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)
Mel is here!
Tony (Richomd, CA)
What pass rushers will be available for the Patriots when they draft in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
I think Vinny Curry from Marshall who had an excellent Senior Bowl week and an excellent college career. Andre Branch from Clemson is another one. He could play 3-4 OLB. Mercilus is another one. But I think Curry would be the best option.
who was your biggest mover in your latest mock?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
The guys that jumped in new are the big additions. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State; Curry was a new addition; Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame; Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn; Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin; Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson. Those are some of the new additions.
Wouldn't it make sense for Indy to trade the #1 pick? It would eliminate the "Peyton or Luck" question while garnering them a boatload of picks & players. Remember what the Herschel Walker trade did for Dallas, after all.
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
Can't do it. You can't pass on Andrew Luck. He's a once in a decade player. Peyton Manning's up there in age. You have to turn the page. It's like when San Francisco went with Steve Young. Montana could still play, but they had a developing star in Young. Montana led the Chiefs to the playoffs. They let him move on and went with Young. It's a new era. There's no debate here. Andrew Luck is going to the Colts. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I'm Yours.
mike adams ot from ohio state is he at the same level as last yearsot's or better the lions need to at least look at him if he is as a priorty need jeff bakus isn't getting younger.
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
He would fall in probably in the category of the second tier. The top tier is Matt Kalil and Reiff. The second tier is Martin, Adams, and Cordy Glenn if you project him to RT. Adams' grade will be similar to Nate Solder, Costanzo, Gabe Carimi.
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I have Adams going to Chicago right now at 19.
Darth Ditka (Fort Walton Beach, FL)
Assuming the Bears can land either Vincent Jackson or Dwayne Bowe...would it be best to also draft Kendall Wright? Or would Floyd be a better fit?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
They need OL help. If they can get the WR via free agency then Adams or Martin at OT would be a nice addition. You can completely rebuild the WR position if you signed a free agent and then drafted a Floyd or Wright. But Jay Cutler's been injured the last two years. You have to keep him from getting beat up. They could also use a TE.
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
Greg Olson is a heckuva player and they let him go. There are some TEs in this draft that they could get in the 2-3 round area.
Whos the fastest receiver in the draft this year?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
Let me see..........
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
Kendall Wright, Baylor; Jarius Wright, Arkansas; if you consider him a WR, Chris Rainey, Florida; for his size, Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech could run a good 40.
rank these WR's: Blackmon, AJ green, julio jones
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
I had Green a little ahead of Jones. I don't think he's to Green's level. I think he's more in line with Jones. He's not up to Larry Fitzgerald's level, but he's that kind of player. Big, tough, good hands. The big question is the speed, but you don't have to have the blistering 40 time to be a top notch WR. Jones last year was unbelievably physical. Blackmon doesn't have the physical prowess as those two.
Fred (Selma, AL)
How is Nick Foles not being talked about more as that 2nd set of QBs in the draft. Everyone knows it's Luck then Griffin. But Foles looks like an NFL QB to me.
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
He could be. He's certainly in the discussion. He's a guy that you think brings with him a little inconsistency. He didn't have his full compliment of players. Criner was out. He didn't have the tremendous supporting cast. He was hot and cold. But he's a big kid with a strong arm. He belongs in that second tier, he is in that second tier. He's going to be a guy that teams will like because of that arm strength. He's not unheralded or not getting any publicity. I have him going in the second round. There will probably be 4 QBs, I believe, going in the second round - Tannehill, Foles, Weeden, Osweiler. One of those four could go in the late first.
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
If I had to rank their chances of being a first rounder: 1a) Weeden; 1b) Tannehill; 3) Foles; 4)Osweiler.
Alex (East Hanover (NJ))
How far does Blackmon fall if he runs 4.60 at the combine?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
He would still go top 10. I could still see St. Louis taking him if they trade down. He wouldn't get out of the top 10. I would expect him to be in the 4.55 range. But there have been other WRs running in the 4.6 range.
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
He's not 5-11, 185 pounds. He'll probably be around 6-1, 215.
What are the superbowl champs biggest need?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
No. 1, I would probably put a TE, because of the injuries sustained late in the season. The chances of them contributing this season is questionable. So, it became a need area.
Who are some of the kick and punt returners that Dallas might look at in the middle of the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
LeMichael James, Oregon is one. Isaiah Pead. T.Y. Hilton, Florida International; Joe Adams, Arkansas; Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama; Brandon Boykin, Georgia.
