Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. will be by to discuss the NFL draft.
Kiper has served as expert analyst for ESPN's annual NFL draft coverage since 1984. His pre-draft predictions are frequently the most accurate. Kiper is also analyst for College GameDay on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to SportsCenter and ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Kiper Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:02 PM)
We've got Mel!
Adam (Ocala, Fl)
Hey Mel, do you think a team will draft Florida's Brandon James? Or do you feel he may sign as an undrafted fa?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
I think he's a borderline guy. He's 5-6, 175 pounds. You have to know what to do with him. He's coming off the injury as well. He has great speed and that explosive quality. He's a borderline guy, just like Banks out of Kansas State and Holliday out of LSU. All have excellent speed and they're all return men in this draft.
Where do you see Anthony Davis going today, and how much can he improve that with a good make-up pro day?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
His stock has dropped. If you look where he was. He needs to get stronger in the weight room. He has a ton of potential. The draft process hasn't been kind to him. From January until now has not gone as you'd hoped. He could go 18 to Pittsburgh, Arizona or Dallas. That's 18-27, rather than top 10, which looked like a possibility when he declared.
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
He needs someone to light a fire for him. But when he's on, he's as good as anyone, he's as good as Russell Okung.
Alex (Little Rock, AR)
Do you think that the Colts will go with an Offensive Tackle to relieve Charlie Johnson or will they go defense and select a Linebacker or a Cornerback? Personally, I would like to see someone with Run Blocking experience.
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
If an Anthony Davis was there, that would be an attractive alternative. But DE, DT. Pass rushing, defensive end. Or helping the secondary at CB is another area.
wats up mel, hey do you see the boys trading up for earl thomas. we can package some picks since we have are 09 class returning from injury.
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
That's who I had them taking in the first round. But he's kind of a hot guy right now. He probably won't be there at 27. I don't think he'll fall in their lap any more. When there was a big game, he was a shining star. He's a complete player. He can cover, he can hit. You can make the argument that he's one of the top 10 players in this draft. Remember a few years ago when Donte Whitner went in the top 10? Thomas is better than Whitner. I think he'll be off the board by the time the Cowboys pick now. The guy who should be there is Taylor Mays.
nathan (cleveland )
Is it me or is this pierre paul de getting way too much hype for only playing 1 year of college football with numbers that are medicore at best? The browns at 7 seems a little high given there other needs!
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
Remember, he was in a rotation. He wasn't a full time starter. He didn't get as many snaps as George Selvie. You could make an argument that one of the top 5 players with upside in this draft is Pierre-Paul. A guy that is not even close to his max. He hasn't even come close. He has natural technique. There's no reason to believe that he won't be getting double digit sacks.
TJ (New Orleans)
What do you expect the saints to do with the 32nd pick? I dont think weatherspoons going to fall that far.
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
There are some people that like Weatherspoon and some that don't. I am a big fan. I know that Todd McShay is not. During out podcast, which we do every Wednesday, Todd said he'd like for him to be on every team but mine. But I think he's a complete linebacker. He can cover. He can do well against the pass, solid against the run. He's not a jump out at you player because he doesn't have the sack numbers. Finding a true 4-3 OLB is hard to find and that's what he is.
Who do you think will draft Dan LeFevour and in what round?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
I could see him going in the second round. He's my fourth best QB. He really helped himself in the Senior Bowl practices. He has a good enough arm. He has adequate mobility. Very smart. Loves to study film. I've compared him to Chad Pennington.
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I could see teams like Washington, Cleveland, Oakland, Buffalo.
Dale Doback (DC)
Can a QB (in this case Tebow) really fix his mechanics in a few weeks? I mean, it seems ridiculous to think the guy all of a sudden has figured it out.
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
The bullets aren't flying yet. There was talk back in August that he was going to be doing this. Now he's doing it and it's great. I've talked to former NFL QBs about it and there's no reason to think that he can't. But he didn't show great arm strength either. He doesn't have the accuracy. Do you fall back into your old habits in a game situations? Do you fall back into your old muscle memory. You have to see him really be consistent with it in practice and in games. We haven't seen it yet. CBs will eat him alive, if he keeps that same delivery. College football is not the NFL, not even close. Tommie Frazier, Major Harris, Ty Detmer. There have been a ton of great college QBs that didn't have a great NFL career.
Larry (Pasco, WA)
Where do you see Ben Tate going in the draft? What are the major differences between Tate and a guy like Ryan Mathews who's projected to go in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Not a lot of difference. That's the thing about RBs. Guys that go in the first round aren't much different than the guys that go in the sixth round. Ben Tate did a good job at Auburn. He's probably going to go in the 4-6 round area. Anthony Dixon is another nice back from the SEC that could go in the 4th round.
