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!
How high does Jarvis Jones go?
Mel Kiper (1:00 PM)
It depends on what his time is in his Pro Day. I still think he can go anywhere between 5 and 9 if he runs well. If not, then he drops down to maybe the Steelers at 17.
Any Chance Tavon Austin could be there for minnesota in the 20's? can he be a Harvin type?
Mel Kiper (1:01 PM)
I don't think so. I have him going to Carolina at 14. They have 23 and 25 now, they'd have to move around. Justin Hunter, Keenan Allen could be guys to look at.
Do you think with the signing of hartline and wallace that the dolphins wont pursue a reciever in the 1st round? could tight end be an option?
Mel Kiper (1:02 PM)
They could go that route. In this league, you need 3 or 4. Patterson, who I have them taking at 12 is raw. They could develop him slower since they have Hartline and Wallace. Vaccaro, they could go safety. And maybe LT depending on what happens with Jake Long.
Now that the bears went out and got the TE and the LT where do we go now with the first round? D you think one of the guards will be there? Or do we take a corner? Safety? Or WR? Thank so much for your time huge fan!
Mel Kiper (1:03 PM)
They could go after a RT like DJ Fluker who can also play guard. I don't think Cooper is there, but maybe Warmack. They could go for Te'o or Ogletree.
Paul Nelson (Farmville, Va)
What are the chances the Bills select Chance Warmack now that Andy Levitre signed with the Titans?
Mel Kiper (1:04 PM)
They could. Cooper is slightly ahead of Warmack according to some teams. They'll have to see what they do with QB, maybe Geno Smith. Do they wait and maybe take Ryan Nassib. They have to get a QB. OLB is an issue. Taking a guard that high, some would debate that.
With the Bills releasing Ryan Fitzpatrick and the situation in AZ unsettled, does this now garuantee that a QB will be drafted in the 1st round?
Mel Kiper (1:05 PM)
One will. We always thought Geno Smith would, just not until 20-32. It may be a trade down or back in. I don't think he's a top 10 player. Right now he's No. 29 on my ratings, he's not even on my Big Board. Some were saying top 5, but I don't see it. This is a draft where any QB that goes in the first round, in my mind, were going to be overdrafted. Some in the second round will present good value.
I think Dee milliner overrated, benefitted from a great supporting case and still wasnt elite in college. do you think desmond trufant can be a better nfl corner than him?
Mel Kiper (1:07 PM)
I don't think so. If I thought that, I would have Trufant ahead of Milliner. His ball skills are pretty good. He has all of the skills you need to be a good CB. Trufant, I just wish he tackled better. I would have Trufant as the second best CB in the draft and Milliner solidly the first. Trufant I think could go 20-32. He could go to Indy at 24, Denver at 28, New England at 29. Maybe 13 to Tampa. Maybe.
Mel, with the Browns signing Paul Kruger to a huge contract! Do you think they may draft another position now with the 5th OVR pick?
Mel Kiper (1:08 PM)
They went for Kruger, which made sense. Kruger, based on how he played last year, had some problems. Ravens players have not faired well when they've moved to other organizations, outside of Priest Holmes. Cleveland is the kind of team that could go a variety of ways. They could move down. They have some flexibility.
how much changes do you make to the mock after free agency?
Mel Kiper (1:09 PM)
That's why I wanted to be ahead of free agency. If you make a mock now, you're changing it every day. Don't get too concerned with team to player. Tomorrow they might sign another guy which erases another area of need. The next mock will be in early April, after all of these signings take place.
James Hickson (NY)
The raven lost 3 linebackers this offseason, who will be some ooptions there at pick 31 that can fit there 3-4 scheme?
Mel Kiper (1:10 PM)
They need a safety too, and ILB. Manti Te'o would be the ideal fit. He could be. They could also go Matt Elam at safety. Te'o is one that would look perfect in a Raven uniform. Minter out of LSU would be good too.
Mike wallace just cashed in with miami, what type of grade did you have in him coming out of school?
Mel Kiper (1:12 PM)
He should phenomenal vertical ability. He didn't go as high as he should have gone. He should have gone higher. He was a little undervalued coming out of college and he's overvalued now. That's the nature of the business. Miami needed it and he was the No. 1 guy out there. That coupled with the fact that there aren't any elite WRs in the draft drove up his value further.
do you think Damontre moore can be an elite caliber player?
Mel Kiper (1:13 PM)
I don't know about elite. Elite is reserved for just a handful of guys. But can he be very good? Yeah, he can. He makes plays. His production is outstanding. His speed is in question, but he's quick. He has good technique. If he's a second round pick, he'll be a good second rounder for somebody.
Perry (Montgomery, AL)
Mel, Post-combine you had Kerwynn Williams in your top-5 RB's. How did he climb so fast and which round do you see him going?
Mel Kiper (1:14 PM)
He's a good football player. He has speed. He's a perimeter threat. He has good instincts. He could be a good situational back. He's a 4-5 rounder and will be a nice accent piece.
Dave (Wolcott, CT)
Is Bjoern Werner still a first rounder? What are the chances that FSU has three first rounders this year? Thanks Mel!
