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!
Why is everyone so high on Poe when he was average at Memphis? boom or bust?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
To a certain extent, yes. The team that drafts him will be hoping that he's coached up better in the NFL than at Memphis. There were a lot of one-sided games at Memphis. He'll have more time to refresh in the NFL. The stamina and endurance won't be as much of a factor. You hope he'll be more motivated as a professional. He's got to do a better job on a play to play basis. As a NT or 4-3 DT, physically, he's exactly what you're looking for.
Where is russell wilson going in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I think he ends up in the third round. He has tremendous competitiveness. Great character. Strong arm. He throws over the top, so he throws taller than the 5-11. He's very accurate throwing on the move. Great leadership. Character wise, on a scale of 1-10, he's a 15. He'll have to beat the odds to become a starting QB in the NFL. 28 of the 32 starting QBs in the NFL are 6-2 or taller.
Can Upshaw play outside lineback at 280 pounds?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
He's at 280 after the season. You can get him to play at 265-270. I think his best position is at OLB. I don't see him as a DE at 6-1 with short arms. That's not a recipe for success as a DE.
Is trent richsrdson grade higher than adrian peterson coming out of school????
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
You can make an argument that Richardson is a little more versatile. I think they've had similar careers. Richardson has freakish talent. He can run inside, outside, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He can return kicks. He can block. He's chisled. He's the old throwback, the work horse, 30-carry per game guy.
What surprise team that we should keep an eye on that could jump up and get Ryan Tannehill?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
You hear rumblings that maybe KC could do something. I don't see it. You hear rumblings about Philly. You hear that Cleveland could make a pick at 4 and then try to move ahead of Miami at 8. But that's all speculation.
What scheme best fits Trumaine Johnson skill set?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
He's a CB. He could move inside to safety. He doesn't have great recovery speed. He's a 6-2 CB and strong in the upper body. He'll tackle. He's a guy in the second round that you could look at like Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Carolina, New England, Detroit.
dre (from the NO)
michael floyd=vincent jackson?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
Yeah, I think he can be. Michael Floyd can get down the field and make things happen. He got his weight down. He got quicker. He didn't benefit from having a not very good QB throwing him the ball. He'll go in the top 13 probably.
With the weak safety crop, are there any corners equipped to make the transition?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
Good question. Trumaine Johnson, who we just mentioned could be one of those guys. Robert Blanton. DeQuan Menzie, Alabama. Corey White, Samford. Donnie Fletcher, Boston College.
Who are some really good change of pace types of RB's in the draft? What rounds do they go in?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
LaMichael James, Oregon. Lamar Miller, Miami. David Wilson, VT. Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State. Chris Rainey, Florida. Mark Rodgers, Cal Poly. Rodney Stewart, Colorado.
Is Peter Konz a stretch for anyone in top 20?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
I think that's a stretch, yeah. That's a little high. He belongs in the late first round. Green Bay at 28, Baltimore at 29. Earlier than that would be a stretch for a center. He's got to be a little stronger in the weight room.
Christian (el paso tx)
Why do you think Derek Wolfe is going so under the radar? i love his game
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
I don't know. I've talked about him a lot. I'm probably the only one talking about him. I've tried to get him out there. I've ranked him high all year. I gave him a high grade in the draft report. He could be a 5 technique easily. He's 6-5, 300 pounds. He's got the wrestling background. He's athletic. I don't know why he's not being looked at more. I don't get it. I don't understand. Teams are happy, because if they like him, no one is talking about him. He was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Nate (Sacramento, CA)
What are the chances Janoris Jenkins falls out of the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
There's a chance. Talent wise he's a top 15 pick. It's the off the field concerns. He did a phenomenal job as a punt returner. He had a good career at Florida and finished this year at North Alabama.
What is Oakland's biggest need heading into this year's draft? What direction do they go with pick # 95?
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Their first pick is that compensatory pick at No. 95. They could use DL, TE, WR. I have them taking Michael Egnew of Missouri.
bryan (new york)
Can jeffery be a fit as the 3rd wideout in dallas?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I don't think they have to go WR. They have a big need at S, CB, G/C. WR would be a luxury pick. If they wanted to take him, they'd have to take him in the second round and they have too many pressing needs for that.
WHo is more likely to fall to the Titans at 20 - DeCastro or Barron?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
I don't see Barron getting to 20. DeCastro, possibly, but I doubt it. Dre Kirkpatrick is who you'd be looking at there.