Mel,Do you see San Diego taking a RB with the 28th or waiting to the 40th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
That's the option they have. Take Ryan Mathews, the big back. They need him to complement Sproles. If you take a guy like Mathews, then you still have the whole at NT. If they take a DL, then they could take Blount, Gerhart, Dixon could all fit that mold.
If the Skins take Okung @ 4, will Tebow or McCoy be the likely option in round 2?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
I would think McCoy. He's a Jake Plummer type. I'll stand by what I originally said, if Shannahan sees a little Plummer in McCoy, then he might take him. You could never argue with Okung and McCoy becoming Redskins. But that's a gamble, because McCoy might not be there. He's a hot guy right now. McCoy carried that team. He had Jordan Shipley, who were the only two contstant performers in that offense. They didn't have the great back or tight end. That's why the criticism of McCoy is that he dinks and dunks, but when you don't have time to throw the ball, that's what you do.
How big of a drop-off is there between Pouncey and the second-best center in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
HUGE drop off. Pouncey is a first rounder. I could see him go in the Pittsburgh area at 18, at 23, 24. He'll go in the first round. I don't think the next center comes off the board until round 4 or 5. That's the earliest.
Blake (Santa Monica, CA)
Mel... Demaryius Thomas. What's his deal? Is he flying under the radar, or is he truly a late 1st early 2nd rd prospect? I mean, Dez Bryant was out of football for a year... why is he better?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Dez Bryant wasn't out of football for a year, he played half a season. Thomas basically had a short route and a long route. He's not under the radar. He had the broken foot and is coming back from that. He's big, 6-3, 220. He has huge hands. He's a talented kid. He needs to work on his route running. He's a tough power forward type of receiver. Right now, enough people are high on him that he could go in the first round.
Hello Mel. I don't think we've seen the best of Taylor Mays yet. I'm one of the few people that think he'll be a better pro than collegian just by being used right. Do you think the 49ers would consider him?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
They could. I think that's a little early. But so could a number of teams thereafter. You can excuse his lack of big plays because of the system there at USC, but I saw him take some bad angles. He's a tough evaluations. He and Tebow both. Those two have gotten more publicity, especially Tebow and especially for a non-first rounder.
Ryan (Germantown, MD)
Are the Giants looking at any other positions then LB in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
That seems to be their major, major target area. That's why Rolando McClain's name keeps coming up. He's a guy that could fill a void. They could still go DL. That's another area for them to look at. He'd look very good in a Giant uniform.
Where do you see Dexter McCluster and Jevan Snead going? and is Greg Hardy to injury prone to even be drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
Greg Hardy will get drafted. When he's 100%, he's a proven entity as a pass rusher. He could go in the second day. Snead's stock is dropping. He should have gone back to school. He could be in the 6th round. McCluster is productive. He's versatile. His size is the biggest draw back. He won't be a full time entity in any situation.
What holes do you see the browns focusing on with their first few picks?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
I can't figure out the Browns organization. It's in such a state of flux. It changes every year. You don't know what they're doing at QB. WR. OL, they need to shore up. I don't get getting rid of Wimbley. CB is a position they could upgrade. THey have a lot of holes. I can't get a handle of what they're doing or to figure them out. Mangini, Holmgren are both there. They gave Brady Quinn away. They gave Wimbley away. Wimbley's only missed one game in his career and that's because he was sick.
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
All I can say is I don't know what they're doing.
Is this QB class weak or are we just spoiled because Flacco,Ryan,and Sanchez have stepped in an lead their teams to winning records as rookies?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Let's be careful with the overrating of these QBs. Let's not put them in the Hall of Fame just yet. Matt Ryan fell back a little bit. Flacco fell back a little bit. Injuries and lack of talent around them figured into it. Stafford did some good things as well. Let's not put some guys just because of one year into the Hall. We have to look at this group and say that Bradford, McCoy, Clausen, LeFevour have chances to be good. Tebow, you know how I feel about him, but others might feel differently. Pike. Canfield. There will be some late round guys. One of the late round picks will be a guy that develops. I think this turns out to be a decent year overall.