Mel Kiper (1:16 PM)
The chances are pretty good. All three have first round ability. The question is do teams have the need. Werner has dropped from early first to late first. I have him going to Atlanta at 30. all three could be, they're all in the late first round mix. Watson, I see him as a late first, but could go late second.
Hi Mel, Any way the Vikings replace Harvin in the draft?
Mel Kiper (1:17 PM)
Harvin's a great player. When he's at full strength, he's a great player. He was a playmaker at Florida, he was great in high school. He's a TD waiting to happen. He's a fear factor player. You're not going to replace him when he's 100%. The durability is the concern. Hopkins from Clemson is an interesting guy. Keenan Allen. Even with Harvin, they needed a WR in the draft.
Ryan (Baltimore/West Virginia)
What do you think about the Ravens picking up Steadman Bailey at the tail end of the second round to replace boldin
Mel Kiper (1:18 PM)
Bailey is a nice player. He had a heckuva year. He really stepped up. Bailey could make some big catches. He broke some tackles. He's in that late second, early third round range.
If Geno Smith was in last years draft where would he have gone?
Mel Kiper (1:19 PM)
He would have been down the line. If Matt Barkley would have been in last year's draft, he would have been probably the fourth overall pick. If Smith were in the draft, he would have been a second round pick. Keep in mind Russell Wilson went in the third round.
Mel Kiper (1:20 PM)
Now you could be talking about Smith in the top 10 and Barkley in the second round. That's how different a year is.
Mel, if the Bengals don't resign A. Smith, do they have to go RT in the 1st, or are there others later they can target so they can draft another need like S?
Mel Kiper (1:21 PM)
You can find the RT types down the road a bit. They could use a ILB like Te'o or Ogletree.
Keith H (Seattle)
Now the Seahawks gave up the first rounder for Harvin, where do you see them going in the second? Keep in mind conventional wisdom goes out the window with them.
Mel Kiper (1:22 PM)
The Seahawks don't have a major need. They could use another OL. They could look at DT. They could look at a complete DE. That's where I think they would go.
Squall (Balamb Garden)
Reggie Bush just signed with Detroit. That makes them a LOT better, right?
Mel Kiper (1:24 PM)
Certainly it gives them something that they thought they had with Jahvid Best, but he's not been able to stay healthy. They need to stabilize that running game. You have a franchise QB and WR. Bush can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's a breakaway threat. They also need to help that defense.
Dave (Wolcott, CT)
Mel, how do you feel about the UConn prospects that seem to be making a name for themselves?
Mel Kiper (1:26 PM)
It's defense. They've got a second round pick, third round pick. They are loaded with LB and DB prospects that will go in the first 3-4 rounds of this draft.
Are the Raiders really thinking of taking Geno at 3 or is it a smoke screen? Who do you think they take?
Mel Kiper (1:27 PM)
No, I don't see that. That's a major stretch. You have the veteran QB. They have Terrelle Pryor. It's just too early. He's not worthy of being a top 15 pick. He belongs in the 20-32 range. I've asked teams point blank if he should go in the top 10 and they say no, but they say they think he will. He should be a late first round pick, based on what he showed this year.
Nick (San Antonio, TX)
Do the Browns invest in a QB in top 3 rounds?
Mel Kiper (1:29 PM)
They took a first round pick in Brandon Weeden last year. If you like one and you think he'll be good, you take him. Look at Seattle last year. They signed Matt Flynn and took Russell Wilson in the third round. There will be some intriguing guys in the 3-4 round this year.
What is Ozzie's Plan in Baltimore? Raven's have no lost 6 starters from last years SB team: Kruger, Ellerbee, Pollard, Lewis, Birk, and Boldin. Do you think his plan will include Cary Williams, B Mckinnie, Dennis Pitta, or Ed Reed.
Mel Kiper (1:31 PM)
A lot of it was known that it would happen. Salary cap issues come about when you pay Joe Flacco that kind of money. They'd like to have Ellerbe back, but if a team wants to overpay, you have to let him go. Last year they knew they were going to lose certain guys. This team has always had a plan. They always had a succession plan. This team is very good at having foresight and being proactive and not reactive.
Mel Kiper (1:32 PM)
The Ravens have lost a lot of players over the years, but how many have come back to haunt them? Very few have come back to say they played great football after leaving Baltimore.
What do you think of the Rams signing Jared Cook?
Mel Kiper (1:33 PM)
It's familiarity. It's Jeff Fisher with a player he knew at Tennessee. Look at Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Some think they'll look at Dion Jordan in the draft and he already signed Dennis Dixon. Look at Scott Pioli in KC, who did he bring in? Matt Cassell.
Chris (New Orleans)
Afternoon Mel. Do you see the Saints sticking to Defense in Rd. 1? Or with the loss of Bushrod is OL now possible?
Mel Kiper (1:34 PM)
You say OL is a possibility, but who will be there? All three top LTs will be gone. Need is only dictated by who is available. Most teams have 2-3 need areas that are critical. If you draft strictly to top needs, you'll be disappointed.
