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 Kiper (1:02 PM)
We can talk about whatever you want to get into!
Kevin F. (ND)
The FCS championship game is coming up. Any players to watch for in this game, who might be playing on Sundays in the near future?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
Sam Houston State has a punter. Matt Foster. He's a tall kid. He averaged 39.4 yards per punt. He's a free agent. He had 22 inside the 20. 15 punts fo 50 yards or more. He might have a chance as an undrafted free agent. For North Dakota State, Warren Holloway is a senior WR. He caught 75 passes for 8 TDs. He has good size, 6-1. He's a free agent, but he might get a look. Their RB DJ McNorton is compact. He averaged 5.4 per carry. Matt Veldman, the TE, is about 6-7, 256. Pretty good speed. He averaged 12.1 per catch. Those are some offensive guys for ND State. They're all free agents.
Love the piece you wrote about Barkley staying in school.Do you think that Barkley staying almost forces Landry Jones to go this year,with his stock seeming to fall and no chance of going No.1 next year?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
I would never say no chance. Landry Jones going into this year and the way things were going early on, he looked like a top 5 pick. No one had a chance to be No. 1 this year with Andrew Luck. But Jones didn't have that kind of year. He didn't have Broyles late in the year. He threw a lot of picks late in the year. He's No. 12 on the Big Board right now. If he goes back to OU, he would have some decent RBs, WRs. Who is to say that he couldn't elevate himself back to 3-5 overall? Whose to say next year wouldn't be completely different? Jones is bigger than Barkley. He was ahead of Barkley this year. He has to think long and hard. I would go back if I were Jones. But if you come out, you're looking at where do you go? Jake Locker went in the top 10 after having a subpar year. How does he play against Iowa on Friday will be big. If he plays well in that game, he might come out.
Mel how can you have Michael Floyd so low and blackmon so high? Floyd was unstoppable all season and even when the defenses game planned for him they couldnt stop him and who do you think he will get drafted by?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
I wouldn't say unstoppable. I would say Blackmon was as unstoppable as anybody. Floyd had a great year, no question. Floyd caught a lot of passes, but he had QB issues. He only averaged 11.6 per catch. He only had 8 TDs. For a guy like him, you'd expect his average to be around 15 yards per catch. He should have had 15-20 TDs. Blackmon had a better QB and caught 113 passes, averaging nearly 12 yards per catch, so he wasn't that great there either, but he had 15 TDs. Kendall Wright, as a comparable, had 101 catches, averaged 15.6 ypc. There is a kid that is moving up and with Griffin throwing him the football, he has an awful lot of ability. Blackmon is No. 5, Floyd is at 22.
Do you think that Andy Reid's job will be secure with a win on Sunday to finish the season with a 4 game winning streak ?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
That's a tough call. Mort and Adam Schefter can answer that more accurately. Finishing on a positive note, but this team was the Dream Team and it turned into a bad dream. Things came apart. Andy's been there a long time, sometimes your message falls on deaf ears when you've been there so long. This is a team that has a lot of individuals and not a team. Free agency doesn't get it done. They became an example of what the Redskins have always been. They won the Super Bowl of the offseason. Every team that wins the Super Bowl of the offseason always falls flat. Washington's tried that the last few years. It just proves that the teams that improve through the draft do well.
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
It depends, do you want to start fresh or continue with something that's worked? I like Andy Reid, I wouldn't make the change. The coaching wasn't flawed, the philosophy was flawed with the Dream Team.
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
It's fitting that the Eagles finish up with the Redskins this year.
Who do you think will have more career NFL sacks as a 3-4 OLB: Bruce Irvin, Courtney Upshaw, Vinny Curry or Nick Perry?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I would say Upshaw would be the guy. If I had to rank them, I would say Upshaw, Irvin, Perry, Curry. There are some underrated guys for the 3-4, though. Sean McClellan had 3 tackles for loss the other night. Ronnell Lewis from Oklahoma. Sean Porter, Texas A-M. Chase Thomas, Stanford. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss.