I like Fletcher Cox a lot but i don't see much of a difference between him and Jared Crick. Why is Cox getting billed as a top 10 pick while Crick is being projected as a 2nd or 3rd rounder? Is it durability?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
Crick had the injury this year. He didn't have a chance to showcase his skills this season. The arm length is an issue. He's a fighter. In the 2-3 round he comes off the board. He had 9.5 sacks his junior year.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
If you had to choose one of these athletic DE/OLB for your team who you think is more likely to be a star in the NFL, who would it be, Ronnell Lewis or Bruce Irvin?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Irvin, the more I research him, I'd take the chance on him in the second round. He's a natural pass rusher, even though his numbers dropped a little this year. I was hesitant to give him a higher grade, but he has freakish talent with great upper body strength. As a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB, I would take him in the second round.
Does the Marshall trade eliminate the Bears WR need?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
No. It doesn't eliminate it at all. It's still a need. It's not as pressing as it once was. You reunite him with Cutler. They had some real success in Denver. He had 104 catches the last year they played. They could still add another WR. It would have been thier No. 1 need, but it's still No. 3 or 4.
Who do u think philly will take with the 15th pick? theres been alot of names going around
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
Probably one of the hardest calls in the first round. Andy Reid usually throws you a curveball. Safety is a big need for them. They opted for Brandon Graham over Earl Thomas and they've had some issues there. You put Mark Barron on that defense with the CBs they have and the pass rush, and you also take him away from Dallas. I'd move up to get him.
Has Shea McClellin worked his way into the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
Yes. A definitive yes. New England and Green Bay could work his way. He's solidly in the first round. He was productive at Boise. He was versatile. He did well at the 1 on 1 pass rush drills at the combine and Senior Bowl Week.
Brian (Boston, MA)
What are some good options for the Pats in the 2nd rd? Brandon Thompson with their first pick and Jeff Allen with their second sound reasonable or possible?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
They could go CB, OL. It depends on what they do in the first. If they get a DE and OLB in the first, in the second they could look OL, CB.
Henry ca. [via mobile]
Does San Diego go d-line or o-line with there first round pick
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
They could go either way. They could go with a pass rusher. They could also look for help at RB. Ryan Mathews hasn't produced like they need. This is a team that's had LT, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles. They've had RBs and they've left and now Mathews hasn't stayed healthy.
Joe (St. Louis)
Do you think Wes Kemp WR from Missouri is draftable?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
He's a 6-3, 220 WR. Adequate speed. I gave him a 7th round grade. Probably undrafted, though. Too many WRs rated ahead of him.
Is Ryan Tannehill worth all the hype? Would you take him in the Top 10?
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
I wouldn't. But he's got talent. He needs time. He's smart. Very cerebral. I question his instincts at time, but he's a former WR. I thought he looked overwhelmed at times by what some of the defenses were doing. He works hard. Good attitude. Good approach. I think he's being overdrafted. He's the 18th best player in the draft. He needs 2-3 years to watch and be developed.
Jim Irsay (Indy)
Mel, does Coby Fleener drop low enough in the first round for me to try to move up from the #33 spot and reunite him with his Stanford buddy? Peyton to Dallas was a very productive duo for us.
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
The Colts look like an expansion team on paper. They have tons of holes. I wouldn't be giving up draft picks. Fleener could still be there. To give up draft picks is debateable. But it would be for good reason. Luck is used to using the TE. Fleener is a freakish talent. Real good hands. The only thing I would argue with is giving up draft picks for a team that can't afford that.
Les (texas) [via mobile]
With D. Murray coming off injury & felix jones being inj prone, should the Cowboys draft a RB early? If so who?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
Down the line, not early. S, CB, OG/C. They have holes at other spots where they can't look at that until late.
Colin (Newton, MA)
Any chance Kendall Wright slips out of the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
It's possible, not probably. He's more of a slot guy. He's a guy that didn't run well at the combine. He had a few drops at Baylor. He'll have to adjust to a different route running tree. He didn't show great return skills. I still think he goes in the late first.
How come the argument for Sam Bradford is to find playmaker around him when McCoy is probably in a worse position as him? Shouldn't the same be said for McCoy?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
Colt McCoy wasn't the first pick in the draft or even an early pick. When you're the first pick, you get a lot of leeway. Same thing for Jimmy Claussen. He's already been kicked to the curb.
Do you see Cordy Glenn as a tackle in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
I see him as a RT. He played LT. But I really like him as a guard. I thought he held his own in pass protection. He's an excellent guard possibility who can also play RT.
If the Lions aren't able to get their hands of Stephen Gilmore, what direction do they go in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
They could go Janoris Jenkins, OL, safety, OLB.
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
They also need a RB. Maybe Doug Martin. They have to figure out that RB situation.
Mel. Where do the bengals go with the 2 1s?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
I think they go CB or maybe OG. They could go CB, WR or CB, OG. Dre Kirkpatrick or David DeCastro, Cordy Glenn. Stephen Hill at WR, Kendall Wright. Those are some player options for the Bengals.
