Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:07 PM)
Mel is in high demand this time of year but he will be here shortly to take your NFL draft questions.
Jackson (Hillsboro, Oregon)
Which teams do you see making trades on Day One?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Carolina could be, if they can move down. We'll have to see if they're locked into Cam Newton. I think Arizona at 5. San Francisco at 7. Dallas at 9. Washington at 10. Detroit at 13. And a lot of teams at the end of the first round.
Mel, the clock is ticking. Are you hearing any surprise type of players that might be looked at as first round possibilities?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
The names you're hearing a little bit now are Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph, Aaron Williams (but I had him in the late first), Martez Wilson, Torrey Smith, Mikel LeShoure.
Blaze (Meridian, Idaho)
Great work Mel. Does the Brandon Marshall situation maybe force Miami to consider say a Jonathon Baldwin, if there in round 3, as a backup option as their alpha reciever?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
I think they'd want a speed guy. I thought they'd look at Ed Gates. They pick at 15 and they don't pick again until 79. That second round pick went in the Marshall trade. There is no WR to take at 15. You have to wait until the 79. You could look at Gates, Little, Pettis, Doss.
Has Aaron Williams passed Rahim Moore as the best safety in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
I think he's a CB. He's a physical, tough, aggressive corner. People say he's not a CB, but I say why not? He runs in the 4.55 range, that's fast enough. History has shown that you don't have to run 4.4 to be a CB. Gifted athlete. Very smooth. This is a kid that canp lay CB. If you project him to safety, yes, then he's the top safety.
Mel I put Blaine Gabbert going # 1 overall. Good Choice?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I don't think so, no. I think Carolina's best move would be to take AJ Green. Either trade down or take Green.
Toss out a few names that the Steelers might be interested in in the first three rounds. Thanks. Stay classy, Mel.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
I would say they could be looking at Aaron Williams in the first round. In the second round, Ben Ijalana. In the third, maybe a Brandon Bair.
Matt P (Berkshire, NY)
Your guess on who the Vikes take at 12?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Trade down for Jake Locker or look at Da'Quan Bowers.
Keith (NYC )
withe the 19th and 51st picks of the 2011 Draft, the New York Football Giants select:
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
OT in the first round, Anthony Costanzo, Nate Solder or Mike Pouncey would be in the mix. In the second round, Quan Sturdivant. They need an OLB. In the third round, Terrell McClain.
If Jimmy Smith did not have any "character issues" at all, would he grade out higher than Prince Amukamara?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
Yeah, I think he would have. I think the character concerns have been lessened in terms of the evaluations, as far as the teams I've talked to. I think people are now looking at him and his talents winning out. He could go 11-23 or 26.
Mark (San Jose)
Mel, any chance the Jets trade up to get a great pass rusher like Cameron Jordan? I think he's going to be a solid value pick for whoever gets him.
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
That's a long way to go from pick 30. They'd be looking at guys like Aldon Smith. If you're going to move up, you move up for an Aldon Smith or Quinn or Kerrigan, guys that are 3-4 OLB, not a 3-4 DE.
Shane (Chillicothe, Ohio)
Mel, Everybody is saying the Bengals are taking AJ Green. One question who's going to throw to him? I like Andy Dalton in the 2nd round if hes there.
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
They could, yeah. There's no guarantee that Carson Palmer won't be back. You add AJ Green to Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Jermaine Gresham, Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, you all of a sudden have Carson Palmer feeling better about his weapons. And where is Cincinnati going to go with a rookie QB? I think they'll talk to Palmer and say hey, we've restructured the WR corps.
Hi Mel, would it be a bad pick if the Dolphins took Mallet at 15?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
Based on the information I have in terms of where he will project now, I would be shocked if he were the 15th pick overall. They have Chad Henne, who is a better QB than Mallet right now. He's been in the league, he's been tested. Sure he has some flaws. But they don't have a second round pick. They need some help on the OL, WR, RB. Right now, Ryan Mallet is my 71st best player. That puts him in the third round. You don't take the 71st best player with the 15th pick.