Scooter, minny [via mobile]
Would u trade down if u were the vikings or take best player with the 3rd pick?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
With the Vikings and their needs, it depends. LT is a huge need area. Matt Kalil will probably go No. 2, but if he's there, that would be the ideal pick. Claiborne would be another guy. Justin Blackmon is another one. Those are three guys to fill that void.
Mel, Does UCLA have any players that will be drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
Nelson Rosario is an underrated WR. 6-4, 218. I think he's underrated. They got dominated against USC, but he had a pretty good game. He's an outstanding target. He does a pretty good job. He's averaging 18 ypc. He catches the ball with his hands. I think he's a late round kind of guy, in the 6th round area. They don't have much else, but he's the guy with the best chance to be a late rounder.
BamaPat (Mobile, Ala.)
Mel: I love Luke Kuechly from B.C. but isn't he a bit of a tweener for the NFL - too small for most traditional LB systems and not quite athletic/quick enough to play a hybrid safety spot in coverage? I don't think he's the 6 3, 235 that's listed.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
He will have a chance to be a great LB. He had his weight up. He was 237 this year. He is a MLB that has a chance to be a top 10-15 pick in the NFL. He's No. 10 on my Big Board. The No. 1 overall LB in the draft.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
The thing you like about him is he's a guy that has 432 tackles in his career, in just three seasons. 7 INTs. More than 30 tackles for loss. Form tackler. Tremendously smart, dedicated.
ralph (las vegas)
Jarvis Jones more of a 3 -4 or 4 -3 linebacker?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
He has the option of coming out or staying. He was a high school star in Georgia and went to USC but came back to play with Georgia. He gets off of blocks. He had 19.5 tackles for loss. He can play in either scheme. He can be like a Von Miller in a 4-3. Or he can be a 3-4 guy. He can come out or stay as a third year sophomore.
Brian (Dover, DE)
How much will the success of Newton affect RGIII?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
It can't hurt. This league is a copycat league. RGIII is a better passer than Michael Vick. And what Newton has done, mobility is key. Griffin can frustrate a defense running for first downs. He's very smart. Dedicated. He's a better passer than Vick. He's going to go high. What will be interesting is how tall is he? Let's hope he's at his listed 6-2. I have him No. 6 on the Big Board. He could go to Cleveland. Wasthingon. Miami. All three of those teams could trade up to get him.
where does Montee Ball factor into the rb rankings, would Atlanta have a chance in the 2nd round, and would they take him?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
They have Michael Turner. They drafted Rodgers. Ball wants to be the main back. If you have a big back like Turner, you want a guy like Sproles. Ball dropped some weight and got quicker. He's a TD machine. He's a great runner. He had 32 rushing TDs. He can break tackles. He's been a nice factor in the receiving game. He's not a No. 2 back, he's a lead back. He's a starter. I wouldn't be surprised if he went in the second round.
I know the Bears have a lot of needs, but if a player like Mantai Teo is available for them do you think they might try to lock up the linebacker position for years? If not what direction do you see them going in the first?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
He's going back to Notre Dame. He'll be a top guy in the 2013 draft. He was probably a mid round guy this year, but he's going to try to be a top 10 pick next year. He's an elite player. He's staying at Notre Dame.
How to you rate the prospects coming out of Ohio State this year?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
The suspensions effected a number of those guys. But they have a lot of guys that will be draftable. Boom Herron is a guy you think about in the third to fourth round. DeVier Posey is a Day 3 WR. Mike Brewster, senior C, has a chance to be in the 3-4 range. Mike Adams is a second rounder. John Simon is an interesting guy. He can play DE or DT. He can be an early round prospect.
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
The first player drafted from this team, if Simon goes back, will probably be Mike Adams.
Brian (Dover, DE)
What team will give the Steelers the most trouble in the playoffs?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
They have to get healthy. With Ben's injury, the high ankle sprain is problematic. Harrison's suspension. Woodley's been hurt. The OL has been shaky. The AFC is wide open. New England, Baltimore, Pittsburgh are my 1, 2, 3. You have to see who all gets in.
