Nate (State College): Mel, have you heard any talks of Dallas trading their first round pick?
Mel Kiper: No, I have not. When you look at what Dallas needs - they need WR, CB, LT - Adams is average at best and he's in the last year of his contract. They drafted Bobby Carpenter in the first round last year, but they still feel like they need another OLB. They need depth at NT. Their two DEs need to play better. The defense overall last year was very disappointing and very overrated. Terry Glenn and Owens are both in their 30s, so there's some age at WR. Dwayne Jarrett or Robert Meachem they could be looking at in the first round.
pete in cleveland, ohio:
will the reported marijuana use by calvin johnson and amobe okoye hurt their draft stock?
I haven't heard any of that. In fact, Okoye and Johnson are two of the best character guys in this draft. I have not heard anything to indicate that.
Dan (Oshkosh, WI):
What's the latest out of Green Bay? Are they still taking a long look at Marshawn Lynch? Or are Olsen or any of the big name receivers possibilities?
It's no guarantee that they'll go after Lynch. They have multiple need areas. They could use a TE. They could go a different route there. Ted Ginn Jr. could be a possibility. Kenny Irons at RB in the second round would be a nice pick.
Tyler (La Crosse, WI):
It seems that Sidney Rice has been falling in the eyes of some. Is it possible that he could fall all the way to Green Bay in Round 2?
The thing about falling, the guys that fall are better than the guys that rise. Where are they falling to? The second round? We look at the draft as the first round or nothing. There will be some undrafted free agents that will outplay some third rounders. He had a 40-iunch vertical. He ran a 4.5 40, which isn't that bad for his size. If he had gone back to South Carolina and had a productive year, he would have been a top 15 pick next year. He's a quality pick if you can get him in the early second round.
What do you hear out of the 49ers camp? Who do you think they will draft, Okoye, Branch, Ginn Jr.
I think what they're looking at, they have four fourth rounders and two third rounders. They have the chance to be very fluid. They need a WR, if they don't pick one in the first round, they don't pick until No. 42. They might be in a situation to package some of their picks and move into the late first round. It gives them some flexibility. They have eight picks in the first four rounds.
Bill (St. Louis):
Mel, how do you think it would effect a player's draft stock if it came out that they had used drugs - marijuana - in the past?
Every case is looked at individually. There are always a lot of rumors and bad information floating around this time of year. We already know who the red flag players are. The teams know that. They research it and factor it in. Where they rank them on the board because of it. It's done for every player. Teams do exhaustive research on that.
Joe (Watchung, NJ):
Mel that mock draft for the bucs got me thinking. What are the chances the bucs do trade up to number 2 and take CJ?
They have the opportunity because of the extra picks too. They have a chance to go from 4 to 2 to go after Calvin Johnson. I think that makes a lot of sense. If Detroit can move from 2 to 4 and get Gaines Adams. I think Jeff Garcia will need some weapons, because I think he'll win the QB battle. What better weapon than Calvin Johnson?
Latest on the Bears draft plans? Where does Briggs factor in?
Briggs, I think they would prefer to trade, because they know the distraction it could present this year. They also know that if he leaves, they'll have a hole at that spot. They're in a quandry. If you keep him, he might not be on the field until late in the year. They want to make a trade of equal value. It's still a case where the Washington-Chicago trade is over. But it's one of those it's not over until it's over kind of things. I wouldn't count out Briggs not being traded to someone.
Big Mike (Chicago, IL):
How big a dropoff is there from Greg Olsen to Zach Miller? Is it worth it to go after Olsen when you could get Miller a round later?
I think there's a drop off. How much of a drop off? In terms of my ratings, I grade on 4-10. Olsen has a 9.3, Miller has a 8.6, Patrick is just behind them at 8.5. Those are your TEs that factor early. I think Miller and Patrick are in the second round areas and Olsen is a first rounder. Olsen is a 4.5 and Miller is a 4.75 runner in the 40. All three of these kids are good athletes, but Olsen is the best athlete. He's the fastest. He's only going to get stronger.
How many CBs go in round 1? Any chance an Aaron Ross might make it to #36 for Cleveland?
I think right now, I'd say Leon Hall in the top 10-12, then after that Darrelle Revis, Chris Houston and Aaron Ross have a chance. I think the guaranteed first rounders are Hall, Revis and Houston. Eric Wright is a second rounder. Marcus McCauley is a second or third rounder. Johnathan Wade is a second or third. Josh Wilson, the same.
Jeff (New Albany, IN):
Will the latest news about Michael Bush being 99 percent healed effect his current draft projections?
Well, I haven't heard 99 percent healed. There will be a rehab with the latest surgery. So you're talking the summer months before he's ready to play football. But the medical teams will make that assessment. I think he's a second or third rounder. I have him going in the third round to the Falcons.
Tyler (La Crosse, WI):
What are your thoughts on the Safety position this year? More specifically, after Landry, Nelson, Griffin, and Meriweather.
What you have after those guys, you're talking the top four, you have Eric Weddle, who's underrated. I think Aaron Rouse from Ga. Tech is a little overrated. John Wendling from Wyoming could be a fourth round pick. Then you have some guys that are intriguing in the later rounds, Daren Stone from Maine, Marvin White from TCU, Eric Frampton from Washington State.