Andrew Luck and RGIII have both decided to return to college for 1 more year. Who will the Colts take now?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
Then you'd be looking at their needs. A DT, but no one is there for No. 1. CB, I don't think anyone's that high. WR, same thing. It wouldn't be looking very good for the Colts. You look at the best player and it's Matt Kalil, but they just drafted Costanzo. Trent Richardson. Justin Blackmon. They'd probably be looking to trade out of there if they could. Had Luck come out last year, he would have been the No. 1 pick last year and not Cam Newton.
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
Fortunately, they don't have to worry about that.
is dre kilpatrick 40 speed in the elite area and is he a good fit for my bengals
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
He shows speed and catchup speed and recovery ability. But his ball skills aren't where you'd like them to be. I think he's a little overrated. I have him at 23 on my Big Board. I think he goes in the top 15-20. I could see him going to Dallas. But we won't have any measurables on juniors until the combine.
Mel why does C. Upshaw keep slipping back in mock drafts?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
I don't see it. I haven't talked to anybody that says he's slipping. He'll probably have to play on his feet as an OLB in a 3-4. He's kind of a tweener. Is he Lamar Woodley? I like him. He's a high motor guy. He brings it every snap. If you're taking a kid in the first round, you want that. He brings it every play. I think he could go 9 to Miami. He could go as a 4-3 DE to Buffalo at 10.
Matt (Montgomery, AL)
You mentioned WR Stephen Hill earlier. How good can he be at the next level? GT has surprisingly produced some good WRs over the years.
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Demarius Thomas is going to help him. He's been a successful first round pick for the Broncos. He had an oustanding year. I think his size/speed ratio, he's 6-5, 208. He might lack a little polish, but he can go get the football. He's a major mismatch with those corners. If he has a good workout, you could be talking about him in the first round. I almost put him in there this week. With a good combine, he could be in my next first round mock.
What will the Falcons be looking for in the draft to get the back to "playoff" status?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
They have to get DE. They thought Ray Edwards would be that guy. He wasn't. They could use a big time LT. CB. Defensively, they need a pass rusher and CB. They don't have that first round pick either.
Who are you looking forward to seeing the most at the Combine?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Coby Fleener, TE from Stanford. He's always been viewed as one of the faster TE in recent years. He has a lot to gain. With the medical part of it, Jared Crick, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Tannehill. Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn is coming off of a really good Senior Bowl Week. Nick Toon, it will be interesting to see what he does. Bruce Irvin, West Virginia. Shawn Loiseau, LB, Merrimack. Leonard Johnson, CB, Ohio State. Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana. Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State.
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
Then the juniors, we don't have any accurate measureables on who came out. What's the accurate height on RGIII? The speed for Justin Blackmon will be important. Wilson Charles.
Should the lions draft a running back this year, or wait to see if Best and Leshore get healthy?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
That's the thing. That's the big thing. The injury factor caused that to be a spot of need. Best is an integral part of that offense. They thought Leshore would be a part of it too, but he got hurt. Sure, they could look at RB, but you can get one late. Their big needs are CB, OLB, OT.
Mel,What are the steelers biggest needs and how do you see the draft playing out for them?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
They need a NT. An OT/OG. They could use a CB. They could look at Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis. Jerel Worthy, NT, Michigan State. I like Poe for the 4-3 teams as a DT as well. He fits Pittsburgh, but could be a DT as well. If they wanted to go OT, they could look at Mike Adams or Martin.
Kashan (Virginia Beach, VA)
Should the Jags go wideout or de in the 1st round? and why?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
DE is the most pressing issue that they have. Then secondly is WR and thirdly CB. Quinton Coples seems to be the obvious choice there. He really came on strong in the end. He had a really good 2010. If Justin Blackmon slides down to 7, you have to take him.
I see you have Mark Barron going to the Cowboys and Dre Kirkpatrick a few spots later...Who do you think will have the better career overall?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
Mark Barron is coming off the hernia injury now. He'll be out a couple of months. But I don't think that will effect his draft status. He's big. Excellent ball skills. Punishing tackler. He can work in the box. You thought borderline first rounder at one point, but I think he's a definite first rounder now. I think Barron is the better player. Barron is at No. 12 and Kirkpatrick at 23. I debated those two for Dallas and Barron is the better player. You take the better player. He has the better ball skills and he's a safety.
Do you think Morris Claiborne can drop to the Panthers in the first round due to other teams needs and/or teams reaching for other players.
