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!
Mel, what teams would be the best fit for LaMichael James?
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
I could see Cincinnati as one. Denver, Detroit, San Diego, the Jets, Cleveland.
Rory (Marietta, GA) [via mobile]
b4 ryan broyle's injury where was he projected to go? n now that he's coming back from acl surgery where do u see him going this time?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
It makes the medical at the combine very important. He had the injury, a torn ACL to his left knee, on Nov. 5, late in the season. You'll have to see when will he be able to come back. He doesn't have great size or sprinter's speed. He still had a chance to be a second round pick. He's tremendously productive. He's still their career leader in receptions. Excellent hands. Knows how to get open. Excelleng after the catch. Very good punt returner. I think he would have been a second round pick. Now? He's probably a Day 3 guy and we'll know where after the medical comes in. I'd shade more toward the fourth round.
Chris, Chicago, IL [via mobile]
How do Griffin's measurables impact his draft stock? Specifically, his height - 6'0" as compared to 6'2".
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
6-0 would be a huge difference and a big red flag. You hope he's 6-1.5 or taller. There has to be a cutoff point. For every Drew Brees, there's many QBs at 6-feet that don't make it. You'll always have players beat the odds. He's listed at 6-2. He's always said he think he's going to measure out taller than 6-2. If he's just under, that's fine. But if he's 6-1 or shorter, there will be an issue.
Chad (Grand Rapids, MI)
Which Michigan State player in the 2012 NFL Draft class do you think will have the best NFL career?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
Worthy is the big one. He has a chance to be a late first round pick at DT. Then you get to Kirk Cousins, the QB. He does everything well. He doesn't wow you over, but he doesn't have any weak spots. Then you get to BJ Cunningham, the all time receiving leader in Spartan history. Depending on how he runs at the combine, he could be a Day 3 pick. Linthecum is in there as well. Baker is a late round/free agent type. Keith Nichol, former QB at Oklahoma, made some big catches for the Spartans. Joel Foreman, OG, late rounder; Trenton Robinson, S, late rounder.
Scott (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
Penn State sending 9 to the combine. Still is a consensus first round, but anyone else you see going in the top 3 rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
I've talked to some that think Still could fall to the early second. But I say late first. Jack Crawford, DE, has a chance to be a Day 3 pick. Offensively, Derrick Moye, WR, late round guy; Johnnie Troutman, OG, late round; D'Anton Lynn, CB, late rounder; Nate Stupar, LB, late rounder; Sukay, S, free agent.
Mark (Iowa) [via mobile]
Is it possible Dont'a Hightower could slip far enough that the Patriots could grab him?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
I think he'll be there in the first round. I thought about giving him to one of the 4-3 teams. He's a 3-4 ILB. He's two years removed from the knee surgery this year. He improved in a lot of areas. In 2010, following the knee surgery, his production slipped. He improved this year in tackles for loss, sacks and just more big plays. He's in the late first round discussion. I thought about him for a couple of teams. As a 3-4 ILB, he's not as high a priority as the other LBs, I have him as a second round pick.
Nick las Vegas [via mobile]
What is the best possible outcome for Pittsburg?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
A good outcome is if they fill some needs on defense, at NT, a versatile DB. If they get a guy like Jerel Worthy from Michigan State, Poe from Memphis. On offense, a versatile OL, like Glenn from Georgia. Worthy would be a nice pick for them.
Dan (Aurora, IL) [via mobile]
If Michael Floyd runs in the 4.4's, is he gone by the time the Bears pick at 19?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I think he could go 18 to San Diego. That's a possibility. I don't see any other teams desperate for a WR earlier than that. Even if he runs well, he could still be there. If he's not, then Kendall Wright could be a nice fit for the Bears.
Brandon (Cincinnati) [via mobile]
Do you think t. Richardson would be a good fit in cincy? And if so would you trade up for him seeing how he is a top ten or five?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
I think he would be. That's a major need for Cincinnati. In order to get him, they'd have to move up. They have the two first round picks to do it. They have AJ Green at WR, Gresham at TE and Dalton at QB. You'd be adding another weapon. That would assist in Dalton's progression. That's the team that makes the most sense to jump up.
Mel, the Giants almost never draft for need. Most good teams don't. Is there any high end talent, regardless of talent that you see falling to the end of round one?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
That's a hard one to call, because normally the players you don't expect to be there are there. That's the surprise guy that falls through. If you look at their needs, because of injury, TE is a need. Dwayne Allen, Fleener, Charles, the top three TEs will all be there. I would say they could go that way.
Mel, simple question. Should the Ravens take Konz or Burfict?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
I think they target Konz over Burfict. Konz is an immediate hole filler. I say they go Konz. They have to get a center. He's big, strong, quick. He can pull. He did have some durability issues, but he's a good football player.
