Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. will be by to take your questions.
Kiper has served as expert analyst for ESPN's annual NFL draft coverage since 1984. 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!
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
We know what juniors are coming out now. The new Mock Draft is up. We can talk about it all.
keenan raleigh nc [via mobile]
what's the chances that the colts will make robert grffith III the number 1 pick?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
No, I don't see that happening. That would mean you're passing on Andrew Luck. He has a higher grade than RGIII. He is the heir to Peyton Manning. You can't pass on him. That's not saying that RGIII won't be a good QB, but Luck has the highest grade in decades.
eric, massachusetts [via mobile]
Do you think the pats could try to draft a bigger name player this year, or will they continue to stock up picks for future years?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
You always like to do a combination of both. But you can't get too cute. You use it wisely. If there are three players you really like when you're picking and you can move down and make the pick later. But if you are keying a guy, you have to take him.
John (San Francisco)
In many mock drafts I've seen, Michael Floyd has been taken as early as 7 and as late as 23. If Michael Floyd is still on the board in the back half of the first round should the niners trade up to get him. If so what would they have to give up
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
The teams that would make sense for Floyd are Chicago at 19, Cleveland at 22. Houston at 26. New England at 27. SF certainly at 31, but I don't think he'll be there. I think he goes between 19-22. If the 49ers want to move up, they'll have to get there. If they stay, they might be looking at Alshon Jeffrey.
ruben v (ft laud, fl) [via mobile]
Are the dolphins going to even try to trade the rams for their pick and draft rg3?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
Yeah, that's a scenario that's very possible. St. Louis could look to move down. But moving down to 9 wouldn't be good if they're looking for Justin Blackmon. But if they're looking at Riley Rieff at LT, they could move to 9.
If Burfict doesn't fall to the Ravens who do you see them taking?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
First of all, I think he will fall to the Ravens. He'd be a nice guy to take Ray Lewis' spot at some point. They could look at WR, OL. A versatile interior OL, they could look there. MLB on defense is a key spot.
The Lions took a huge leap this year..but they definately showed some glaring holes especially in the secondary....any ideas who they could target at their position. (Please don't say a WR)..ahah
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
I think they'll focus on CB. A guy like Alfonzo Denard. OLB Zach Brown from UNC is another player they could look at.
Who do you expect to be the 2nd safety off the board? Martin, Smith or Iloka? Do they fall into the 2nd round discussion or 3rd?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
I would say a guy that wouldn't surprise me is Antonio Allen from South Carolina for the second safety. He's 6-1, 207. Three year starter. We knew he was a rugged, in the box type guy. Aggressive kid. But this year, he made some real good plays in pass coverage. Showed very good speed. He could be in the third round or even second round ahead of those other three guys.
Adam (Oklahoma) [via mobile]
Who do you see the Cowboys getting in the first round? I was thinking a safety or corner
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
For the Cowboys, you think about safety or CB, do you want to take Mark Barron that high? He's the 18th best player in the draft. You're picking at 14, so you don't want to do that. It would be a reach at that point. If Dre Kirkpatrick slips, you could look at him. They could look at OG if they don't want to go safety or CB.
jacob columbia sc [via mobile]
Do you think alshon would have been higher on the boards if he would have stayed one more year or if there had been more consitent qb play(ie not losing garcia and the shaw learning curve)?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
That was the big problem, the QB play. But it won't necessarily be tremendously improved, the QB play. Staying for another year, he might be in the same situation. He averaged less than 10 yards per catch late in the year. He's a late 1, not an early to mid 1.
bengalsteve-Maryland [via mobile]
Any chance Richardson falls to 17 for the Bengals?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
No. The Bengals pick again at 21. The guy you would think about at 21 is Lamar Miller or David Wilson. Two talented RBs. Both of those kids provide great game breaking ability.
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
Richardson might go somewhere in the top 10.
Luke (IN) [via mobile]
What do you think QB Thomas out of Oregon's chances are of getting drafted? His decision to come out early, more than anything else, has shocked me leading up to this year's draft.
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
It surprised me too. He's not ready for the NFL. He's coming out of Oregon and I thought another year to enhance his passing skills would have been big. I don't think he's ready to be a starting QB in the NFL. He's a guy you take a flier on late in the draft. With all of the things going on at Oregon, I don't understand. I understand they have a young QB they really like at Oregon.
Chris pa [via mobile]
How late do u see lamichael James going
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
I think he'll be in the second round mix if he runs a great 40 at the combine. At worst a third round pick. I see a lot of Darren Sproles in him. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry. He improved his receiving abilities. He's a small, determined runner.
The Steelers really need corner help and OL help is there a top line corner or Tackle at #24 for the Steelers.
