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!
Doug (Irvine, CA)
Mel can you please explain to me why eveyone is so high on Ryan Tannehill? A potential top-10 pick??? He hasn't even been a QB for that long. Please explain.
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
He has a lot of talent. He's a very talented athlete. He is a former WR. But you could also say that's a red flag. How many QBs in the NFL were a position change? That will be a first for me in 30-plus years. He has an NFL arm. He has the size. He's athletic. He completed over 60 percent in the red zone. But against ranked teams, he threw some INTs. Against Oklahoma, Texas and OK State, he threw 9 INTs. I think it will take some time. I said the same thing last year about Blaine Gabbert, you have to develop him.
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
I could see Tannehill going to Miami at 8 or Seattle at 12.
Now with Brandon Marshall in CHI, and V. Jackson in Tampa, where do you see Michael Floyd falling? Maybe SD? Also, how would former ND safety Harrison Smith look in the Indianapolis defense?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
You always felt like Arizona was a possibility at 13. Carolina at 9. That would be the highest at 9. San Diego lost Vincent Jackson, but they signed Meechem. Cleveland at 22, if they don't get Blackmon at 4. I have him going to Arizona at 13.
Mel, any chance DeCastro makes it to the Bengals at #17?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
Yeah, I think he could definitely be there. He's a pure guard. He's an interior OL. Dallas at 14 could take him. But Cincinnati at 17 could really use him.
Do you see Courtney Upshaw being a decent backer in a 3-4 scheme? What position is going to be able to play if he goes to a 4-3?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
He's a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB. That's the great debate. I think it's split. He could be a Lamar Woodley in a 3-4 scheme. San Diego at 18 could use him as a 3-4 OLB. The Jets at 16 could use him. Those would be two nice destinations.
Jim (Barrington, IL)
With the recent signings Brandon Marshall and Eric Weems, do the Bears still target Michael Floyd with the 19th pick or do they focus insteadon OL or CB help.
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
When you look at the Bears, the big thing is the OL. That's the big area of concern, especially at the LT spot. Cutler has back to back years with injuries. They could also use a CB, OLB, TE. OT is critical. If they want to reach a little bit, they could take Mike Adams. If they want to look at CB, they could look at Dre Kirkpatrick or Gilmore. It will be interesting to see how they choose to solidify the OL.
Mark (St. Louis)
After signing Finnegan, where do the Rams look if they don't get Blackmon at #6?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
If you're not going to get Blackmon, the guys you look at there is Morris Claiborne. You still need another CB. You could go another OT like Reiff. Dontari Poe. Trent Richardson. Michael Floyd. They could trade down. St. Louis will be an interesting team to watch. They need to help Bradford and you do that by adding a WR, OT and even RB. But you also need a CB.
T. Six (Full Sequence)
If the Giants pick up Martellus Bennett to fill their TE needs, do they still go Fleener/Allen at the end of round 1? Too much value to pass up?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
If you brought in Bennett, you'd go away from TE. There was no certainty that Fleener or any of the TEs would be first round draft picks. With Bennett, he was a backup for four years to Jason Witten. Now he'll be the main guy. He's been a blocker. He's dropped some catchable balls. He's been frustrating. Great athlete, great size. Up to this point, he's been an underachiever. He had some lapses in concentration.
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
The other things the Giants have to look at are OL, LB, DB, WR. They could go with the best player available at one of those positions.
Knowing the Ravens the way you do, where are they going with their pick at 29. O lineman, or defense?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
If they go OL, it would be a C/G and that would be Peter Konz. They'd also like to get a WR or CB with return skills. A versatile OL will be high on their list.
Is David Wilson first-round worthy?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
I think he's second round worthy. He has first round talent, from a speed standpoint and athletic ability. He has to eliminate the fumbles. If he can do that, he can be a dynamic game breaker. There are some other backs that will be on the level with him in the second round mix.
Bob (Philadelphia, PA)
Do you see the Eagles taking Luke Kuechly with their pick? Or will he be off the board?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I have Luke as my 7th highest rated player on the Big Board. Will he be there? The teams ahead of them don't have MLB as a high priority. He tested out better than people thought. That would be a good value pick. But it wouldn't surprise me if he was a top 10 pick. It's just trying to find a team with a need to pair him with.
Rah (Newark, N.J.)
Who do you feel should be the 2nd and 3rd cb's taken in the draft? Im hearing differing opinions.
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
I would say right now there is a battle for the second CB spot between Dre Kirkpatrick and Stephon Gilmore. Right now I give Kirkpatrick the slight edge. After those two, I have Janoris Jenkins.
