Chat with Mel Kiper
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. will be by to discuss this year's NFL draft.
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 noon ET!
Buzzmaster (12:01 PM)
Mel is here!
Stephon (bayonne Nj)
Which of the cowboys draft pick was the biggest reach in your opinion?
Mel Kiper (12:02 PM)
Matt Johnson, safety, Eastern Washington in the fourth round. I gave him a seventh round grade.
Mel, is it me or is Cincinnati's draft being overlooked? I thought they did a tremendous job getting value and plugging holes, I love both DTs they picked up (Thompson in the 3rd is a steal), and adding Boom Herron in the 6th was the cherry on top. What did you make of the Bengals' draft?
Mel Kiper (12:02 PM)
They haven't been overlooked. I gave them a A-. They had perfect balance. 5 offensive players and 5 defensive players. All productive and from major colleges.
Who the best undrafted guys that can make a impact right away?
Mel Kiper (12:04 PM)
James Brown, OT/OG from Troy with the Bears. Interestingly enough, Vontaze Burfict signed with the Bengals. Patrick Edwards signed with the Lions. The guy I predicted for Mr. Irrelevant, Cody Pearcy, WR, Huntingdon (Alabama) signed with Atlanta.
How will Alshon Jeffery do with Brandon Marshall on the other side and Jay Cutler as his QB?
Mel Kiper (12:05 PM)
I think he has a chance to be a pretty good player. He has to find out what weight he plays best at. 212, 215 or 225-230. That's what he has to figure out. He was working out at 212, but he never played at 212. His testing was at weights he never played at.
Josh S. (Philly)
So you like the Eagles selection of Nick Foles? What is his upside potential?
Mel Kiper (12:06 PM)
Andy Reid likes to bring in young QBs in a fairly regular basis. Foles has talent throwing the football, but very limited ability. He's about the opposite of Michael Vick. Vick's 6-feet tall and the best running QB ever and Foles is 6-5 and a pocket passer.
Rich (New Jersey)
Which teams get an A+ or A in this years draft?
Mel Kiper (12:07 PM)
I gave Cinncinati, Philadelphia, Tampa By and Indianapolis the highest grades. The lowest grade went to Seattle.
Mariopvn [via mobile]
What was your grade on DENVERS draft? and what was your suprise pick in the first round?
Mel Kiper (12:09 PM)
Denver, I have to take a different approach. I gave them a C+. I raved about Derek Wolfe before the draft. I really like him. Brock Osweiller in the late second was a luxury pick. They could have gotten a player that could help right away. Lavonte David was still there. LaMichael James. Trumaine Johnson. They passed on some good players to take a QB who they're hoping is the heir apparent to Manning.
Is Melvin Ingram going to be the pass rusher that the Chargers are looking for on defense?
Mel Kiper (12:09 PM)
I think so. I'm a big Ingram fan. Big versatility. Tremendous pass rusher. I thought the Chargers stressed athletic ability. They really stressed bringing in athletes.
Will Stephon Gilmore start right away for the Bills?
Mel Kiper (12:10 PM)
Definitely. He'll have to be the guy right away. You don't draft a guy 10th overall to be a third CB. Tremendous tackler. Always underrated in coverage. Good anticipation. Tremendously smart kid. Great character. Tough. He'll be an impact player.
I know you weren't really high on Phil Emery's first draft for the Bears. But I was wondering what you think of Brandon Hardin, the Oregon State kid they're going to play at safety. Can he be a good one? Be nice if they didn't have to keep drafting safeties every year...
Mel Kiper (12:12 PM)
It seems like every year they tend to do this. It's the second straight year they've gone this route. Last year they year they took Chris Conte out of Cal early. Now they go back for Hardin. He was hurt all year. I gave him a 5th round grade. He played CB, but should be a natural move inside to safety. Smooth, athletic kid. This is a kid who injured his shoulder before the season even began. As a junior, he had a solid year. He forced three fumbles. 63 tackles. As a safety, he can have an impact. It was probably a round or two early.
Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)
What do you expect from Trent Richardson and his career with the Browns?
Mel Kiper (12:13 PM)
I think you should expect him to have a great career. He's an all around back. He can do everything you want a back to do. He can run, catch. He has a lot of talent. Great approach. Great attitude. He'll be their workhorse.
Mel, The Packers pick of Jerel Worthy is VERY interesting. I know his motor has been questioned, but if Worthy reaches his potential, having a 3 man line of Worthy/Raji/Pickett could give the Packers the best 3 man front in the NFL. What did you think of the Worthy pick by the Packers?
Mel Kiper (12:15 PM)
Yeah, when you think about it, that defense should be a lot better this year. Green Bay and New England knew what they had to do, go defense heavy. The first six picks for GB was all defense. 6 of New England's 7 picks were all defense. These two teams want to win a Super Bowl. Both of these teams needed to get better on defense and they did.
Would Weeden been available to the Browns at 37?
Mel Kiper (12:15 PM)
Debateable. You can't say for sure. Someone could have jumped in there.
Patrick (STL) [via mobile]
Really like isiah pead for the rams. Can he be a legit starting RB once Jackson declines in 2 years?
Mel Kiper (12:16 PM)
He's a situational speed burner. He has great speed and explosiveness. He's an outside running threat. He's a good receiver. He's not a full time back. He's a change of pace, situational dynamo.
Any news to why Chris Polk fell so much?
Mel Kiper (12:17 PM)
Unimpressive at the Senior Bowl, No. 1. He lacked explosiveness. This is a guy that ran behind a mediocre line, but put up good numbers. He was a guy that some thought might run into some resistence from the NFL lines. But he's reliable. He can block. I think he'll be a nice addition. He signed with the Eagles.
The Cowboys obviously wanted Morris Claiborne very badly. How do you see him fitting in with the current Cowboys corners? Will he come in as the number two corner to Carr? Will Jenkins or Scandrick move to safety?
Mel Kiper (12:18 PM)
I think it was a nice move to get him. He'll be asked to be a shut down CB. They didn't have anything like that of late. They added Carr. All of a sudden, they have a very good CB tandem, as opposed to a very good tandem this year. Big improvement.
Thoughts on Floyd being teamed up with Fitz in 'Zona? I think he's going to have a huge year and should help Fitz as well.
Mel Kiper (12:19 PM)
I like it. It's what they needed. Robinson and Doucet are contributors, but they didn't have the No. 2 option. Now they have that option. That should help Kevin Kolb. This is the year for him to show what he can do.
Can Suggs and upshaw become harrison and woodley?
Mel Kiper (12:20 PM)
Upshaw will be an improved version and younger Johnson with pass rushing ability. He's great at sealing the edge against the run and he will be an improvement at pass rushing.
What do u make of the Steelers future at O-line?
Mel Kiper (12:22 PM)
They have two very good young players in Pouncey and Gilbert. Decastro will start right away at OG. Mike Adams, I'm not sure he'll be a good fit, but maybe they can make him into a Steeler. Adams needs more tenacity, more fire. He needs to get stronger. He has to stay focused on football and maximize his ability. Adams has the look of an elite LT, but he was never consistent.
What role do you see the Patriots draft picks having in year 1?
Mel Kiper (12:24 PM)
I like what they did. I thought they did a very good job. The only reason I gave them a B- instead of an A was the reach for Wilson in the second round. They could have had Reyes, Worthy, Broyles, Casey Hayward, Trumaine Johnson. That was my issue that there were better DBs on the board. But Jones and Hightower will have an immediate impact. Even Jeremy Ebert, a poor man's Wes Welker, could have an impact.
Have you ever had a play like Burfict go from your big board to not drafted and not have an injury? I'm stunned no one took a 7th round flyer on him. He made big plays and almost beat Wisconsin single handedly.
Mel Kiper (12:25 PM)
He signed with the Bengals. He didn't do well during the draft process. He ran a 5.09 at the combine. His production lessened. That's the reason why. I've been telling people for a month now that he would at best be a late round pick.
