Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. will be by to discuss the college football and NFL seasons.
Kiper has served as expert analyst for ESPN's annual NFL draft coverage since 1984. His pre-draft predictions are frequently the most accurate. On Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon ET, Kiper co-hosts "Dari and Mel" with Dari Nowkhah. He also appears on ESPN Radio's College GameDay as well as SportsCenter and on ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Kiper Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:01 PM)
We've got Mel!
Mel, which position in the front 7 do see the Jets addressing with their first round pick?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
I think the main thing with the Jets is a pass rusher. They want an OLB pass rusher. They had zero sacks and big plays for Gholston the last few years. He was released. A Justin Houston type of player that you might consider. Martez Wilson from Illinois is someone you might consider. In the front 7, an OLB, DE is where they're going to go.
If Fairley or Quinn are available at #9, should Dallas go ahead and take them as "Best Available" players or should we play it safe and draft a Tackle?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
Their top need is a 3-4 DE, that's their biggest need. They also need safety and CB. Offensively, the big thing there is RT and OG. First of all, they wouldn't take Quinn. Fairley, if he's there, he could be a 3-4 DE. But I would think a Tyron Smith, OT from USC. Prince Amukamara at CB.
Mel- Why isn't Roy Helu Jr. receiving more consideration on mock drafts? He is only the fourth all time leading rusher in Nebraska football history. Is it because of injury concerns or possible something else?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
He's a RB. RB's always fall further than they should. Very few teams need one. There are only a handful of teams in the first round right now that are considering a RB. If you have Helu ranked where I do, he's going to fall into the fourth round. Jordan Toddman is going to be a great fourth round pick for someone. DeMarco Murray will be a great third round pick. Jacquizz Rodgers, I love him, he might end up being a fourth round pick. There are a lot of backs that are good football players that will go in that 3-6 round area.
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
From last year's guys, LaGarrette Blount went undrafted. Chris Ivory went undrafted. Last year in round three, there was no RB selected. Teams just don't need them. There was a RB taken at 59, late in the second, and then there wasn't another one taken until 112, the middle of the fourth round, and that was Joe McKnight, the only RB taken in the fourth round. James Starks went in the late sixth round. He had that great finish to the season.
Hello Mel,would next yrs QBs be ahead of these top 5 QBs on your draft board.Thats assuming Barkley was included in the class.Should the Vikes wait next to draft one of the top QBs.hank you
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
The QB crop this year is intriguing and pretty deep, as far as draftable QBs. It's not a weak class. There are a lot of QBs that will have a chance to come into this leage and maybe be a starter. I count 10 QBs that at least 1 or 2 teams think that could be a starter in this league. Next year's draft, if you put Luck and Barkley in it, you have Cousins, Foles. This year, you could have seven QBs go in the first 2.5 rounds.
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
The guy I think has the best value isn't even one of those seven. The guy I say is the best value is Ricky Stanzi.
Why all the buzz about Castonzo potentially going to the lions all of the sudden? And would he be worth it?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I graded him out as the 18th best player in this draft. I think that would be early for him. I like him. I think he's a solid player. Do I think he's an elite LT prospect? No. These OT's get pushed up because they have little risk and they're usually solid players. Keep Stafford healthy is a key for the Lions. I have him 18 on the Big Board, so could he go 13? Potentially. In the mock draft I put him going 21. But for the next one, I might move him up a little bit, because I'm hearing that same buzz.
How do you compare Brandon Harris to another smallish corner in Brandon Flowers from Va Tech a few years ago? Who was the better prospect coming into the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Flowers had a 9.0 grade and was my 28th est player in that draft. I have Harris with an 8.6 grade and my 54th best player. Obviously, I liked Flowers better. He didn't go until the second round. That was a real good pick for the Chiefs. Harris did not have a great year. He had a much better sophomore year than junior year. Had he played more like 2009 this past year, he might have graded out better.
Hey Mel, do you think any team will trade up into the top10? if so who? and who's the most likely to leave?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
I think it's more possible than ever. Other than the Sanchez trade with the Jets a few years ago, we haven't had any trades in the top 5. That was the last blockbuster one in the top 5. I think you will have more. I think Carolina could trade out of No. 1 and I think some teams might try to move up into there. You'll always have activity from 11-32, you've always had tons of activity there. Last year, between 11 and 32, 9 different teams changed positions. In 2009, 5 changed hands. In 2008, 12.
would stephen wiznieski make a good it for the raiders at pick 48 ?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I think he's more of a 3-4 rounder. The big DTs tend to give him a bit of trouble. As far as the Raiders are concerned, they don't have a first round pick. The OL has some issues. They have some guys who are not under contract right now. They could look at a Clint Boling, Orlando Franklin, Rodney Hudson.