Who do you like for the Jags at 7? I like Coples from UNC.
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
I don't think Coples. I think maybe a Melvin Ingram. Maybe a CB, reach for Stephon Gilmore. The best scenario would be in trading down.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
The only position I hear about the Broncos looking at in the first round is DT, and obviously there is good reason. If they don't end up taking a DT in the first round, what do you think is the reason and who or what position did they end up with?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
They could go RB and take Doug Martin. They could take a CB, WR, G.
What do you think of Doug Martin? I heard he is this years Ray Rice?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
He could be. Yes. I like that he played DB. He's tough, strong, one of the strongest you'll see. Powerful upper body. Great determination. He attacks defenders. He's a threat to break the long run. Very willing blocker. He's not one of those flashy guys. He's not tremendously elusive. I like his consistent productivity. I think he'll be a good NFL player.
B.J. (Lake Tahoe)
Do you see any player worth trading back into the mid-1st to get? I'm thinking the guys over at Valley Ranch might be interested in multiple picks next year to get some of that LSU defensive talent coming out.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
Coples could fall a a little bit. Melvin Ingram. Courtney Upshaw could fall. Michael Brockers.
How many receivers do you see going in round 1?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I think you'll see Blackmon, Floyd, Hill, Wright for sure. If there's an under the radar guy, AJ Jenkins from Illinois and Alshon Jeffrey from SC.
Bobby (Packer Nation)
If Hightower is still there for the Packers, could you see him playing inside on running downs and switching over to outside on passing downs?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I could. The problem with him is he struggles in pass coverage. He can move arund and get after the QB. Shea McClellin would be another guy to look at there. Hightower has some scheme versatility.
Cliff (New Jersey)
What do you think of Mohammad Sanu's prospects in the NFL?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I like it a lot better now than after the combine. I liked him as a player. He went from running 4.67 at the combine to 4.5 at his pro day. He's strong and very athletic. Very smart. He played some Wildcat QB. He knows about the QB position. He's a smart WR. I think he's a second round pick now.
Darth Ditka (Fort Walton Beach, FL)
Mel, I'm hoping the Bears can get the Stanford LT with our 1st round pick. Do you think Emery will actually spend a 3rd consecutive first round pick on another college LT? I don't....but trying to be optimistic.
Mel Kiper (1:48 PM)
I would be hesitant. Martin doesn't move defenders off the line enough. I would like to see him play more physical football. I think he's more of a late 1 early 2.
Do the Jets address their pass rush in the 1st or 2nd round and who do they take?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
I have to believe they do. You can't run this defense unless you can pass rush. It's hard to run this defense without that. I thought Courtney Upshaw would be a possible, but everyone's saying that's too high now. In the second round, I could see Bruce Ivrin.
Where do you see the Titans going in Round 1? A DE like Nick Perry? Maybe C or CB?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Center is a need. They'd like to upgrade the C position. I think that's high for Peter Konz. They could look at Ben Jones in the third round. Then take a CB, like Dre Kirkpatrick in the first.
How does Matt Barkley compare to RG3? Will Barkley be highly successful in the league?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
He's not the overall talent that RGIII is, but he is a pro style pocket passer. I hope he measures out at 6-2. He can throw the ball. He would have been the third QB on the board, ahead of Ryan Tannehill.
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
This year, he would have probably gone 4 to Cleveland.
I hear Iowa OT Riley Reiff's stock is dropping. Does Buffalo still take him at 10 or do they look elsewhere?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
It hasn't been dropping. He's been projected from 10-13. He doesn't have the long arms that you'd prefer in a LT. He's a good football player. If not Buffalo at 10, then Arizona at 13.
Weeden to the Browns in round 2?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
You could see Weeden go to the Browns at 22. I've said all along if he were 22, he'd be a top 10 pick, if not top 5. He's not real mobile. I don't think he gets out of the early second.
Is Vontaze going undrafted? How about Osweiler and Bolden from ASU?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Yes. Unbelievably it is true. The year didn't go the way it needed to go. He had the unsportsmanlike penalties. He didn't play to the level expected. That's the reason why he's now in the late round/free agent category.
do you see the giants going ol with the first pick
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
They could. They could look OL in the first. But they could also look at TE, RB. They have some ares to look at.
Who will the late round QBs be?
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
BJ Coleman, Chattanooga; GJ Kinne, Tulsa; Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois; Darron Thomas, Oregon; Matt Simms, Tennessee; Kellen Moore, Boise State; Austin David, Southern Miss; Ryan Lindley, San Diego State; Case Keenum, Houston; Dan Di Lella, Albany (NY); John Brantley, Florida; Aaron Corp, Richmond.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
We'll be back next Tuesday for our pre-draft chat at 1 p.m. ET.