Zack Morris (Bayside, CA)
What is Dion Jordan's upside?
Mel Kiper (1:36 PM)
He could be one of the best in the league. You expect it to be like Aldon Smith. He has that kind of talent. He was a former TE and WR. He has tremendous length. He should be batting down balls. He should be effecting QBs. He has tremendous ability, he can drop into coverage. He has a great attitude. He has more upside than any defensive player in this draft.
The Texans just cut Kevin Walter, does this increase the chance they draft a WR in the first round? If so who do you think they go after?
Mel Kiper (1:37 PM)
It was the biggest need on that team anyway. Posey is coming off an injury late in the season. Now Walter is gone. Johnson is not the Johnson of old. I would say definitely WR for Houston. Hopkins, Allen. This team has to come away with multiple WRs. I'm drafting 2 or 3 in this draft.
Will tavin Auston need to be in a certain system to be sucessful or can he fit anywhere?
Mel Kiper (1:39 PM)
He's a slot receiver and a heckuva return man. If you want a slot WR and a scoreboard changer, he's your man. He's Percy Harvin. You can reverse him. You can pitch him the ball. Bubble screens. You can do things in the backfield with him. You can put him in the return game. I saw him here in high school in Maryland and he could do a lot of things.
Is Robert Lester a good fit for the Skins in the 3rd or 4th round?
Mel Kiper (1:40 PM)
I think he played his best football early in his career at Alabama. He benefitted from the great players at Alabama. He's probably a guy that you think of as a backup type, more ofa 5-6 rounder.
Marcos (Miami, FL)
Would Vacarro be a good selection for Miami at #12 or do you see us going OL/DL route? Don't see them nabbing a WR in the 1st.
Mel Kiper (1:41 PM)
That would be good value. He didn't run great at the combine, but he's a good player. He's the kind of guy you look at at 12-21. Miami, St. Louis at 16, Cincinnat at 21.
Darren (New Mex)
What was the problem with AJ Jenkins in San Fran Last year? was he worthy of a 1st round pick?
Mel Kiper (1:42 PM)
I didn't have him going in the first round. I didn't project him there. He ran great at the combine and that's what made him a first round pick. He didn't play as fast as he timed. He wasn't a phenomenal player, he was a good player. He moved to the first round because he ran a good 40. They need him to evolve. That was a pick that provided no production and they almost won a Super Bowl!
Tyler (St Louis)
Who do you have the rams nabbing at 16 and 22?
Mel Kiper (1:43 PM)
I think they look at Tayvon Austin, if he's there. They could look at Vaccaro, and Justin Hunter at 22, if Austin's gone. They have to hope that Brian Quick emerges as a quality player.
Ben O (NYC)
Mel, who profiles as the best passrushing 3-4 end the 49ers could hope to get in the first round?
Mel Kiper (1:44 PM)
Datone Jones from UCLAin the first round. William Gholston in the second round. Those could be some guys.
With the cutting of D Hall which is a bigger need CB or Safety?Even though T Jackson is suspended until August is it worth it to have him around for next year as a starter or rotational player if the price is right?
Mel Kiper (1:45 PM)
Both for the Redskins. They don't have a first round pick. This is a draft deep in CBs and Safeties. There are some excellent CBs coming off the board in the 2-4 rounds. Same with the safety positions. It's a good year to need one.
Mel Kiper (1:46 PM)
I think you'll see 15 starting safeties coming out of this draft. Cooper Taylor out of Richmond would be a good 5-6 round pick.
Why is their such split opinion on Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel? What are some of their strengths and weaknesses?
Mel Kiper (1:47 PM)
They're both good prospects. They're not elite. They're not Ogden or Pace or Samuels. They're not in that league. These guys normally would be between 8-15, but this draft they're pushed up into the top 5. Lane Johnson is right in that mix too. Right now, I think the majority think Joeckel is the best, maybe 60 percent, 35 percent think it's Fisher and 5 percent Johnson. All three will go in the top 11.
Tyler (St Louis)
What order do you have the best WRs in? Cordelle vs Patterson?
Mel Kiper (1:49 PM)
Right now, my latest ratings, as of today: No. t slot WR is Tayvon Austin, WVU; No. 1 true WR, Cordarelle Patterson; then Justin Hunter, Keenan Allen, Quinton Patton, DeAndre Hopkins.
Is Margus Hunt worth a first round pick or what round so u think he'll end up
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
Late first. I would say more of a second, because he's still raw. He has tremendous size. Tremendous wing span. If you coach him properly. Atlanta could be interested. If he's available on Day 2, he'll be one of the first 5-7 players taken.
Hey Mel, do you think Zach Ertz is there at 42 for the Dolphins and is he a good option for them at TE?
Mel Kiper (1:50 PM)
I think he could be. Tyler Eifert will go in the first round. I think it's a possibility. But I think he's a better prospect than Coby Fleener. He'll be the second TE drafted.
Mel Kiper (1:51 PM)
We'll be back next week. By then we'll have a better handle on free agency. More prospect projections and evaluations then!