Jason (Lewisburg, PA)
What do you think of Iowa linebackers Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Edds is a nice player. He has nice instincts in coverage. Not as strong against the run as some of the other backers. He could probably end up being a third rounder. Angerer is in the Zach Thomas mold. Bulaga has gained some momentum. He is in the mid first round mix. Moeaki has some ability to be a mid round pick. Amari Spivey could be a good Cover 2 CB. Can support the run. Good ball skills. Probably 3rd round for him. Good group of players from Iowa this year.
BK (LA, CA)
What are your top 5 RB rankings?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
1. CJ Spiller; 2. Jahvid Best; 3. Dexter McCluster; 4. Ryan Mathews; 5. Anthony Dixon.
dave (derby - ks)
Do the vikings have to go CB in round 1- could Clausen drop to them?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
That's wishful thinking. That's not happening. Aaron Rodgers didn't drop that far. Brady Quinn didn't drop that far. There could be a lot of teams in the top 10 that could be interested. Brett Favre fell too. When he came out, I had him going in the 20s and he went in the mid-second. QBs that fall a little bit haven't faired too badly over the years.
Jim (Lubbock, TX)
How's Texas Tech looking in this draft, last year was a bit of an upset with Harrell going undrafted. It looks like we have some potential in those we are losing.
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
Michael Crabtree was the marquee guy last year. Wall, Carter are the guys this year.
Dan (San Diego)
What do you think of Minn gophers draft class? 31 teams showed up for their pro day! does that mean there is a fair amount of interest in them?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
Decent number of players. The best is Decker. He could go in the 2-3 round range. Lawrence, LB; Campbell, LB; Triplett, LB are all draftable. Traye Simmons, CB could be a 5-6 round guy.
What happened to Jon Dwyer?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
He's a big back, not a game breaker. He doesn't have a lot of change of direction. His weight has fluctuated. He needs more experience catching the football. He's not going to help you in the return game like other guys.
What do you think the patriots will do at 22? Also do you think a Brandon Spikes with their first 2nd round selection would be a good fit? & with their comp picks, could you see them packaging some of those 7th and 6th rounders to move up and stack up on defense?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
I think their plan should be to get a LB and a RB. The key for them will be last year's draft. They have to hope the Patrick Chung, Brace, Butler, Vollmer that some of them develop. Edelman was a nice late pick for them last year. If that happens, then that works in unison with their picks this year. They have to get LB hope. They have to get another OL this year. They need another RB. In the first round, Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle, Hughes. That's who I would target. In the second round, I'd look for Jahvid Best.
John (Viera, FL)
do you think the jets will draft a FS with there first pick?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
They could. That's why Mays could be in the discussion. Benn could also be in the discussion there as a WR.
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
Another point on New England. They have 3 second round picks. They could pull the trigger on Tim Tebow.
who does Miami take w/ the first pick
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Dan Williams would be a perfect fit. He's a NT who would be perfect for their scheme. His productivity in the SEC was great. He's 6-2, 320-330. Very strong and powerful in the lower body. He's a good athlete. He has all of the components you want in a NT.
Jackson (WCH, OH)
Will anyone from Ohio State get drafted this year? They have a fairly weak class.
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
It's tough to match last year. They had some high profile guys. That was a lot of talent off of that football team. This year, the first player drafted for them will probably be Gibson who's a 3rd round pick. Austin Spitler could be a late rounder. Coleman is a very underrated standout and could be a 5th rounder. Russell is a late round type. Pettrey is an undrafted free agent. Ray Small, late rounder. Gibson is their only early guy.
What do Seattle doing considering the trades they've made?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
If they could get an Okung, that would be the best case. If he's gone, do they go with Williams? With their second pick, how about Spiller, Morgan, Pierre-Paul. They're committed to Whitehurst as their QB now so Clausen is out of the picture.
What do you think the Titans will do at 16? Any chance they trade up a few spots to get Haden?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
No, I don't think so. If they stay where they are, I think Sergio Kindle would look good in a Titans uniform. Good player. Outstanding against the run. He gives you enough of a pass rush to give you that. Very strong against the run and he's a good football player.
Mel, is Terrance Cody a first-round talent, or does the position of NT push up his value?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
That pushes up his value a little bit. But in the day and age of the pass, pass, pass NFL, teams might not put as much value on the NT. The only team that I think could target him is San Diego. If they go Ryan Mathews, Cody goes in the second round. Torell Troup is another NT that goes in the 4th round.
Hey Mel when is your next Mock?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
The next mock draft will be right around April Fool's Day. Todd and I will have separate first rounds coming out. Somewhere between the 1st and 8th of April. It might fall around April Fool's Day.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
A lot of pro days moving along. Bradford's is coming up. The NFL put in the new OT rules now. We'll talk next week.