I see a bidding war between NE and SD to move up for a 34 DE.
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
There are too many players at that position. You have guys that are very well suited for that scheme like Watt, Wilkerson, Hayward, Jordan. They are all 3-4 DE. There is enough out there where teams can sit where they are and get one. Watt, Jordan and Wilkerson sit to go in the 10-18 area.
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
So those teams don't really have to move up to get one.
Mel, I think Carolina would be in position to get Marvin Austin the 2nd round (via trading down from #1 overall) to give some depth at DT. Where do you see Austin going?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I definitely think that they have to get a DT. The issue is by moving off of No. 1, can they get a Fairley in the first round? They don't have a second round pick, so they might be able to get a second round pick. Last year New England gave up the 89th pick to get the 33rd pick in this year's draft from Carolina. That's a horrible trade for Carolina. Terrible trade. And with the 89th pick, they picked Armanti Edwards. He better start producing.
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I think Marvin Austin could go late first to late second, somewhere between Chicago's picks. If he had played this year, he could have been a top 15 pick.
Mel-- Who do you see the Titans looking at after round 1?? I think we get Fairley in round 1!! Also. any chance we go after Matt Hasselback???
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
They have to get a QB at some point. DE is another need. DT, MLB, OLB. They need a lot of help in certain spots. If they can get Fairley with the 8th pick, then mabye Mallet in the second round. Then they could come back and look at OG, OLB, MLB after that. Or even a DE in the third round.
Joe (Oak Park, IL)
A lot of buzz about Chicago moving out of the 1st and acquiring multiple picks? If that's the case, what is fair market value for that pick?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
Marvin Austin would be a guy, if you move out of 29, you could get him in the second round. Derek Sherrod. They need OL and DT and No. 1 WR and C/G.
What are your thoughts on Curtis Marsh as a 4th round prospect? Could he develop into a starting corner in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
He has potential. He has limited experience. When you think about where he came from to where he is now, he's a former RB early in his career. You're talking about a guy that has limited experience but highly skilled. He plays with a lot of spunk. As a cover guy, he has some exciting potential. I view him as a 4-5 round guy. He ran a 4.42 at the combine and he's a CB, so it wouldn't surprise me if he went in the third.
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
He didn't make the move to CB until his junior year, so he was only two years at Utah State at CB.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Ryan Mallet's stock continues to drop. Will some team end up getting a steal outside the first round or will skeptics eventually be proven right?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
He's in the early to mid second round area. I think Tennessee is someone that might look at him. He's not hit or miss, but more boom or bust. He's got a strong arm. He's 6-6. He forces throws. Makes bad decisions. He doesn't deal with pressure up the guy. His mechanics become sloppy when he has to roll out. Tennessee has a really good OL. So with their OL, Chris Johnson running the ball and some good young WRs, that would be a good fit. You need a good OL for Mallet. His intangibles have to prove to not be an issue. I think he could be a guy that proves to have value in the second round.
Pedro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Mel, what would be the best value pick, in your opinion, for the Ravens to go WR?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Titus Young in the second round would be a nice pick. Leonard Hankerson. If they can get a CB or pass rusher in the first round, you could go WR in the second round. Cobb, Edmond Gates. There will be a lot of second round possibilities. Greg Little.
Does the Kenny Britt situation change the Titans draft needs...particularly around Julio in the first and the second rounder ( Torrey Smith?)
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
We have to see how that all shakes down. They have some WRs other than Kenny Britt. He's their main guy and they like him. I'd have to wait and see. First of all, Julio Jones will be gone by No. 8 and their front 7 needs help on defense.
Hi Mel. Does Scotty McKnight of Colorado get drafted? Thanks!
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
I gave him a 7th round grade or a priority free agent grade. I would say he probably won't be drafted.
Do you think Jimmy Smith only having 3 pick in his career has hurt his draft stock, and could he be a steal late 1st early second?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
This past season, I think teams stayed away from him as much as they could. As a junior, he only allowed, as a lockdown CB, seven completions in man coverage. Jilil Brown was on the other side was a pretty good CB as well. The issue with Smith isn't talent, it's the off the field concernes. If he can stay focused and the issues are a thing of the past, he has a great chance of being a good CB. I could see him going to Philadelphia or Baltimore in the first. If he gets into the second round, he becomes very attractive to teams like Dallas at 40, Houston at 42, Detroit at 44, San Francisco at 45. There are some teams that would love to see him get to the second round.