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
An OT would be hard to find unless they were to stretch it a little bit for Zebrie Sanders. I don't think there's a CB there. Dontari Poe, a NT, could be a guy they look to to upgrade the front seven.
Do you think Foles will fall to the 2nd round say where Miami picks, if they take OT 1st round and Foles 2nd round that would be a great start dont you think?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
They tried this before. They tried to take Jake Long a few years ago and took Chad Henne in the second round. Do you try to be aggressive and try to get RGIII in the first round? Who says Nick Foles will be a great NFL QB? Much more of a chance that RGIII will be a better NFL QB. He has the better grade. When you look at RGIII he gives you a better shot at hitting the jackpot.
Sean Chagani [via mobile]
People focus on the early rounds too often. Who are some later pickups that you think will make a big difference for teams who pick them?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
GJ Kinnie, QB, Tulsa; Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss; Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech; TE, Brian Linthicum, Michigan State; OL, Tom Compton, South Dakota; OG, James Brown, Troy; OC, Philip Blake, Baylor; DL, Brett Roy, Nevada; LB, Shea McCellin, Boise State; CB, Robert Blanton, Notre Dame; S, Darius Prelow, Louisiana-Monroe.
Are the Titans stuck between re-building yet being close to competitive? How close are they and what direction should they go in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
They have to moving along with Jake Locker. They need to have another pass rushing DE. They're a team that has some decent pieces. In the first round, they could look for the pass rushing DE. And helping out Locker. He's the key to their future. How much progress and how he solidifies that position will be critical to the Titans.
chris alabama [via mobile]
What's the chances of the rams takeing richardson with the second pick since jacksons is getting up in years
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
That's a luxury that I don't think they have. You can find some real good RBs down the road in this draft. They need a WR or a OT. Richardson would be a great luxury pick.
What about Ben Jones? From what I've heard he is the top ranked center and will be a 2nd-3rd Round Pick. Pretty reliable information.
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
That's a little early. I don't have him quite that high. He had a long career, solid career. He had been the man. He'd been the anchor for that OL. Four year starter. Very solid. I project him more of a fifth round pick.
Andrew, Brooklyn [via mobile]
The Jets have many needs. I think their biggest weakness is OT. Do you think the Jets will draft an OT at pick 16? If not than what position will they go with?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
The RT. They could look to upgrade that. If they wanted to go there, Cordy Glenn, Georgia. He could project to RT. Melvin Ingram, passing rushing LB; Courtney Upshaw, Alabama. They could go a number of directions.
How badly will Jared Crick's pectoral injury this season affect his draft position? He was at one point a first round type of player, but he has since dropped out of your big board. Does he still have a crack at the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
He could have been a first round possibility if he played all year and was healthy. But coming off the injury, that's the concern. He was next to Suh early on and was a dominant player. But he gets off blocks. He locates the ball. He could be an ideal 3-4 DE. He's probably a second round possibility.
Trevor (Atlanta) [via mobile]
With the Falcons being bumped again in their first playoff game, what weakness of theirs needs to be addressed with their first pick? (OL, DB, or D-Line)?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
They have a few. They don't have a first round pick. That pick went to Cleveland. They traded up for Julio Jones. Trying to improve on what Matt Ryan's doing. That worked with Jones, but they gave up a lot to get him. Bolster the OL. But not having that first round pick will hurt them.
Sal Lizard (changing shirts)
This hype on Ryan Tannehill is eerily similar to the overblown hype last year on Blaine Gabbert. What has Tannehill done to warrant any first round hype?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
It wasn't overblown hype. Gabbert needed to sit and watch. He wasn't ready coming out of that Missouri offense. He doesn't know how to work the pocket. We saw it last year. Tannehill is a former WR. He hasn't started a lot of games at QB. He has that injury now. He will be a question mark moving through the draft process, medically. But he'll be fine in the end. I'm not as high on him as some are. He struggled against Texas. But as a second round pick, he'd make some sense.
Kyle (via mobile) [via mobile]
What do you see the Cleveland Browns doing with the 4th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
They have to make a determination. Who will be their QB? If they're going to go after Matt Flynn, do you give up the pick you got from Atlanta at 22? Or do you just take RGIII who might not fit that offense? Or do you use the 4th pick on Richardson or Blackmon and then trade for Matt Flynn? They have to ID who their QB will be. They don't have a lot of confidence in McCoy moving forward.
joec420 (rocky mountain high)
broncos? secondary help?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
They need a lot of defensive help. That's a bad defensive football team. DL, DT, DB. This is a very poor defensive unit. Von Miller was a good addition.
michael (cincinnati oh) [via mobile]
The bangals have two first round picks. Do u think they will take offinsive skill position players or improve thier o line?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
The Bengals could look to an OL. Maybe Cordy Glenn. But they have a need at CB and RB. You could look at those two positions. Maybe OL, but those other two are areas I think they'd like to address.
