Mel Kiper: (1:00 PM ET )
We are in the middle of individial workouts taking place right now .. Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith will be working otu soon .. it's all shaping up as of right now! On to your questions!
Justin (Texas): If Mike Williams falls to the Boy's at eleven do they take him over defensive help? If the playmaking LB's aren't there at eleven either will they look at trading it for multiple second and third round picks?
Mel Kiper: (1:02 PM ET ) Good question. With their needs the way they are, it gets down to the highest player on the board. We wouldn't really know unless we saw their board. Merriman would be an ideal fit defensively. But also for the Bengals and a number of team. If they have Merriman highly regarded, in their top 7 or 8, they might take him over Williams. Just depends on how they have each guy rated. I'd take Williams personally. On my board he has a higher grade.
Chuck (Athens, GA):
If the Colts trade Edge, what back in this draft would fit into their system? Might they move up to draft one of the big 3(Brown, Cadillac, or Benson)?
Mel Kiper: (1:03 PM ET )
I think there are some ideal guys in the middle rounds.. guys with a ton of ability. Guys like Noah Herron from NW, Ryan Grant from ND, Ryan Moats for La. Tech, Eric Shelton from Louisville. Historically good backs drop and I think that will be the case again.
Erich (Reston, VA):
Mel - Even if Shaun Alexander is w/ Seattle on a 1 yr franchise deal, will Seattle take a RB like Shelton, Arrington, Morency, etc. on day 1?
Mel Kiper: (1:04 PM ET )
They could. Depends on how many need aeas they have solidified. Depending on the early rounds, I would be front ended on this draft on the def. side if I were them. RBs, I would wait it out and not press the issue early.
Is it possible that 3 years from now Adrian McPherson is the best QB from this draft?
Mel Kiper: (1:05 PM ET )
I don't see that at all. Adrian didn't play much college football. He played at a much lower level. He's got skills, no question, but he's still going to need a transition period. It will take him time. To say he will be better than Smith or Rodgers or Capbell, that's asking an awful lot.
Do you think any player is worth 2 first round draft picks in a trade? even as good as Pace!
Mel Kiper: (1:07 PM ET )
I think there are certain franchise players that are worth that. One of those first rounders isn't even an equal trade for a guy like Pace. That would be worth it. It would be worth it to a team like Houston because his position is weak in this draft. Sometimes a guy can be worth 2 picks.
Kevin (Patriot Nation):
Mel--Looking forward to draft day ! With the Bruschi issue and Starks signing, do you think the Pats might go LB, then CB in the draft ? Also, needing a WR, would they be able to get Vincent Jackson at the end of the 4th round possibly ?
Mel Kiper: (1:08 PM ET )
They have to think about Def. backfield and get younger at LB. Ruud, Channing Crowder, etc. Their first round pick could be a LB. The two defining needs at LB and DB, particulary corner.
Baron (Sioux Falls):
With the Vikings picking up defense befofre the draft do they continue defense with their 2 first round picksPlease enter your question.
Mel Kiper: (1:10 PM ET )
Right now they have the flexibility to not force a need. They can be flexible. They can take the best players on the board at 7 and 18. They could get a Mike Williams or Braylon Edwards. If they like Edwarsd that much, they could move up to that 3rd spot maybe, or 4th spot. That gives them some manuverability. If they feel WR is the top area, they can go up and get Edwards. They don't have to force anything on defense which is a great position to be in.
Is it possible that the 49ers could take Braylon Edwards with the #1 pick?
Mel Kiper: (1:11 PM ET )
They could. He's one of 5-6 players that you could argue deserve to be No. 1. But if I'm them I'm looking at Smith or Rodgers at QB. Or if they got bowled over by a great offer, then they move down. But they have to take the best player on their boad. I have Ronnie Brown at the top myself. But if they like Braylon No. 1, it would be hard to question it.
Could we see all offensive selections from picks1-8?
Mel Kiper: (1:13 PM ET )
I think Pac Man Jones is in the top 8 as well as Derrick Johnson. Those are you two most highly regarded def. guys. Travis Johnson had a great workout yesterday. Ran in the 4.7s. He could be in that top 10-12. I think the first 5 could all be offensive. But 6 and 8 could be defensive.
adam oxford, oh:
now that the bengals have signed robinson at DT, do you still project them taking travis johnson, if not who is a good fit now?
Mel Kiper: (1:14 PM ET )
Yeah, I think Johnson or Merriman. Johnson will probably jump up past 17 though. Merriman would fit well in that structure. He gives great pass rush ability. He's 270 lbs. He's an amazing talent.
The Packers have a glaring need at safety. Do you see a drop-off after davis and pool, or should the packers get a DE in the 1st and address safety issues in the 2nd?