What do you think of the Texans signing Case Keenum..do you think he has a legitimate shot of getting playing time?
Mel Kiper (12:26 PM)
I think he's a depth No. 3. He doesn't have great arm strength. He's only 6-feet. He'd float some deep balls to WRs or it was short underneath. He didn't complete the tough, challenging throws of the NFL. I thought he was an NFL long shot.
Who are a few top players to keep an eye on for 2013?
Mel Kiper (12:28 PM)
I already have a list already. Matt Barkley is the top senior. The top guys are Logan Thomas, a junior, battling Barkley. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU; Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia; David Amerson, NC State; Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina.
While looking over the draft selections for Miami is it fair to say we seleceted for what might be in the future rathe than what is ready right now?
Mel Kiper (12:30 PM)
With the first pick, they did. With Tannehill, definitely. Martin will be asked to play RT right away. He's a finesse player. He needs to get stronger. Vernon's a pass rusher. Egnew is an excellent pass catching TE. Miller is a great runner, not versatile. They had some nice later round picks. I downgraded them a little bit, because Tannehill was a bit of a reach at 8.
New Orleans didn't have a lot of draft picks, but how do you think the Peyton-less coaching staff and GM did with what choices they did have?
Mel Kiper (12:32 PM)
I thought the Saints, for what they had, I couldn't give them any better than a C-, because they didn't have a lot of picks. They got a raw DL. I like Nick Toon. He'll make their team and help them. White will end up being a safety. He's a developmental player.
Mel, Did the Rams reach on to many players?
Mel Kiper (12:34 PM)
They traded down twice and they lost both WRs. Brockers isn't a pass rusher. They hope to get the rush from the outside and then Brockers can stuff the middle. That's not a bad theory. Brian Quick is a nice player, but not with the first pick of the second round. They didn't reach for Janoris Jenkins. Pead went where he was supposed to. Johnson was a good value pick. The only slight reach they had was Quick.
Will Tyrann Mathieu be the best CB in the 2013 draft?
Mel Kiper (12:35 PM)
It will be him and Amerson. Mathieu is 5-9, 185 and Amerson is 6-3, 195. Amerson led the nation last year and set an all-time ACC record with 13 INTs. This kid has a lot of ability.
Do you think the Chiefs will regret picking Poe
Mel Kiper (12:37 PM)
He's got a little boom or bust in him. They're just rolling the dice that they'll be able to coach up that freakish talent. He'll be paid to play as a pro. There will be less wear and tear. In college, you play more. Hopefully he'll be more motivated. I thought he was more of a 4-3 DT. As a 3-4 NT, you have to be stout and anchor the line.
Marc (Malden, MA)
What did you think of the Redskins draft, outside of the QBs?
Mel Kiper (12:39 PM)
I wouldn't have taken Kirk Cousins. I like him. I just don't know why you open that can of worms. It looks good on paper. RGIII runs around and that opens up questions about his durability and all that, but these are two rookies coming in they're going to be competing for the same job. What happens if Cousins plays better in the preseason? It won't matter who's the No. 2 overall pick then. The best pick I thought was Adam Gettis, Iowa.
Mel Kiper (12:39 PM)
I gave them a C+. Some of their later picks have a chance.
David (Sacramento )
Can Michigan's Center---Molk become a future Center with the Chargers? Why did he drop so much in the draft?
Mel Kiper (12:40 PM)
He's a great college center. Keep in mind, Jeff Saturday didn't get drafted. He's only 6-1. He has short arms. But he has great intelligence. He has tremendous upper body strength. Think about Scott Wells, he wasn't an early round pick. He was a Pro Bowler.
sky (Morgantown, WV)
How did Kellen Moore get passed up for BJ Coleman from Chattanooga, Chandler Harnish from NIU, and Ryan Lindley fron San Diego State?? Is his arm strength really that bad?