Mel, The Rams have to go defense right?
When you look at St. Louis, the first round pick we've been talking the defensive line. Adam Carriker is a guy that can slip back and forth from DT to DE. When you look at this football team on paper, they need an anchor at center. They might look there in the second round. The d-line, CB, center, OLB are some areas.
Kyle (Randolph, VT):
What team do you think has the hardest decision to make in the top 10 picks?
Well, I think they make it hard. The Lions made it hard when they made the trade with Denver when they got Tatum Bell. You look at the past drafts in drafting WR and Joey Harrington. They boxed themselves into this quandry. Detroit is a quandry in the first round. Cleveland is another team that could go in different directions. They are the two teams that have some decisions to make. They are pivotal to how this first round goes.
If we knew the answer to Detroit and Cleveland, it would make the first round picks projection easier.
What are some QBs that could have their name called on Day 2 of the draft?
The guys for Day 2 that are value - Troy Smith. He could be a Day 2 guy. I think Jared Zabransky from Boise State who reminds me a bit of Jeff Garcia. Toby Korrodi from Central Missouri State. He's a southpaw. He's got a rocket arm. Matt Moore from Oregon State. Tyler Thigpen from Coastal Carolina. Justin Rascati from James Madison. Those are some guys that have some intrigue to them.
Grant (New Orleans,LA):
What O-lineman would be the best pick for the Saints in round 2?
Well, when you look at them, you talk about their need areas: the top need is CB. They need a quality corner. They may look at a Houston. Then in the second round, that's where you might start to think about a d-lineman. A DT or some help on the edge. LB is another area they could look at. Turk McBride is a good second rounder. He's a versatile d-lineman.
Seems like the Pats could use a good young safety. Is Landry worth trading up for and what would it take?
They just added Tory James. He came in as a corner, but he could come in as a safety. He's getting up there in age now, but he's come in with four or more INTs in each of the last six seasons. He adds to their numbers. Now we have to wait to see what happens with Samuel. But this doesn't force them to go secondary in the first round. They have some options. Posluszny or Timmons might be a good pick for them.
Michael (Mt. Carmel, IL):
We have heard how deep this class of receivers is, who are some guys that we should expect to see taken on the first day we may not already know about?
Craig Davis from LSU is a little under the radar. When he was out there, he made some things happen. He's 6-1, 205 with 4.4 speed. Another guy Jason Hill from Washington State. He had a very average senior year, but he's a burner. He showed the ability to do the deep route. Paul Williams, David Clowney are another couple of guys.
Hey Mel, Are you hearing anything out of Oakland lately that they would pass and Jamarcus Russell and go with Calvin Johnson and if so could you see Cleveland trading up to grab Russell?
You hear that, and I never dismiss everything because I've learned over 29 years of covering this process, you don't close your mind to something that might happen. Anything's possible, especially at the top where teams have a lot of needs. I think they need to take Russell. This is a team that should have taken Leinart or Cutler last year. Who's to say that a Bowe won't be there in the second round? Steve Smith? Anthony Gonzalez? They also need a left tackle. They need another DE to help out. To me, they're OK at WR, but they need someone at QB to get them the football.
Hey Mel what player(s) do you see as guys who could slip surprisingly in the first round and cause someone to trade up because they didn't think they would be there?
You can't predict the guys that slip, because you're expecting them to go somewhere else. There's no rhyme or reason as to why a guy slips. Quinn or Peterson could slip. Alan Branch from Michigan could slip. Levi Brown, if Joe Staley jumps way up, then Brown could slip. If Pittsburgh doesn't take Timmons at 15, he could slip. If Green Bay doesn't take Lynch at 16, he could slip.
Can the bengals trade down in the first round, or are the players in late first round too equal of value for teams to trade up???
It depends. It depends on who's there. It depends if a player that's targeting is there and they want to move up and get them. It depends on how the draft board flows. You have to wait and see how the draft unfolds. I have them taking Darrelle Revis. They have to take defense. They have to improve their defense. This is a team that has not won a postseason game in 16 years. No team has gone longer in the NFL than that. Even Arizona, in 1998, I think, they won a playoff game. You need defense to win in the playoffs. Even Indy, everyone said they couldn't win with their defense - it was a liability. But what happened? Their defense was what won them the Super Bowl.
Carmine: (Bronx, NY):
Is Jordan Beck QB BYU a second round pick? Where do you have him rated on your list of QBs?
He right now, it's Russell, Quinn, Stanton, Edwards and Beck. He's worth a second round pick. I could see Miami looking at him. He's 25, very mature. He's 6-2, 213. He has deceptive size. He's got a nice arm. He complete nearly 70 percent of his passes last year. He made a lot of clutch throws. This is a kid that really stepped up this year.
Wes (Long Island,NY):
Good Morning Mel, huge fan of yours. What do you think the Jets can get from this years draft that can make them legitimate playoff contenders??
I think they have some work to do. You have to look at CB. They could use a WR. I have them taking Aaron Ross in the first round and Craig Davis in the second round. Then you could look at a Tim Shaw in the third round.
What they need is getting true 3-4 caliber players - LBs and linemen that fit that scheme.
In a short time, we covered a lot of bases. We'll try to find a time next week that works, so we can have one last pre-draft chat. Take care!