BRandon J (VA)
Why is there not much safety depth this year, and is there any in the mid to late rounds that can turn out to becoming great players
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Yes, there are plenty of those. Day 3 guys are: Mana Silva, Hawaii. He had 85 tackles and 8 INTs. David Sims, Iowa State; Ahmad Black, Florida; Jeron Johnson, Boise State; Erik Stoll, Montana; Shiloh Keo, Idaho.
Bob Kole (NY)
Mel, what team/coach has the most riding on this draft?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
I think it's important for New England. The window with Tom Brady is closing. He doesn't have a ton of more years in his prime. If they have a big draft this year, Brady could win two more Super Bowls. The Brady window is closing, not the New England window, because they're young. Baltimore is another team. They need some speed on defense and offense. They need a pass rusher. Atlanta needs some explosive players. They're right on the cusp with Matt Ryan. A no. 2 RB with speed and WR with speed. They need a better quick strike ability.
Is Amukamara any better than Newman or Jenkins? How would you compare him to those two when they were in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
Newman was right there. He would have been right there with Amukamara. Amukamara is a solid CB. He has to trust his athletic ability a little more. There were a couple of times he was beaten by a double move. He played a lot of football at Nebraska. In my opinion, he's my 10-11 best player in this draft. He's worthy of being a pick for Dallas at 9, Houston at 11, Detroit at 13.
Mel, If Mark Ingram is sitting there when the Packers pick is up, they have to take him right? They can't be sure Ryan Grant will be the same, and James Starks looks like a better fit as a change of pace guy.
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
It will be interesting if Ingram falls down to Green Bay. Brandon Jackson is a free agent. If you had Grant, Starks and Ingram, that's a great stable of RBs. Ingram had only 3 fumbles his entire career. He had over 300 touches before his first fumble at Alabama. Green Bay doesn't have a lot of needs. They have 18 players coming off of the injury list. That's not bad. It would be a luxury pick, but they can afford to make one at that point.
roland (portland or)
Where the farthest you see patrick peterson falling since theres not a big need for corner in the top 5?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
The possibilities for him would be 5 to Arizona. You keep hearing now that they're not going to take a QB. Cleveland would be a possibility. San Francisco too. And there's no way he gets past Dallas. But I don't think he gets past 7. I always go back to Rod Woodson. When he came out in the 1987 draft, I had him rated as the No. 2 or 3 players in the draft and he went 10. Even Deion Sanders went 5th.
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
If he got down into that mix, past Arizona, Detroit could make a move to get him, moving up from 13. Houston needs a CB. They might try to move up. They're in desperate need for a CB.
Mel, What is the absolute highest you see Mike Pouncey going? How comparable in terms of talent is he to his twin brother?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
Highest for Pouncey? I would say 15 to Miami or 19 to the Giants.
Andrew (Charlotte, NC)
Mel, with Cleveland at #6 and assuming A.J. Green is gone, should the Browns consider Patrick Peterson to create a young tandom with Joe Haden or are Julio Jones and Robert Quinn better fits there?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
They could, but I think they take Julio Jones in that scenario. He's a big, physical WR. He has to be a little more consistent catching the football and show his durability. He's a great kid, hard worker. He's the best blocking WR I've ever graded. He was the No. 1 WR coming out of high school.
J Treehorn (Malibu)
Dr. K - what are the chances the Saints draft an OT with their first pick? If so, who might it be?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
They could. Their scenario depends on the situation with Bushrod, who may be a free agent. It would be surprising if they allow the guy who protects Drew Brees' blindside to leave. But that's a possibility. If he comes back, it's not a need. The big needs for them are DE, OLB, DT, RB.
Is this class of 4-3 LBs really weak or is the position becoming devalued like FB?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
The 4-3 OLB in this draft aren't being devalued, because there are still 4-3 teams. There are 18 of them. I think Von Miller could be a 4-3 as the Sam LB position. Bruce Carter, Jonas Mouton, Ross Homan, Mason Foster. There aren't many.
Phil (Punxsutawney, Pa)
Mel, is there good offensive line depth in the second to third rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
Some OTs that will be intriguing later are David Mims, Mike Smith, Kevin Hughes, Garrett Chisolm, Zack Williams, Jason Kelce, Brandon Fusco.
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
Good mix of questions. We have one more big chat coming up next Wednesday before we try to sneak one in right before the draft.