Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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 Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:59 PM)
We've got Mel!
Valdosta ga [via mobile]
Which team will pick Trent Richardson?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
Cleveland. Makes the most sense. He's so well rounded. So multi dimensional. I'm normally not an advocate of taking RBs high. The main thing he can do, in addition to running, is catch out of the backfield and block. He never fumbles. If he wasn't the receiver and blocker he is, I would never take him that high.
For Green Bay draft needs you listed running back, Who would be a good pick?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
If they want a RB in the first round, Doug Martin at No. 28. In the second round, LaMichael James. Lamar Miller. David Wilson. Isaiah Pead. Or, they may just figure that they got James Starks in the 6th round and Ryan Grant was a 7th round. Jonas Gray, Edwin Baker, Chris Polk, Boom Herron, Alfred Morris, Jonathan Grimes are all Day 3 guys.
Fletcher Cox goes where and what pick?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
He could go to Philly if they trade up. Carolina at 9, if that doesn't happen. 14 to Dallas, 15 to Philadelphia.
Have any feelings on what direction the Bears and Phil Emery take? Is Phil a more "best talent on the board guy" or fill a need GM?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
Most teams now are take a best player available at a position of need. Every team has 3-5 key need areas. You don't have to draft for need, but you have some holes. For the Bears, I think they could look DE in the first round, like Whitney Mercilous.
Matt P (Berkshire, NY)
Is the Vikings apparent interest in Morris Claiborne at pick three a smokescreen trying to get trade value or do you think they like him more than Kalil? Also, is Justin Blackmon still in play for them at that pick?
Mel Kiper (1:06 PM)
I would think they like him more than Kalil. If they feel that Claiborne is a shut down CB, in a division with Stafford, Cutler and Rodger, then you have to take him.
Who's most like to fall to the second round, ingram or branch?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
Definitely Andre Branch. I don't think Ingram gets out of the mid first rounder.
Sean (Dallas TX)
Dallas Had Decastro in on a visit last week and they tried him out at center. do you think he's versatile enough to play the position?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
Yeah, I think a lot of teams that figure he projects to center. They need help at both spots. They signed two veteran OL that are both average starters at best. And they have an average center. With Decastro, you upgrade the interior OL. The question would be do you take him over Mark Barron?
Can Alshon Jeffery find his way into the 1st round? I think he is the 3rd best receiver in the draft and some people have 5 receivers going in the 1st round.
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
I would doubt it. I haven't heard anyone suggest that, the teams that I talked to. His body type that he worked out it isn't what he played at. I think he becomes a second round pick.
Whatd do you think of Green Bay drafting Shea McClellin with the 28th pick?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
Love the pick. It would be ideal for them. He's a hard worker. Very determined. Never quits. Great versatility. He could play inside LB in the 3-4. He can play outside. He did a great job at the Senior Bowl.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
Where will Mike Adams find himself, late first round or early second? Also, what do you feel his potential in the NFL can be?
Mel Kiper (1:11 PM)
He's a second rounder now. His stock has fallen. I thought all along he'd be there for St. Louis at 39, 54 to Detroit. Second round for him.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
So if the Vikings take Claiborne, where does Kalil go? Browns don't need him and like Richardson anyway. Bucs don't really need him, but don't really need Blackmon either...
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
That's a hard call. That's a very difficult decision to make. Tampa is satisfied with their two OTs. But they could go that route if Richardson and Claiborne are gone. St. Louis could, but they won't pass on Blackmon. The furthest he could go is Buffalo at 10.
Has Kendal Wright's stock dropped, I havent heard from him, he was projected as a late first, is he still projected there?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
He's an early to mid second now. He's a slot receiver. He needs to work on his route running. One thing he hasn't done is distinguish himself as a return man.
Where is Vinny Curry going?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
Second round. He's a very good football player. The only issue is he didn't run well at the combine. But with the pads on, he's quick. Great attitude, great approach. Right now I have him going to Tennessee in the second round.
Who are some possibilities for the Falcons in the 2nd round?
Mel Kiper (1:15 PM)
They could take a LT like Jeff Allen from Illinois. DE Vinny Curry. Andre Branch, if he's there. TE Dwayne Allen, Orson Charles. CB Josh Robinson, Janoris Jenkins.
2nd RB off the board after Richardson will be _________?
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
Definitely Doug Martin from Boise State. In the first round. He could be looked at by Detroit, Pittsburgh, Denver, New England, Green Bay, Giants. There are a number of teams in the later first round. I think he goes between 23-32.
Indy needs a NT, but could they wait until rounds 3 or 4 to find one that can play early?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Yeah, they have so many needs. If they looked at Worthy in the ealy second, they could. If they wanted to wait until the Day 3 area, they could. Josh Chapman, maybe.
Brian (Boston, MA)
With the Pats losing Matt Light to retirement, Brian Waters pondering retirement and Logan Mankins hurt, who could the Pats look for in round one that can help on the line. Konz, Martin, Zeitler?
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Nate Solder they drafted last year will be a good player. They brought in Robert Gallery at OG. I don't think it's a pressing need. The most pressing needs are on defense. They could look OL on Day 3, but they're not going back to the Super Bowl unless they improve that defense. The Giants beat that defense in coming back in the Super Bowl.
