas available at that time. However, I think WR is such a pressing need. Davis will move to the slot next year. Earl Bennett will be reunited with his former QB and will probably be a starter. Add him to Hester. Add Massaquoi or Igelsias to that through the draft.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
They have a compensatory pick at No. 99 and I have them taking Chris Clemons at safety. If they go defense in the second round, who are they looking at WR with the 99 pick? Johnny Knox, Brandon Tate, Mike Thomas.
Mel, u are by far the king of the Draft...Who will Houston Select? We just signed Cato june for depth, Does that effect us Draftin Cush or MAtthews?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
I don't think so. Cushing has a lot of versatility. He'll upgrade that position. Then you can come back in the second round to draft maybe Ziggy Hood. In round three, Keenan Lewis out of Oregon State.
Dan (San Jose)
Has Loadholt dropped? Mid-2nd rounder at best now?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
He hasn't really dropped. He's always been considered in that area. He's a huge RT prospect, despite playing LT. I have him going to Oakland at No. 40.
Why dont you like Curry at number #1? I understand why you think Stafford should be the face of the franchise but why not get the defensive quarterback?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I think that's where you need a MLB for that purpose. He's a 3-4 inside or a 4-3 OLB. Matt Millen wasn't able to sign one. They need a true face of the defense. I have them taking James Laurinaitis out of Ohio State and ironically, the last time they had a good MLB, it was Chris Spielman who also was from OSU and was drafted with the second pick in the second round in 1988. I don't buy into this notion that you can draft a QB later in the draft when you're forced to do it. It's a joke. When you can just draft someone and let him sit for 3 years and it doesn't matter, like the Patriots. They weren't trying to find a QB with Brady or Cassel.
Is there a team that would trade for Derek Anderson? Can the Browns get a third rounder for him?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
No. The days of thinking third rounder are over. He doesn't have any buzz. He's not the guy I thought myself. When Rex Ryan got the job with the Jets, I thought he might go after Derek Anderson. The Ravens had drafted him before releasing him. Familiarity that's the kind of thing you try for. But outside of that, I don't see many teams. Dallas maybe, but they went out and got Jon Kitna in a trade. Maybe a later round pick is all you're going to get for him now.
justin, wichita, ks
As a wildcat fan I would like to know what you think of Josh Freeman. I was not too impressed with his college career but it seems as though he has all the tools...what do you think?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
He's got a lot of skills. He's big, 6-6, live arm. When you're that big, it's going to conjure up visions of Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. I'm always worried about comparisons. They never work. When you think you've got the next guy like that, it never works. I have Freeman as the 50th best player in this draft. At pick No. 19, that's a reach. I thought he might go there all along. He didn't have great talent around him at Kansas State. But he was erratic. When you look at him, it's a roll of the dice pick.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
And, also, the fact that after Freeman, you won't see a QB go until the 4-5 round.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
Tampa Bay has to be very careful. They do not have a second round pick. They pick at 19 and then at 81, midway through the third round.
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
If I'm Tampa and I am interested in Freeman, I trade down. They're going to have some offers to trade down at 19.
Jeremiah Harm City
Is there any pass rusher in the draft that could compare to the impact Peppers would have playing for the Ravens? What would it take to make that happen and could they do better in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
You can always make an argument for veteran players. Peppers is a proven entity. Drafted players are guys you always expect to make an impact. Is there anyone in this draft like Peppers? No. But there are some guys with ability. Lawrence Sidbury is a guy I keep talking about. He was productive at a lower level. You have a chance to get Kyle Moore. There are guys in those rounds that can help you at DE. Paul Kruger will be a good third round pick for someone.
What do you think of Rhett Bomar? Drafted - Undrafted Free agent?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
He gets drafted. He has a strong arm. He needs to tweak his mechanics. I think he has a chance to be a fourth round pick. The Jaguars maybe. He's a guy that can be taken as a developmental possible QB of the future.
Looking ahead, will next years QB class be a lot better than this years?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
Next year's QB class will have Sam Bradford as the No. 1 guy. After that, you'd be looking at Dan LeFevour out of Central Michigan. Bradford should be the No. 1 overall pick. LeFevour in the top 10-15. Colt McCoy. Then Tim Tebow will factor in. And Pike out of Cincinnati.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
The first, second and third round goes up tomorrow morning, as does the Big Board and top 5 positionals. The juniors and third-year sophomores will be on there. That will all be up tomorrow morning. My final first round projection will go up the Friday before the draft, April 24.