Mel Kiper: (1:16 PM ET )
They have glaring needs all over. They are falling apart at the seams. They lost people in all areas. Their def. was horrible. They look like they are crumbling. It's not just safety, it's LB, DL, OL, etc. To say they are just worried about Thomas Davis, they are worried about all kinds of players. If Davis is there, he would be a great fit though. The drop off after Davis would be to Pool. He's a diff. type of player. Ernest Shazor is a safety built like a LB that I'm high on.
Does the fact that Ronnie Brown played sparingly in college cause you to be encouraged with his long-term potential (less physical stress on his body over four years than the other two of the big 3), or does it cause concern as to his ability to survive 25-30 carries a game in the NFL? Or is it not an issue at all?
Mel Kiper: (1:18 PM ET )
If you like Brown, you argue the positive. If you want to push him down, you argue the negative. You could win either side of that debate. He was never the main guy expect when Cadillac was injured. I'm more inclined to say I'm high on him because he is an all around guy and when given the chance, he came through. If you want to argue both sides, you can. But he's my top player. You are splitting hairs between Brown, Cadillac and Cedric Benson. They are all greatly talented backs.
Can Edgerrin James & Shawn Alexander really only be worth a second round draft pick???
Mel Kiper: (1:20 PM ET )
You go by what the market is right now. Would you rather have Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown or Cedric .. or Edge? I could make the argument you are better with a rookie. Younger, fresher, still a complete back, probably cheaper, etc. I'd be happier with one of those three over Edge or Alexander. Alexander is a good, not great, back.
Josh (Naples, Fl):
Mel, If the Fins get a veteran RB prior to the draft - what do they do with the pick?
Mel Kiper: (1:21 PM ET )
They could use help at a variety of places. I'm I'm them, why do you want a veteran when the 3 best players in this draft are RBs? Why not get a stud guy in the draft? Whey get a journeyman? The best players in this draft are RBs.
Daniel (Athens, Ga):
Is there any chance the RBs will slide way below where everyone thinks they should go like last year?
Mel Kiper: (1:23 PM ET )
I doubt it. They are too good to pass up. In a draft that doesn't have a lot of ''elite'' players, these are the guys. A lot of teams are desperate for a big time RB, I don't see how any of those 3 fall past 8.
Andrew: (Baltimore, MD)::
Now that the Ravens appear to have a great deal of draft flexability, where do you expect them to focus their efforts? Are Jammal Brown and Khalif Barnes the most viable options?
Mel Kiper: (1:24 PM ET )
I think on DL. Back to a 4-man front. I think they need help on DL at end or tackle. Erasmus James is a possibility. They want pass rushers. James is the best pure pass rusher. If he's there at 22, they will be doing cartwheels in the Ravens war room.
If the Chiefs sign CB Law or trade for Surtain do they go offense in the draft?
Mel Kiper: (1:25 PM ET )
I don't care who they get, they better go defense. I don't know how anybody could make an argument for them to go offense. They need help on DL, LB, etc. Even though they have upgraded the defense on paper, they still need more help. If they can get Law or Surtain, the first round still has to be defense.
Matt (SLO, CA):
As far as I can tell there is no player in the draft with Matt Jones' size and speed. I'm sure he's a longterm project at WR/TE, but doesnt he have to go in the first 3 rounds with his talent?
Mel Kiper: (1:26 PM ET )
Maybe the third. No way he should go in the second. Great to have size and speed, but how do you translate that to success on the field? You are projecting to positions he has never played before. Can he get open at WR? Third round is the earliest I would project him.
Jesse (Redding, CA):
Nugent of Ohio State is the best kicker in the draft, but what would be too early for the Vikings to draft him?
Mel Kiper: (1:27 PM ET )
The earliest I would consider is second round. Nugent is a solid second round choice. Any team that needs a kicker, the second round isn't too early.
Would any team be interested in Woodson for a first rounder?
Mel Kiper: (1:29 PM ET )
Corners now are basically up against it because of the rules. I would rather go out and find young corners and not overpay. You don't want to pay a guy shutdown corner money because there are no shutdown corners. The rules just don't allow for it.
Brandon Mazzie (Phily):
Do you forsee any suprise first round selections in this years draft?
Mel Kiper: (1:31 PM ET )
You will see surprises this year. It will be interesting to see how much trade activity we have early because of the lack of elite players. Are teams going to be willing to give up enough to move down? We haven't had a lot of first round surprises recently but we coudl this year .. Jerome Mathis could be a surprise this year. 5'11 1/2, 183 .. runs 4.25-4.28. What he did in the DIAA playoff and Gridiron Classic was great. Him going in the first would not shock me.
Mel, when in the world are you going to update your mock draft?????
Mel Kiper: (1:31 PM ET )
Won't be updated till around March 28 when the individual workouts are over.