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
CB could drop a little bit. I think he could drop to 6 to Washington, 5 to Tampa Bay. I don't see him dropping down to Carolina, no. I would be very surprised if he dropped that far.
Chris (Bozeman, MT)
What do the Vikes do at #3? Kalil, Blackmon, something else?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I would say Kalil is the guy that will be there. If they had to choose between the two, Minnesota has to get a LT. You have to keep Ponder upright. The LT is a problem area for them. You have to get a LT. You can't throw the ball to a WR unless you have time. I have St. Louis trading out of 2 and that second pick becoming RGIII. Then Kalil is there for Minnesota. If St. Louis stays, they choose between Kalil or Blackmon. I could see Cleveland moving from 4 to 2 for RGIII.
Matt (Music City)
Will the success of Hernandez and Gronkowski help move Allen, Charles, Fleener, etc. up team's boards?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I don't know if it helps them too much, because I don't see more than one TE going in the first round. Fleener, if he runs like I think he can, I think he could be in the discussion, but he's more of a 2. I do think Allen or Charles will be in the discussion. I have Allen going to the Giants. I thought of Denver going TE, but they need DL help. If they don't go in the late first, they'll go in the second.
Darryl (Oakland, CA)
Is Seattle a good QB away from competing for the superbowl?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
They have some nice defensive personnel. They could look at DE or LB, but QB is the big issue. They have to get better at the QB position. Making a move at QB via trade or free agency. Or do you move up and try to get RGIII? You're not going to take a QB at 11. I don't see them taking a QB that high. I could see it in the second round, but I think there will be a few QBs taken in the second round. But rookies struggle a little bit.
what areas do you see the ravens addressing in the? o line is a major concern, and i think we could use some depth at wideout and DB. What about a lte round blocking tight end? disckson and Pitta are terrible blockers
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
The biggest need right now, after what we saw against New England in the AFC championship is center. Peter Konz, you have to think about him. The next Ray Lewis, you have to think about that. A WR with some return skills would be important. They're always looking at that OLB that gives them some pass rush ability. The interior OL, MLB, WR are their needs.
Do the niners take the best player available when they draft at teh end of the first round regardless of need?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
I always like to take the best available player in a position of need. Normally you have 3-4 areas of need and you take the best available player. Unless there's a player that surprises you that's there. WR is pressing. They could use anotehr DB, OG, DL. There are a variety of ways they could go. I'm projecting Rueben Randle. But I'm not surprised if Stephen Hill moves himself in there.
Who are some of the OLB that would be available to the Packers at 28?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
At 28, you could be looking at Vinny Curry. Mercilus. Andre Branch, a DE at Clemson who projects to OLB in the NFL. Bruce Irvin, West Virginia.
Jonathan (Greenville, NC)
What are the Panthers biggest needs?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
On paper, DT, CB, WR. Those are their three biggest needs.
If Alshon Jeffrey shows up at the combine at 220 lbs. and runs a 4.55 in the 40, how much does that raise his stock back up? Does he jump back into the first half of the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
Speed is a big question. He's 230 pounds. Big WR. It will be important. He's more of a second rounder, but with a good 40 time he can at least get himself back into the first round discussion.
Dave (San Pedro, CA)
Mel, Has the time passed for the Chargers to make a serious playoff run?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
In the division they're in lends hope. Can Carson Palmer play to the level he did with the Bengals? KC they have some big needs. Do they have the right QB? In Denver, is Tebow the guy? I don't think so. They could use some offensive help around the QB. So there's hope for San Diego in that division. They have some need areas. This is the year where Norv Turner has to get them where they need to go. They have to win that division. To finish second to the Broncos had to be disappointing to them last year.
What are the Bills biggest needs?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
You think about them, they're a 4-3 defense now. They have to get a DE that can rush the passer. They could use a TE, WR. But I would say pass rusher. Can Upshaw fit their scheme? Melvin Ingram from South Carolina? They need a pass rusher. That's their biggest problem.
What do you think of Nick Perry in a 3-4?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
I think he could. He's more of a 4-3 DE, but with his athletic ability, he could fit that mold. This is a guy you look at this past season, he really came on with 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. I had him in the first round in my first mock and in the second now. He is in the discussion for the first round.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
Go to ESPN.com to see my Mock Draft 2.0. You can check it out by becoming an ESPN.com Insider. We'll be back next Wednesday to chat again!