Chat with Mel Kiper
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Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 your questions now and join Kiper Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Mel is here!
ben (los angeles)
Mel, any thoughts on tonights Stanford/Oregon game?
Mel Kiper
It's huge for Marcus Mariota. It's huge for his draft possibility. For his Heisman chances. For Oregon's national championship hopes. They've lost at home in the past but this is on the road. They could come out of this game with the chances for a national title game spot and a Heisman.
Frank (Charlotte)
I've watched some tape of Derek Carr from Fresno St. and he seems to have all of the tools and an NFL arm. Is he a guy that might surprise and be drafted in the first two rounds of the draft next year, or will his system and his brother hold him back?
Mel Kiper
His brother was the no. 1 pick overall. Derek will be in the mix with a number of QBs. You could be the 8th or 9th ranked QB and be a 2-3 round grade. Carr, if he makes the Senior Bowl, will be big for him. Their schedule doesn't allow for any big wins. You like what you see from him. He's an athlete. He can pick up first downs with his legs. Senior Bowl week will be critical.
DJ (Roanoke, VA)
Hi, Mel. Do you think Mark Helfrich is one of the best coaches in the country? He's done a fabulous job with the Ducks so far this season.
Mel Kiper
He has an awful lot of talent. They were able to retain their DC in Nick Aliotti. He's one of the best in the country. And he had to overcome not having two of the best defensive players in the country. Offensively, they have great players. Great QB. RB. Future NFL center. Tremendous football team.
Chris (Cape Cod)
Mel, seems to me the best thing the Jets can give Geno would be a playmaking TE as a safety valve. Assuming they're somewhere int he middle of Round 1, would they be better with a hybrid type like Ebron or a better blocker like Sefarian-Jenkins who comes with some baggage?
Mel Kiper
The TE that will be in the middle of the first round will be Ebron and a TE in the second round, Jace Amaro and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. The only first round TE is Ebron and he'll go in the middle of the first.
DJ (Roanoke, VA)
In your opinion, are the Giants destined to make a run and potentially make the playoffs this season? They were 0-6 and now they are 2-6. And despite Eli's struggles this year, isn't it great knowing that he's going to be under center for the team each and every week? He's never missed a start in his career.
Mel Kiper
I picked them to win the East and I'm going to be completely wrong. They're done. Mabye I'll be wrong on that too. They beat Josh Freeman, who didn't know the offense. They beat the Eagles, who are a mediocre football team and they had hurt QBs. They have Oakland coming up. Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers. If they don't beat Oakland and Green Bay, then they're definitely done. Then they have Dallas, Washington, San Diego, Seattle, Detroit, Washington. Their final six games are all games they could lose. I don't see them being any better than a 6-10 team.
Mel Kiper
They've put themselves too deep in a hole.
Marcus (Charlotte NC)
Mel,DT Kelcy Quarles is having a great year thus far with 7 sacks and 11 tackles for lost. How do you feel about his draft projection at 6-4 300lbs. Also heard he ran a 4.87 in the spring.
Mel Kiper
He's a good football player. He's a solid player. It's surprising you'd make that decision this early. He'll get early round consideration. When you don't have to decide until the middle of January, just worry about the football. There are three regular season games left. Kids should be worried about playing college football. Don't worry about the draft right now.
Ryan (GB)
Mel, how would you compare HA HA to Mark Barron? Who has the better career path in your opinion? Thank you Mel.
Mel Kiper
Coverage wise, Ha-Ha is outstanding. Barron was an enforcer. But in this NFL, you worry more about coverage. Hitting hard now gets you penalties. Looking at coverage abilities is so important. That's why I think he could be a top 10-15 pick when we get to May.
Frank (Massachusetts)
Missouri has some real play-makers on their D-Line? How would you rank them? Any first rounders?
Mel Kiper
Michael Sam has a second or third round grade right now. Ealy is a junior. He's a good pass rusher.
Cam (Pittsburgh)
Could you give me a comparison of DeAnthony Thomas and Jacquizz Rodgers?
Mel Kiper
He's not a Rodgers type. He could be more of a Darren Sproles type. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's fast. Game breaker. You can get him in the return game. Rodgers is more of a compact, low-base, super strong kid. Thomas has more explosiveness.
B Mand (Sarasota, FL)
How many QBs from this year's class will you give a 1st round grade to?
Mel Kiper
You could have as many as five. That depends on what juniors come out. Every one of these kids that I'm projecting is a junior or third-year sophomore. If some kids come back, you're looking at least at 3.
Patrick (NY)
What are your thoughts on what the 49ers are doing with Marcus Lattimore by having him sit the entire season, and with your gut feeling what percentage chance does Lattimore have to be like he was in college? Thanks Mel
Mel Kiper
This is a red-shirt year for him. If he stays healthy, he's a first round pick, at worst a second rounder. With medical technology the way it is, you hope he can be back the same player. He was a dynamic runner.
Nick (DAL)
Cowboys fan here. I can't comprehend what's to be done about this defense. They've invested a ton in the secondary and it just hasn't worked out at all. It's easy to blame the D-line's injuries, but they're 13th in sacks, 31st in passing yards. What do you think?
Mel Kiper
The Cowboys have been a .500 team for a long time. They're 5-4 now. If they lose to New Orleans, they're 5-5 going into the bye week. After that, the schedule gets easier. Giants, Chicago, Green Bay, Philly. They should be no worse than 9-7. Maybe 10-6. They've had issues all over. They're still trying to find themselves as a team. They haven't played four full quarters. They need to play a full game. You can't lose that game to the Lions. They're very inconsistent.
Jeremy (Sterling, VA)
Hey Mel, if the Vikings do indeed wind up drafting top 5, is it a certainty that they would take a QB? Thanks!
Mel Kiper
I would have to think so. They're in a division where all the other QBs are 1,000% better than what they have. You have to look at a QB. Mariota, Bridgewater, they have to look at a QB.
Kavika (Honolulu)
Lots of great rookie RBs this year. Bell, Lacy, Bernard etc all contributing right away. Do you see that happening again next year?
Mel Kiper
The rookie RBs are starting to come around now. Stacey has been one of the lite rookies at RB. Ellington has performed well. For next year, we'll have to see what juniors come out. Gordon III, Seastrunk, Thomas? Sankey? All of the best RBs are juniors. We're very early to knowing which RBs will be in the draft.
Dan (Rochester, NY)
Mel, if Manuel comes back and shows progress, what positions do you think the Bills will look for in the draft? Despite their record, I think they have some talent on both sides of the ball.
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