Any WR worth taking for the Vikings in rd 2?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
From a WR standpoint, which is one of their top three needs, Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle. Another guy Brian Quick from a sleeper standpoint could be a possibility.
Will Kansas City pull the trigger and get a Tackle for the offense and a NT for the defense in Free Agency if so who will it be?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Where they're picking at 11, they could look at Dontari Poe. If they want the OT, I don't see anybody being there in the draft. Riley Reiff is your second best OT and I think he's gone by pick 11. They could look at Luke Kuechly at MLB.
Jeff (Cedarburg, WI)
Will the Packers be able to find a pass rushing complement to Clay Matthews when they pick at 28?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
They could. They could look at a guy like Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilus, Dont'a Hightower.
does shanahan start RGIII week 1? and do you keep rex grossman or find a btter back up qb now?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
You have to have a veteran around, but the way this league is and how much they gave away to get him and how they desperately need a QB, I don't see why you'd sit the second overall pick. Unless he struggles mightily in the preseason.
Mike (Acworth, GA)
Better fit for Manning, Broncos or Titans?
Mel Kiper (1:23 PM)
It's up in the air. I thought initially Miami had the best shot. But it looks like that's cooled off. But maybe Miami goes with Matt Flynn. Maybe Denver. I've said from the beginning that I thought Tebow would be an H-back. Geographic wise, Tennessee would make some sense. You have Chris Johnson to run the ball. The interior OL needs some help. I could see them. It seems like Denver might be the favorite right now, but it's all up in the air.
Jeff (Atlanta, GA)
Mel, I've heard rumors that the Buffalo Bills are also interested in Mercilus in the 1st round? Isn't that a little high for him and wouldn't Ingram be a better prospect?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Very high. He's a one-year wonder. It's very high for a one-year wonder. You keep hearing about Buffalo and Mario Williams. If you take a DE at No. 10, you're taking Melvin Ingram. If they get Williams, they could look at Michael Floyd at WR.
Is Kendall Wright just a beneficiary of RG3's deep ball or is he actually a first round talent? He seems like he would be a great fit in a WCO like Cleveland at 22
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
He is an outstanding player. He ran a legit 4.4 in the spring. His pro day is coming up on March 21. It will be interesting to see how he runs. He was a heckuva player at Baylor. He would be a great pick for Houston at 26.
Where do you see the Steelers going with their pick now that Poe has moved out of their reach?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
I think the Steelers have to look at Dont'a Hightower from Alabama. Jerel Worthy. Someone like that would be a nice addition to that defense.
How early in the second round do you expect to see Bobby Massie go?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
Very good player. He was a RT at Ole Miss and did a very good job. He played against some very good DEs and played very well. He needs to get stronger. Ole Miss beat out Alabama to get him. He can play guard, he can play RT. He can slide and move your feet. He's a solid 2nd rounder.
Jon (Fort Wayne,IN)
Do you see any FA corner or safety filling Dallas's need? If not where do they target in the draft? Kirkpatrick in the first and Harrison Smith in the second?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
In terms of the first round, they could look at Mark Barron. Kirkpatrick or Gilmore at CB. That's the big thing, the secondary.
Hi Mel - I generally like the Patriots offensive line, but I think they could use a center or guard. Do you agree that the need is there and will there be some good value picks late in the first round? Thanks
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I think their big needs are defense. You can always find guys late on the OL. They need an OLB, DB, DL. They were just not good enough defensively. They should have lost to the Ravens. They could use a WR. They need a true WR. But it would surprise me if they went away from defense.
Do Cards need help at WR to lure Peyton or help him if he signs? or are Andre Roberts and Early Doucet enough?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
They could try to draft Michael Floyd to work with Larry Fitzgerald. They do need to figure out that QB position. Is Kevin Kolb the guy? Can he step it up and fill the need? OT is another need. The OL is the big thing they need to get better. But at 13, there isn't an OT to take.
Darryl (Toronto, Canada)
Why trade Brandon Marshall for two 3rd round picks? Considering his current salary is below market. Do you agree that this only makes sense if Peyton Manning is somehow involved?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
Two third round picks are of good value. They should be two starters. Let's not underestimate the third round pick. Some third rounders from this year: Jurell Casey, Justin Houston, DeMarco Murray, Leonard Hankerson, Mason Foster, Chris Culliver, John Moffitt. From two years ago: Ed Dickson, Tony Moeaki, Jimmy Graham, Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Valdeer, Navaro Bowman.