What positions do u see the bucs targeting in the 2nd and 3rd rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Depends on how the first goes. They could use Richardson at RB. They could go DB, a corner. If they get Richardson in the first, their second round pick could end up being Trumaine Johnson, CB from Montana. He has ideal size. Then they could use an ideal WR, LB. That would be a nice start to the draft getting Richardson and Johnson.
chicago ill [via mobile]
what's a good fit for eagles in first round ?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I think right now, there are a couple of ways they can go: Fletcher Cox, DT, MS State; MLB, Luke Kuechley, BC, but I don't think he'll be there; Mark Baron, S, Alabama.
Donald (Connecticut) [via mobile]
Will any D2 or small FCS players (Patriot, Ivy etc) make their way up the draft board this week?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
There are a lot of guys on the board. But the early round guys that are off the radar are: BJ Coleman, QB, Chattanooga; Brian Quick, WR, Appalachain State; Shawn Loiseau, LB, Merrimack; Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana; Ryan Steed, CB, Thurman; Micah Pellerin, CB, Hampton; Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina; Janzen Jackson, CB/S, McNeese State, he began his career at Tennesse and could be a second rounder.
With Green Bay picking at 28 and needing 3-4 defensive end, olb and cb, who will be available and who will they select.
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
If they go OLB, you could look at Vinny Curry, Marshall; Harrison Smith, Notre Dame if they went safety.
Charlie (Dickson City, PA)
where does cliff harris get drafted?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
In the late rounds. He looked like an early rounder before the off the field issues. He missed time early in the year with the suspension, then when he played he didn't play well. He was a talented punt returner. The interviews will be important. The off the field issues will need to be addressed. It wouldn't shock me if someone didn't take him early Day 3. He was once projected as a late first round pick. It only takes one of the 32 teams to like him
Dave (Harrisonburg, VA)
Guy you're most excited to see run at the Combine?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
There are a lot of guys that I want to see run. Some to answer questions about their speed. Guys like: Sanu; Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina; BJ Cunningham, WR, Michigan State; Leonard Johnson; Casey Heyward, CB, Vanderbilt. Other guys I'm intrigued to see how they work out: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech; Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami; Janzen Jackson, CB, McNeese St; Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State; Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida; Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest. Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas; Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas; Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor; Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida should be the fastest guys.
John (Stafford, VA)
Why isn't AZ QB Foles rated higher in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
He does have a good grade. He doesn't have an elite grade. He was a little eratic in his decision making. His accuracy was very good. He can throw moving left or right. He can throw accurately in the pocket. He didn't have the elite talent around him. He has the good size, elite arm strength. He's an intriguing guy. Trent Dilfor is high on him. I respect his opinion. He could go late in the first round and I wouldn't be shocked by it. Nobody in the late first round needs a QB, so it would be somebody trading back in to get him. I have him going early in the second.
Juan (College Park)
What are your thoughts on Robert Turbin and Bernard Pierce? What type of career do you see them having? I was very impressed with Turbin in his bowl game.
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
Both are highly productive players. Turbin and Utah State, had a low center of gravity, powerful runner. Pierce was very productive. Workouts will be very important to these guys. They're both RB so they'll probably slip more than they should.
Charlie (Dickson City, PA)
Could the Redskins win the NFC East with RG3?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
You're asking a lot from a rookie QB, but rookie QBs have far exceeded expectations in recent years. Look at Andy Dalton this year. This is a team that beat the Giants twice last year. They beat the Packers two years ago. Their defense has some talent. And they have some talent on offense. They have some guys that can play. They have two RBs that they like in Helu and Royster. Shanahan's teams will always find running room for the backs. They needs some help at DB, OL and WR. Do they aggressively try to move up to get Griffin? Or do they aggressively try to get Peyton Manning? Or do they trade for Matt Flynn? If Manning gets medical clearance, do they move for him or do they want to try and land the next star rookie QB? Any way you slice it, they need to get a QB.
matt nc [via mobile]
How many tarheels do you see getting drafted this year.
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Five to six, led by Quinton Coples, who could possibly the seventh overall pick to Jacksonville.
Do you expect an increase in draft day trades in the top 10 due to the new rookie wage scale?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
It depends. That all depends upon what happens in free agency with some of these players. We'll have to see how the combine goes with some of these younger kids. I think the second pick will be traded. I could see someone trading up for Trent Richardson. I could see someone trading up for Courtney Upshaw or Ingram.
What do you think of this year's projected 3-4 rush LB's class as a whole? More specifically, I really want your opinion on Ronnell Lewis.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
It's a good group. The guys that qualify in that area are Melvin Ingram, Whitney Mercilus, Vinny Curry, Ronnell Lewis, Andre Branch, Courtney Upshaw, Bruce Irvin, Shea McClellin, Nick Perry, Jonathan Massaquoi.
Donnie (Rochester, NY) [via mobile]
What's the best case scenario for Buffalo?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
They need a pass rusher. They're going to a 4-3. Upshaw, Ingram, that would be the big thing for them early on. Coples would be a nice fit, but you'd have to move up.