William B. (Toledo)
Hey,Mel,Who do you see the lions getting with there first two picks in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
I think they have to look at a CB. Amukamara or Jimmy Smith at 13. In the second, an OLB. Maybe Bruce Carter. In the third round, maybe a OT.
Toby (Lost in Idaho)
Mel, first of all, love the work. How do you see Ricky Stanzi fitting in a WCO like the Seahawks? Could he be a potential gem later in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Later? I don't think he's getting past the 3-4 round. Very accurate. Smart, good size. He's 6-4, 220. Underrated athlete. He doesn't have a great arm, so he would fit that offense. He has a good enough arm. He's played a lot of football. He was a starter for 3 years.
Hi Mel, What's your thoughts on Akeem Ayers? Where would he fit best? Would he be available for GB at 32?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
The big debate on him is if he was a 3-4 OLB, then he wasn't a dominant pass rusher at UCLA. He only had 4 sacks this past year. As a sophomore he had 6 sacks. I think he could be a Sam in a 4-3. He's a tough call. He's a wild card in this draft.
Who are your top 3 Safties and will any of them still be around for the Vikings 2nd pick? We need one bad!!!
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Rahim Moore, UCLA is number 1. I think he'll be gone just around where Minnesota is picking. My No. 2 is Da'Norris Searcy, UNC. He'll be there. Robert Sands, WVU and Jaiquawn Jarrett, Temple are tied for third. Right now, I'd say Jarrett is a second round pick. Sands is a 3-4 round. Searcy is a 3-4 round. The two guys that could be of consideration are Moore and Jarrett.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the first quarterback taken in the 2011 NFL Draft?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
It looks like Cam Newton goes No. 1. I haven't heard anything definitive. He's a player that Carolina is considering. But I think they would strongly consider AJ Green or Marcel Dareus or Patrick Peterson. You'd think they might also think about trading down to get one of those guys as well.
How does Da'Quan Bowers compare to some past DE's that were drafted high but ended up being busts (i.e., Aaron Maybin, Vernon Gholston, etc.)?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
Bowers is a true DE and the other guys were not. This is a kid that's 6-3, 280. Had it not been for the knee concerns, he might have been the 1, 2, 3 overall pick.
I'm a Bills fan...who would they have to pick at #3 for me to be disappointed? Being a Bills fan makes you fear the worst.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
If they took Newton or Gabbert, that would be a good situation, because he could learn. If they took Von Miller, that would be a good pick. So, I would say Nick Fairley, that wouldn't fit what they're doing. They don't have the luxury of taking a WR.
Mel, what do you think about Greg Little to the Bears? He has the skillset the Bears are missing although I do not know if he fits whats Martz likes to do. What do you think?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Little is probably going to end up being a second round pick. He would have been a first round pick if he had played this year. He's 6-2, 229 and he ran a 4.5. He's a former running back. He has a lot of talent. Lot of ability. He's very viable for Chicago.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I'd say solid second. He had a variety of issues hampering him. I'd say second and could be an interesting guy for Dallas in the second, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, San Diego all in the second.
Mel, what do you see the Saints doing in the draft? They have a limited amount of picks so do you see them focusing on defense with a late WR/OT mixed in?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
The Saints would look for DE, OLB, DT. They also have to look at RB. That's why there's talk that they could look at Mark Ingram. There's talk about Phil Taylor, Adrian Clayborn. There is no OLB to take at that point, other than Ayers. He would be a possibility.
Rashaan (New York City)
Which do the Redskins need more: a QB or a CB
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
Well, CB is not a pressing need for them. QB for sure. They can't afford any luxury picks. Their needs: QB, OL, 3-4 DE, 3-4 NT, 3-4 OLB, WR. CB is their seventh need.
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
There is speculation that they are going to look at a veteran QB.