FrankyJack (Yakima, Wa)
With Seattle drafting mid round, any QBs likely to be worth that pick? What about 2nd or 3rd rounders?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
The mid-first round QB would be Landry Jones. He figures in the middle of the first. Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill would be the guys in the second round mix.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
It wouldn't surprise me at all with Foles going in the first round.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
There are a couple of interesting late round guys, BJ Coleman, Chandler Harnish, G.J. Kinnie.
Mel, Tony Romo is where in terms of all NFL QB's?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
I would put him up there. Top 10. He's done a good job. He has the hand injury right now. He missed that throw in the Giants game. But overall, he's gutted it out. He's taken hits. He's a good leader. Now they have to go to NYC to win. He'll face that great Giants pass rush. It will be tough for Dallas to go and win. Romo completed 65.4 percent, 29 TDs. He's had an excellent year.
Mel, is Detroit getting hot at the right time? Stafford looks very comfortable.
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I like Detroit. I like that they're in the playoffs. Great for them. Stafford is a franchise QB. He had the injury with the finger. He played with the glove on the hand. The team has to respect his toughness. He takes a lot of hits. They haven't been able to run the ball. They're limited by the running game. They have talent in the WR and TE position. But I wonder about their OL holding up in the playoffs. That effects the ability for them to protect Stafford. They've had injuries in the secondary. It will be interesting to see. Green Bay and New Orleans are clearly the two best teams in the NFC. They're the two best in the NFL, I think.
Best prospect out of Univeristy of Florida? Anyone in the first/second round?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
Probably, because of speed, Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey. They can both catch the ball and have some speed. I would keep my eyes on them. They'll test out as two of the fastest in the draft.
Do you sit or play Big Ben this week if he's less than 100%?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
This team has proven they can win with Charlie Batch. They went 3-1 with him last year. They won this past week. The way I look at it, I try to win the game without him. If Baltimore wins, it doesn't matter anyway. They should be able to beat Cleveland without him. If it's not going to injure him more or make it worse, it's up to the medical people. I would try to win the game. They can get homefield advantage. If Baltimore loses, it may not batter. I would say it's up to the medical people, but I would also err on the side of going with the backup.
Deminion (Jville FL)
Mel your the man! do you think my Bucs draft Alshon Jeffrey first round?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
They need a speed guy. They have enough guys that are bigger. Mike Williams and Benn. They need speed. Jeffrey is big and for a big guy he runs well, but they would be looking for a speed guy. Kendall Wright would fit very well for them. Jarius Wright, no relation, would work. They need a big play speed option.
Nick (Dayton OH)
With the Bengals last two draft classes really carrying this team. Can the front office keep it going and make this team a "real" threat the next few years
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
The Bengals have always had eras where they've had talent. They had the Ken Anderson era. The Boomer Esiason era. They had the nice run with Sam Wyche. And they've been a nice time with Marvin Lewis. The Bengals have had talent. They've had two different runs to the Super Bowl. They have AJ Green and Andy Dalton now. They've drafted reasonably well. They're in a tough division. It hasn't been the "Bungles" for 35 years. They've had some good eras and some talent.
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
They rolled the dice by taking AJ Green and then had Andy Dalton fall to 35 in the draft.
Crazy Larry (LA)
How did you rate Drew Brees coming out of Purdue?
Mel Kiper (2:00 PM)
He was a winning QB. When he came out of the Texas prep ranks, no one wanted him. He had the great career at Purdue. When he came out, the Chargers got Brees and Tomlinson. His arm has gotten stronger since the NFL. He had the shoulder surgery and that's when he was a free agent that the Dolphins backed off. He's over come the fact that he's 6 feet tall. He's going to be a hall of famer. He's won a Super Bowl. He's gotten himself into a position to go to another this year. He's a great guy. Tremendous kid. Class act. Well liked by everybody.
Mel Kiper (2:01 PM)
It's not an exact science. That's why it's fun to do this. It's proven time and time again. It is not easy. Evaluating players from college to pros. It's very hard and challenging.
Mel Kiper (2:02 PM)
I wish everybody a Happy New Year. Safe travels. Be responsible. A healthy and prosperous new year. We'll be back to look at the rest of the bowls next Wednesday and to preview wild card weekend.