Mel, do you think steelers will be drafting a RB early or at all..
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
With Mendenhall's injury situation, you could see that. But not early. There are a lot of RBs you could pick up, but not until the 3-5 round area. The guys you could look at there are Doug Martin, Boom Herron.
Top 3 needs that could be addressed by MN at pick 3, 1) LT, 2) WR, 3) CB???
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
Yeah. I would go LT, CB, WR in that order. It's imperative they get a LT to protect Christian Ponder. You're in a division with three outstanding QBs, so you have to protect Ponder. Matt Kalil, the OT from USC could be the pick. Justin Blackmon. Morris Claiborne. All three need areas have top players.
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
If RGIII ends up going No. 2 overall, then Minnesota would be looking at all three of those guys on the board. If all three are there, I'd say they take Kalil, an immediate hole filler at LT.
Justin [via mobile]
In your opinion what are the cowboys biggest needs and who should they draft in the 1st and 2nd rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
They need to upgrade the secondary. It was pathetic last year. Too many blown coverages. They have to upgrade the talent at secondary. Do they take Dre Kirkpatrick or Mark Baron? I'd say the safety in Baron. Then get Janzen Jackson in the second, that's a nice start.
I hear the Bears have cap space and I dire need for an impact WR. How far would Blackmon have to fall before the Bears could entertain trading up to grab him? Would that type of fall be at all possible?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
Blackmon could go anywhere from 2-6. That's how far up you have to go. It will be big for Blackmon to run a good 40. If not, then they'd be looking at Floyd or Wright. The key is to help Jay Cutler. They could look at Mike Adams, Martin at OT. Or a WR. They have to help out Cutler. It's two years in a row that he's been hurt.
Bernie (London) [via mobile]
Belichek has hits and misses, but always surprises (e.g Mankins) - do you see a method to his draft madness?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
The method is he always seems to like Florida players. Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez. He had interest in Tebow when he came out. He likes the big college guys. Last year New England they went with the proven entities at the major college ranks. He's not afraid to reach on players. They passed on Clay Matthews a few years ago. He's had hits and misses. But this year, they have to get a OLB that can rush the passer. They have to get a true WR threat, a DB and a DL. They need help on defense desperately and a true WR. The two players I projected for them are Kendall Reyes and Vinny Curry.
Matt (Atlanta) [via mobile]
Is SC reciever Alshon Jeffries worth a first round pick?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Depends on how he runs. There's questions on how much he can separate in the NFL. Can CBs just matchup and stay in his pocket. Separation, speed, quickness will have to be shown at his pro day. Right now, I have him as a second round pick.
Walter (Columbus, OH)
Mel, will my Browns have to trade up to #2 to get RG3, or will St. Louis and Minnesota take impact players like Kalil & Claiborne/Blackmon and leave RG3 wide open at 4?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
St. Louis could use a Matt Kalil, OT, USC. They could use a Riley Reiff from Iowa. They could use a Justin Blackmon if he runs well. But they could also move down to 4 knowing they'll still get one of those guys. Washington could trade up with St. Louis. Miami, Seattle. There are other teams vying for RGIII.
What do you see the Lions doing? Everyone seems to have them pegged to go Oline or CB but I feel like after the top 1-2 CBs theres a drop off and they would be reaching on some of the guys projected to the late 1st rd. And Oline is a need for sure but there is no immediate LT they are going to land at 23 like they need. Maybe they go LB and take someone like Hightower and solve the middle of that D?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
It depends on who slides to them at 23. Janoris Jenkins at 23 is a possibility. They could go that route. If they want to go OL at 23, they could look at Mike Adams. But CB is the biggest thing. Matthew Stafford had so much pressure on him to score points. They've got the offense. They've got to get better on defense. They need another CB and a OLB. I would be surprised if their first round pick is not a defensive player.
Brad (Chicago) [via mobile]
What direction do the Colts go after Luck, in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
They have a lot of needs. This is a bad football team. They need a DT, CB, WR, OL. Reggie Wayne is probably moving on. Jeff Saturday is probably moving on. But DT is the big need. Kendall Reyes from UConn could be there. Jerel Worthy could be there. They need a lot of help in a lot of places.
Chris Ardmore,OK [via mobile]
What rd an team do you see Brandon Weeden going?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
He impressed me. We had him on the Dari and Mel Show on Saturday morning. We do the show every Saturday from 8-noon. He was very articulate. He was very engaging. He has a future in broadcasting if he wants it. I think he could be a late first round pick if someone wants to move back in. He's very poised. Like he said, I'm 28 now and that just means I won't have a 15 year career, but I can still have a good 8 year career. I think he's a second round QB, maybe late first.
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
We have the combine workouts starting on Saturday. They don't end until Tuesday, so next Wednesday, the combine will have just ended. We'll have guys moving up and down. A lot of these guys won't be working out until the pro days. We'll have a lot of new information from the combine and give some new projections and analysis!