Let's forget for a minute where Christian Ponder is picked in the draft. Where would he be the best fit and make the biggest impact?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
He's a guy who's like a Chad Pennington type. Mobile, athletic accurate. Very smart. West Coast offense guy. He would fit Cincinnati, Washington, those kinds of teams.
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
Seattle as well.
Which qb in this years draft will be a 6th or 7th round pick, but you see a little Brady potential in them?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
No, I don't see anybody this year. But nobody saw Brady coming. I don't see a Tom Brady sitting out there this year.
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
That happens only once every 20 years you get a guy like that. Finding Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner. They don't happen that often.
Hey Mel. Just read an article where Al Davis seems pretty intent on getting back in the first round. Who do you think is the target?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
They could target OL. CB. A guy that would fit them very well is Jimmy Smith. He's the kind of CB that you would think Al Davis likes. He's the kind of guy that the Raiders have liked.
Mel, What the best case senerio for the Cleveland Browns? I say Julio Jones or Patrick Peterson if he available.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
They went CB last year. They desperately need a WR. Jones needs to be more consistent catching the football. The best scenario would be AJ Green. Jones would be their second best option. The best player would be Peterson, but do you pick CB two eyars in a row? They took Haden in the first round last year.
Hi mel. Not really excited about the titans and Nick Fairley any chance they go else where at the number 8 pick?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
I don't know why that wouldn't be a good pick. He's a talented guy. They could look at a QB, if Gabbert slipped that far. They could look at DE or they could trade out of there. They're a good candidate for a trade. I think Fairley will be there for him. If they don't like him, they would be better off trading down.
Mel, who do you think is the best target for the Eagles at 23? Hope Jimmy Smith is there or move down and pick up a cpl picks?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
Jimmy Smith, if he's gone, you'd be looking at Aaron Williams. OT is another position of need. Gabe Carimi. And never count out DE with Andy Reid. They didn't have a consistent pass rush last year. Last year, Trent Cole had 10 sacks, but only three in the second half. Sapp is coming off a knee injury. If a pass rushing DE is there, I wouldn't put it past them to take one there.
Will the Panthers be able to trade down from the #1 spot? Have you heard of any potential trade partners?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
That's the thing, they may not be able to. Is there a player worthy of going up to get No. 1? Maybe a Von Miller, but I don't see anyone doing that right now. They might have to stay there and make a pick. If somebody loves Cam Newton and wants to guarantee they get him.
What separates Von Miller from previous 3-4 pass rushers (like Gholston and Manny Lawson) that didn't pan out?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
First of all, he has great bend coming off the edge. The way he angles the corner, like a motorcyle rider. He has great quickness and agility. He's a proven entity. He had 17 sacks as a junior when he led the nation. He had 10.5 this year and he was hurt some. He runs a 4.42 at 245 pounds. Great athlete. Very fluid, athletic, agile. I've talked to several teams that think he's the best in the draft. You could make an argument for four players being No. 1 on your board: Peterson, Miller, Green, Dareus.
Caleb (Des Moines)
If peterson is not there at 7 who do you think SF will get. I was thinking either prince or quinn and if they trade down do you think they would target locker?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
Blaine Gabbert, will he still be there? Robert Quinn. They're one of the teams that everyone seems to think could trade down.
What do you think of Tyrod Taylor as a late rounder? I'd like to see the Bills potentially land him.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
I think he's going to go before the late rounds. He had a real good year. He had a great season. He completed right around 60 percent of his passes. He runs a 4.47 at 6-0, 217. I think he deserves a chance to play QB. If he's open to be a WR/KR, he becomes more valuable. He could be a 3rd round pick if he's open to a change. I think after it's all said and done he goes in the fourth.
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
It's our final chat of the year before the draft. We'll have one final review chat early next week. Thanks for all of the questions. Enjoy the draft.
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
We just made an executive decision and we'll do our chat Monday at 2.