Kade (Cleveland, Ohio)
How are Blackmon's pre-draft rankings in comparison to past wideouts such as A.J. Green or Calvin Johnson?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
He won't be as high. He's the sixth highest rated player on the Big Board and has been for months. Johnson was at the top. AJ Green was way up on the Board. I had Patrick Peterson and Von Miller 1 and 2 and I thought seriously about putting AJ Green ahead of both of them. Green and Johnson were super elite. Blackmon is an excellent prospect, but he's not at the top of the board, he's at No. 6. He will have a very solid grade and he'll be a very good option. He's a hard worker. He'll block.
Rod (Sacramento, CA)
How deep is the LB class and CB class this year? any hidden gems the Mckenzie could focus on for Oakland to pick up late?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
ILB is not very good. Very very weak after the top few. OLB is better, not great. CB is average. There is some depth at corner. You'll find a lot of nickel and dime backs this year. It's a little intriguing.
Is the 2014 1st round pick the Redskins gave up overrated? I'd hope they have a decent cast around Griffin after 2 seasons. I'd rather have their 3rd and 2 4ths this year than the 2014 1st. Or are pretty much all 1st round picks more valuable than any midround pick?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
No, a third this year is valued as much as a 1 in 2014. I would rather give up the 1 in 2014. You don't know what will happen in 2014. When you get the players now, you have them. You have a couple of years to develop them. They only went one player over the chart, that 2014 pick. The chart was a good basis for the trade.
With the way you see it, is Nick Perry going in the top 15?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
No. I see Nick Perry as a top 20-31 pick. I have him going to Green Bay at 28.
Where do you see Fletcher Cox going? Do you like him to the Eagles at 15 or do you think he could move somewhere in the Top 10?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
He could. He's battling Dontari Poe and Michael Brockers. I have Cox going anywhere from 15 to Philly to 25 to Denver.
Where do the Browns turn now that RGIII is no longer an option? Surround Colt with playmakers at 4,22, and 37? Draft a project QB in round 2-4?
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
They're in a quandry right now. They have to figure out this QB position. They have Big Ben, Flacco and Dalton in the division. They're in the same position as the Redskins. They've got Vick, Eli and Romo. The Redskins beat New England and the Giants twice last year, but they don't have the QB. If you're the Browns, you're not going to beat the Bengals and Steelers with that QB position. You're not getting RGIII. Are you going after Matt Flynn? Do you go forward with Colt? Do you draft a Ryan Tannehill at some point? Weeden? Osweiller? Foles? That's what you're going to do. They have to find better players at a variety of positions. On offense, RB, WR are needs. DE, OLB, CB on defense.
Jason L (Indiana)
Did the colts give up to much for Luck to have a productive first year? Who can they surround him with from the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
It's hard when you're basically tearing it down and building it back up. They'll make a lot of moves on draft day. They've already started, with a flip flopping of picks in the sixth round. They'll make a lot of moves. With Andrew, just like with Peyton, with a bad team, it won't be easy with a rebuilding team. Everyone will know there will be some major growing pains. It will be a complete makeover of the team over the next few years.
Ronnie (New Jersey)
If Poe is already taken, do Texans target another DT or go for Floyd or Hill?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
Houston needs a NT. They could also use another DB. They need a WR. That's their most pressing need. They are right there to be a Super Bowl team. Kendall Wright would be a good pick. Poe won't be in the discussion at 26. He won't be there. The WR is what they need. If Wright slipped, that would be a phenomenal pick.
What position(s) do you see the Bengals getting the most value at with their two two first round picks?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
They could look CB at 17, either Kirkpatrick or Gilmore. Then at 21, they could look at DeCastro or Cordy Glenn. Depending on how they work it, they could go CB and then OL or OL and then CB. Theo ther need area is, at some point thinking about RB. WR also wouldn't hurt.
How badly is Mike Adams' stock dropping?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
He's a talented athlete. Very, very talented football player. But he's a guy that has to go out there week in and week out and be consistent. That's something that's lacking. Game to game he was inconsistent, sometimes even series to series. Why is he so inconsistent? If he can level off his performance, he can be a good player. He's a little bit hit or miss. Inconsistent LTs can be a recipe for disaster.
Who do you see the Panthers taking? Could Claiborne fall to them?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
To Carolina? No, Claiborne is not falling to them. I don't see another CB to take at 9. If you trade down from 9 to 15, then you could take Kirkpatrick. At 9, you could look at Poe, Cox. If you want a WR, you could look at Michael Floyd.
Mel.....with the Cowboys address one corner as it looks like they will sign Carr, where do they go in the draft? Barrow at S? OL? DL? Another corner?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
If they land Carr, then you could go away from CB. I have them taking a safety in Mark Barron. If they get Carr at CB and Barron at safety, that would help. They need to re-do that DB. They also need a C/OG.
Mel Kiper (1:59 PM)
Next week, we'll be chatting Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. I'll be traveling on Wednesday, so we need to push things back a day.