Mel Kiper (12:42 PM)
Moore signed with the Lions. But, yeah. Not only that, but he's only 6-feet tall and 193 pounds. Mediocre arm strength. And an average athlete. When you have those three things working against you, it was no surprised that he went undrafted.
Was Nick Perry a good pick where the Pack too him? It seemed like he was on the Packers radar in the late 1st, but not on anyone elses board that early. Is that the case?
Mel Kiper (12:43 PM)
Perry was a guy I projected to Green Bay in my draft report. Now you'll have two USC OLBs. That's what they need. They know the pass rush has to improve. He went about where projected. At one point in time, I had him going 20th overall.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Did Ronnell Lewis perform poorly in the pre-draft workouts? I was a little surprised he dropped down to the 4th round to a non 3-4 team.
Mel Kiper (12:44 PM)
Lewis didn't have the dominant overall numbers you needed to have. He only had 5.5 sacks. As a sophomore he only had 3.5 sacks. It was a decent pick in the fourth round, but he was projected as a 2-3, not that big of a drop.
Why do the Giants not value offensive line? I thought they reached on a RB instead of taking a much needed OT.
Mel Kiper (12:45 PM)
The only thing with that is, at that point in the draft, the OL was a little sketchy. They passed on Martin, Glenn to take Wilson. It was a slight reach. But he has talent, he's a gifted athlete. Randle didn't wow me over. Hosley had a disappointing year, I thought they reached a little.
The Bucs draft picks were horrible? Overall, what do you grade them?
Mel Kiper (12:47 PM)
I thought the Bucs did great. Mark Domenik did a great job. Greg Schiano knows these college players. Doug Martin will be an excellent RB. David will be a great LB. They got some steals in the 7th round. Najee Good was a tackling machine. They got some productive players.
your thoughts on bruce irvin
Mel Kiper (12:48 PM)
Irvin has ability as a pass rusher. He's quick out of the block. He can close. He's very average against the run. He's one dimensional. He has to put the off the field problems behind him. He's a motivated kid. He told me and Dari on ESPN Radio that he's going to make any team that passes on him pay. I thought they could have traded down to get him. There was no value there, it was a major reach.
Whats your nfc east grades?
Mel Kiper (12:49 PM)
Philly: A. Dallas: C+. Giants: C . Washington: C . I thought Philadelphia dominated.
Mel, the Bears have FINALLY got Cutler the playmakers on the outside a QB needs to succeed. I realize he had that in Denver but he was still a young QB and has improved since his Denver days. Do you think Jay Cutler goes off this year numbers wise?
Mel Kiper (12:50 PM)
He has weapons around him. They added Marshall and Jeffrey. The key to this team is OL. He got hurt the last two years. They have to keep him from taking hits. Internally, they feel the OL is going to be fine. I said this before the draft and people laughed when I said that they felt the OL is fine. They didn't draft one OL, so they feel it will be OK.
JR (Tampa Bay)
How suprised were you that the first round had so many trades? I know they happen every year, but there seemed to be a lot this year.
Mel Kiper (12:52 PM)
It was as expected. It was a flurry of activity early. The money situation is a lot less than what it was. We had hardly any trades in the top 10 before the new CBA because it was too expensive. Out of the 32 picks, 12 changed hands on draft day. Last year it was only six.
Mel Kiper (12:52 PM)
In 2010, 9 were traded on draft day.
Eli (My Cube)
Biggest surprise of the draft not named Bruce Irvin?
Mel Kiper (12:53 PM)
The biggest surprise not named Irvin, I was surprised that Ingram went down to 18. Wilson to New England in the second round was a head scratcher. Bryan Anger going to Jacksonville in the third.
Josh S. (Philly)
Will Mychal Kendricks start at linebacker for the Eagles on day 1?
Mel Kiper (12:54 PM)
Yeah, I think he can. You can have LBs of Rolle, Ryans and Kendricks. You have a DL of Babin, Cole, Curry, Cox. You've really improved your football team. Boykin from Georgia is your new nickel CB.
Mel Kiper (12:55 PM)
We started this thing on August 31 and we went all of the way to today. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!