Ted Nugent, the kicker:
My hometown Lions - is it time to consider drafting a QB in the event that Harrington does not develop?
Mel Kiper: (1:33 PM ET )
No. The two top QBs will be gone by 10 and they need help at DE. If you want to think about a 3rd or 4th round QB (and we all know you can find good QBs that late) .. Stefon LeFors from Louisville. Would be good to be in a dome. He runs in the 4.5 range, great insticts, very accurate. If he was an inch taller and a little more accurate, he would be a top rated QB. He is kind of overlooked.
Who's got the biggest uphill battle in the draft?
Mel Kiper: (1:34 PM ET )
Green Bay. Picking in last first round and they are in as bad a shape as teams in the top 5. Talent is developing in Chicago and eroding in Green Bay. Packers are picking 24th! They have to be very concerned.
Chris (St. Paul, MN):
It appears that Iowa's Matt Roth has dropped potentially out of the first round on your board. I saw him working out at the Combine and he ran around a 4.7 40 at just under 280lbs. Couple that with how he wrapped up his senior year at Iowa, I would have thought he would project to be a mid first round pick. What are your thoughts?
Mel Kiper: (1:36 PM ET )
There are mixed opinions about him. Some teams aren't has high as others. I've always been high on him but I don't have a pick. He is really strong and ran a 4.8. That concerned people a bit. The great pass rushers usually run better than that. Doesn't have great closing speed. Those are reasons for the concern. With his motor and technique, he will be a good player. He could be a late first round pick.
How did Pac Man Jones do in his workout did he surpass Rolle from Miami?or is my man Rolle still the best CB?
Mel Kiper: (1:38 PM ET )
Pac Man Jones is the No. 1 CB. Carlos Rogers is No. 2 .. Rolle, Marlin Jackson or Fabian Washington will be No. 3. Washington, I'm not as high on as some. It's a battle for No. 3 but Pac Man is definitely the No. 1 CB.
What does the 40 matter for DL? Isnt there an explosive type test where the test them for 5yrd out of a 3pt stance
Mel Kiper: (1:40 PM ET )
You have your 10 yard time which is important. The shuttle. There are some important things for DL. The top pass rushers can close and chase. It is about initial quickness but closing speed is important and the 40 is a good indication.
Kris (Charlottesville, VA):
Is there any chance that the Titans take Cedric Benson or will they go in a different direction?
Mel Kiper: (1:41 PM ET )
I think they were wiped out more than anyone and have lots of needs. CB is critical. I have them taking Pac Man Jones. I wouldn't take a RB there.
Scott (Minneapolis, MN):
With all the recent defensive upgrades on the vikings, do you think it was a huge mistake that the vikings gave up moss? I believe if we had moss, this new defense COULD have put us in the hunt for a superbowl. I do see us getting anything to help us win a superbowl this year in the draft, do you?
Mel Kiper: (1:42 PM ET )
Moss was traded because of that 7th pick and Napoleaon Harris. They never went to a Super Bowl with Moss. They have an opportunity now with Smoot, Williams, etc. They have a chance to get a Braylon Edwards or Mike Willams.
When meeting with Drew Rosenhaus do you feel afterward that you need to take a shower?
Mel Kiper: (1:43 PM ET )
I like Drew. He is a friend of mine. He does a great job for his players. I like energy and nobody has more energy than him. When I need info, he has never given me false info. You know he's trying to max out his players rating, but he has th respect of players, people in the league and me as well.
Mel, how would you describe the Steelers offseason so far and do you think there is a possibility that Burress returns to Pittsburgh? Also, do you think the Steelers should go tight end or cornerback in the draft?
Mel Kiper: (1:44 PM ET )
I'd say he probably doesn't come back. I think they will go smaller. I think they would like a bigger WR at some point. It's a transitional period for Roethlisberger now. You've got a 6'5 QB looking at smaller receivers now. It's an itneresting dynamic.
Phil (Salt Lake City):
When are you going to start calling games? It wouldn't hurt to get your analysis during the game?
Mel Kiper: (1:46 PM ET )
It really would be hard. I've thought about it, but when you are there for only one game, I really need to keep up on all the games. I can't just focus on one game. With my dish, I can watch so many games at once which is great.
Mel,Talk about the strenghts and weaknesses of Shawne Merriman from Maryland and with his stock rising where do you see him landing in the draft? Heard he had an awesome pro day work out.
Mel Kiper: (1:47 PM ET )
Strengths is he is a tremendous talent. He will run probably 4.6 and he benches almost 400 lbs. 41.5 vertical. Dual versatility. He has just touched the surface of how good he can be. He's not a workout warrior. But he is very aggressive. The biggest question is defining his position. He's a heck of a talent. He will go in the top 10-15 of this draft.
Thanks for all the questions.. very informative chat! Great questions! We'll do it again same time next week!