Mel who do you see the raiders taking with there first pick?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
They don't have a first round pick, that went to Cincinnati in the Carson Palmer trade. They have to continue with the new organization there. New GM, new coach. The secondary, the offensive side. With Palmer getting a year under his belt, getting re-acclimated to the NFL after some time off. The team will get a shot in the arm. McFadden will be healthy.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Do you see the Panthers trading down from 8/9 to pick up an extra 2nd or get a 3rd back?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
They could. The thing with Carolina is there a CB that's attractive there? They could go there. A pass rushing DE. WR. They have some need areas. They're not a finished product.
I'm pretty sure it's a forgone conclusion that someone will trade up to #2 and take RG3
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I don't think it's a guarantee, but it makes sense. I brought the scenario up weeks ago of St. Louis trading off that pick and still getting a OL. That would allow Miami to jump in there. That could allow Seattle to jump up. There are some teams that could make the move up.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
The question here is what does Washington do at QB? Do they want RGIII? Does Cleveland say, yeah RGIII is there, but we want to go get Matt Flynn. Then there's not as many teams in the mix for RGIII. It's still way too early to forecast that.
Most Bears fans want a WR...which means the Bears won't take one. Are there enough good OL to be around in the 2nd so someone flashier can be taken in the 1st?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
Gabe Carimi was their first round pick last year. He had the injury, but him coming back 100% he should give the OL a boost. They have to give Jay Cutler something. They need a WR. Kendall Wright. Michael Floyd. Sanu from Rutgers. They could trade down. If they stay, they could look at Floyd.
Brian Seattle,WA [via mobile]
Who does Green Bay target? DL, another pass rusher opposite Clay?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
The defense is the big problem. They could use a pass rusher opposite Matthews. Their secondary was a problematic area. They have some young DL they like. The defense is the big area. It wasn't Super Bowl quality. A pass rusher to help out Matthews.
Jason (Beltsville, MD)
What do you think the Ravens should do on the defensive side of the ball? They have some aging key components that may need to be replaced, but I think they need some help on the DL. What's your take?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
MLB. The heir apparent to Ray Lewis is something they need to identify. Jimmy Smith is showing promise at CB. They really don't need much on defense other than the backup to Ray Lewis. OL as well.
any positions particularly strong or weak in this draft class?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
RB, because of the juniors. We had 12 underclassmen come into this prospect. Some of which were major surprises. WR was enhanced by the juniors. DE was helped. DT. CB. We had 6 underclassmen CBs come into the mix. The juniors really had a major impact. Around 50 declared.
Mel, where do you see Russell Wilson fitting on your board?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
He fits on the board, but not high. He's only 5-11. But when you get into the fourth round area...he can beat you with his arm and with his legs. Only 3 INTs. He rushed for 5 TDs. If he were 6-2, he'd be a first round pick.
Daniel Leon [via mobile]
With so many needs in different positions, who do u see the Tampa Bay Buccs selecting with the 5th overall pick
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
Again, so many needs. Morris Claiborne they could look at. RB, do they want to help out Blount? Trent Richardson. There are a lot of ways they can go. They drafted DL the last couple of years. This is a team that you need to help out Josh Freeman.
mel Who is this years small school gem. Someone either injured or played against lesser compitition that scores well with you.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
BJ Coleman, Chattanooga, QB; Brian Quick, Appalachian State, WR; Micah Tellerin, CB, Hampton; Ryan Steed, CB, Furman.
Which running back besides richardson do you see as having the brightest future in the NFL
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
I could see Lamar Miller from Miami; David Wilson, Virginia Tech; LaMichael James, Oregon; Chris Polk, Washington; Doug Martin, Boise State.
Tyler [via mobile]
Any thoughts on Philadelphia's draft?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
I would go defense. That's where you look at MLB. Luke Kuechley. Mark Baron. They have a good OL. They have WRs. RB. I think defense. MLB or safety.
Damien (Cali) [via mobile]
Who do you see the Colts taking with their 2nd pick, or do u see them trading it for a future 1st round pick
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
They have tons of needs. You have to wait and see what the best players available are. You don't force that pick based on needs. Best available player. Good second round picks would be: David Wilson, Dwayne Allen, Peter Konz, Chandler Jones, Jerel Worthy, Brandon Thompson, Janoris Jenkins, Alameda Ta'Amu, Chase Minnifield, Tommy Streeter, Bobby Massie, Terrell Manning, Ronnell Lewis, Dont'a Hightower.
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
We covered a lot of ground today. Next week, we'll be anticipating the all-star games and the Senior Bowl. Then we'll have the Super Bowl to preview.