Any chance the Bills take Dre Kirkpatrick?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
That's way too high. Way, way, way too high. I think he goes in the 20s. CB isn't at the top of the Bills need chart. I don't think he'll be in the mix there.
Jake (PA) [via mobile]
Do you think RG3 will be like Michael Vick in the future or a more complete quarterback?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
He's a better passer than Michael Vick coming out of college. He's not nearly the running QB that Vick is. Vick is the best running QB that I've ever seen. You could make him 27 instead of 7 and turn him into a RB. RGIII is a straight line runner. He's fast, but he's not a darter. He's two inches taller than Vick which will help his vision.
Mike (Akron, OH)
Where do you think Nick Foles goes? I've seen mock drafts with him in the 4th round, but Scouts Inc. has him listed as the 6th best QB and 47th overall. Is there a big drop-off in QB need after the first 4-5?
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
He's probably a third round pick right now. I think he sneaks into Day 2. He needs to work on his decision making. His accuracy at times is off. He's not always consistent. The big issue with him is his mobility. He puts a lot of pressure on the OL. He takes a lot of sacks at times. When you think about him, he's a guy you think about that needs some time. He's a big kid, has a powerful arm.
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
To his defense, he didn't have a great supporting cast at Arizona..
Do you think with the new rookie scale in the CBA we will see more movement in the draft? Teams were scared to trade up in the past because of the financial commitment to players. The rookie scale should also lead to less holdouts.
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Movement, we're going to have. We have a ton of movement every year. I think we'll see a similar scenario as we did last year. We only had 6 positions turing out different than going in. Jacksonville moving up to get Gabbert and Atlanta moving up to get Jones. Cleveland moved up to get Phil Taylor. There weren't a ton of movement. In the second round, it was from the mid part on down. You'll see the movement. You see a lot of it as well in the 5th and 6th round.
Raiders try to move up or make due with what they have?
Mel Kiper (1:25 PM)
They don't pick until the end of the third round. They'll be picking very late on Friday night. That's the 95th pick overall as a compensatory pick. Their needs are TE. Michael Egnew is who I've got them taking. They need a TE, DL, OLB, WR, OG. They have some need areas.
What LB's do you project to be good guys to drop back in coverage?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
ILB: Luke Kuechley, Mychal Kendricks. OLB: Lavonte David, Terrell Manning, Demario Davis, Zach Brown, Nigel Bradham, Sean Spence.
Kipe, will steelers end up landing Konz.. or someone different
Mel Kiper (1:28 PM)
I don't think Konz. I don't see them taking him. They have their center in Pouncey. If he's there, Cordy Glenn who could be a RT/G. Dontari Poe. Dont'a Hightower. I don't see Konz going to Pittsburgh.
Clay (Dallas, TX)
Which CB prospects have added value because of their ability to play safety at the next level? Bethal? Menzie?
Mel Kiper (1:30 PM)
Trumaine Johnson. He's 6-2, 205. Strong, athletic. He could be a CB or safety. You could also look at Robert Blanton. DeQuan Menzie. Corey White. Donnie Fletcher.
What should Dolphins do @ 8?
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
I think you have to look at Ryan Tannehill. He only makes sense for me for Miami. That's the only place I think he makes sense for me. His old coach is at Miami now. The new head coach is good at developing QBs. Matt Moore and David Garrard are there and could play this year while Tannehill sits.
Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)
All sorts of people are now talking about Derrick Wolfe as "the guy no one is talking about". This signal he will be drafted fairly high?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
I think he's way under the radar. I've been shocked that he's not getting more national notoriety. He's flying way under the radar. I've brought him up a lot on my Big Board. I think teams are keeping quiet so they can try and sneak and get him in the second round. He had a great year. He was the defensive player of the year in his conerence. He outproduced every DT in the first three rounds of this draft.
If Decastro were to go top ten, which team in the top ten would take him?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
That's the hard thing, I don't know what team. I think he's a top 10 player, but not sure where. I could see him at Dallas, Cincinnati. He's an interesting guy. He's one of the safer picks of anyone in the draft. Very well coached. Never makes a mistake. This is a guy that you look at as a future pro bowler for a number of years.
where do you see the rams going with their second round pick with not alot of holes where do you see them going?
Mel Kiper (1:35 PM)
They have two. They could look at Jerel Worthy at 33. Mike Adams at 39. Those are the two early second rounders that they can do some damage with.
Baltimore seems to have so many needs and their superior Defense window seems to be closing with Reed and Lewis nearing retirement, any idea if they get an impact defensive playmaker?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
They have to get heir apparents at MLB and safety. They have two veterans that are hall of fame players. Ray Lewis is like having a second DC on the field. He's helped all these guys get jobs, Marvin Lewis. Rex Ryan, etc. Ed Reed too. I just don't think you're drafting an heir apparent early because of their other needs. Early in the raft, they'll look more C, OG, WR.
Is the second round a stretch for ryan broyles
Mel Kiper (1:38 PM)
Yeah, I think it's a little high. He would have been a second rounder had he not gotten injured. He's only 5-10, 190. He doesn't have elite speed. He's a sure handed professional. He has the return skills. At best, I see him as a third round pick.
Which ILB do you think best fits in Kansas City's defense? Luke Kuechley or Dont'a Hightower?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
Kuechley does. He's much better in coverage than Hightower. The key to playing LB now is you have to cover. 5-10 years ago, you'd have a two-down ILB. You have teams passing on every down, so he has to cover every down.
What is your thoughts on Kevin Zeitler? He is a guy that looks like he could play Center, Guard and even Tackle. Does he make it into the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
He's a borderline. SF could look at him. Baltimore. As far as center, I don't have an issue with that. OT? I don't think so. He's not super gifted athletically. He's a OG/C type. I don't see him getting out of the second round.
Where will Janoris Jenkins end up, with all the off-the-field problems he had?
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
Those problems take him from being a tp 10-15 pick and pushes him into a second round pick. He's also an excellent return man.
what is the deepest position in the draft? what is the weakest?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
The deepest are WR, OG, DT, OLB, CB. The weakest are TE, RB, OT, S.
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
Also, ILB is a weak position.
Why doesn't Clevland take blackmon then weeden in either late first or second round?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
He's a possibility. He's not an elite WR, but he's a very good prospect. He's 6-1, 207, which isn't bad, but it's not 6-3, 220. He would be in the discussion, but I think they take Richardson.
I've enjoyed reading your TY Hilton analysis and agree -- he is going to be a very nice bargain in the middle rounds. He's Roscoe Parrish if Roscoe knew how to run routes.
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
I could see him in the third round. He's a great punt returner, maybe the best in the draft. I could see him going to in the third round, teams like Cleveland, Houston, Jets, Baltimore.
What do you think of Coby Fleener to SF at 30?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
I like it. Could you imagine Vernon Davis and Coby Fleener on the field at the same time? That'd be like Hernandez and Gronkowski in New England. Why take a WR that's not as good when you can get a much better TE? TEs are just glorified WRs these days anyway. You put him and Davis on the same field and that's a tough situation for the defense.
What teams will pick Weeden, as he's gonna be a 29 yr old rookie?
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I think he ends up in Cleveland somehow. Either at 22 or 37. If he's not a Brown, Miami could look at him in the second round, maybe KC, Philadelphia.
Is brandon thompson a good value in the third round?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
In the third? Yeah, he would be. That's probably where he goes. He'd be nice for the Texans in the third round.
Will the Bears fine better value at 19 in OT or DE?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
I think DE. The DE presents more value than the OT. I would rather have Jones, Mercilous or a Martin at OT or Mike Adams.
Is Zach Brown a better player than Bruce Carter who was draft last year in the second round?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
I have Carter slightly ahead of Zach Brown. Brown figures to be a second round pick as well. Carter went 40th overall, I could see Brown going a little lower than that.
George Iloka? What round and how good is he?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Iloka is probably a second round pick, at worst a third. It's a weak safety crop, which helps him. He's a big kid, excellent athlete. Good in coverage. The thing is he misses some tackles. To be a good FS you have to be more consistent.
What do you think of the Packers taking Ronnell Lewis at pick 59?
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
At 59 that wouldn't be a bad pick. I have Ronnell Lewis going in that area. He's a pick you'd see in the late second round area. I have him going at 43, a little higher. I'm not as high on him as some others. I'd like to see some more consistency.
Do you think Gordy Glenn could start day 1 at RT? Is 16 to the Jets a reach for him?
Mel Kiper (1:52 PM)
I think the Jets have so many defensive needs. They need a WR desperately. At 16 if they could get an impact defensive player, like a Chandler Jones. Or a WR like Michael Floyd. Bobby Massie at RT in the second round would be better than Glenn at 16.
What do the Eagles need to improve more? OL or DE?
Mel Kiper (1:53 PM)
I think they're satisfied with Bell at LT to fill in for Peters. I think their bigger priority is DL, particularly DT.
where do you see Lemichael James going?
Mel Kiper (1:54 PM)
I'd say third round right now.
Jeff (Green Bay)
Any OTs who will be available mid to late that have the potential to develop into starters in a few years?
Mel Kiper (1:55 PM)
Markus Zusevics, Iowa; Bradley Sowell, Ole Miss; Jeff Adams, Columbia.
What happen to devon Still, he's was on your big board at the beginning of the year?
Mel Kiper (1:56 PM)
He's still in the first round mix. He could be a late first, early two. He had some durability issues early at PSU. He had a good year. 17 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks. He has size. He's a plus-kid. He has a chance to be late first, early second rounder.
Mercilus? Boom or Bust?
Mel Kiper (1:57 PM)
The reason why he would be a potential boom or bust is he only produced for one season at Illinois. That's the only concern for him. He led the nation in sacks and forced fumbles. If he went back, he would have gone even higher. One-year wonders have some risk factor.
Mel Kiper (1:58 PM)
I appreciate all of the questions predraft and everything we've done since August. We'll be back on Monday noon-1 p.m. ET to chat post draft. Our final chat of the year. We'll give out some grades and answer all of your questions.