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ESPN Insider: Ask NFL Guru Mel Kiper!


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Ask NFL Draft Guru Mel Kiper!


Welcome to The Show! Every Thursday, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper will drop by to talk about everything football, from this year's top draft prospects to future classes and recent NFL draftees. Send your questions now and join Mel in The Show on Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET!

ShowGirl: Hey everybody, Mel Kiper will be joining us shortly. Send in those questions now, we'll get started any minute!

Mel Kiper: Welcome to what shapes up as not the most riveting weekend in college football. A lot of good teams are off but there are some intriguing matchups -- Penn State at Wisconsin, Alabama at Arkansas USC at Stanford, NC STate at Virginia Tech, BC at Wake ... and it's a huge week in the NFL! After 2 weeks, you've still got some pretenders but really, this is a tremendous week to get some answers in the NFL.


Kevin, Kailua,HI: Mel, I'm interested to know how University of Washington Receiver Reggie Williams(the 9th pick in the draft) has done with the Jaguars, how do you see him working out with them?

Mel Kiper: I think Reggie will be fine. Wilford and Williams are really two huge receivers that will cause some major matchup problems down the road once they gain some experience.


Jason: Fayetteville, AR: Mel. Matt Jones will likely go down as one of the greatest playmakers to ever wear a Razorback uniform. No one can question his talent at the college level. But, does he have a pro talent? And, if so, at what position?

Mel Kiper: I think his pro talent will come through with a position change. Tight end, Hback, we'll see. Mike Tice the head coach was a QB turned TE so that is a real good possibility. I think a position change is in the works, a lot will be determined by how he does in workouts.


Zebulon (Lincoln): Hey Mel - A question about linebackers. Do you think Barrett Ruud has what it takes to be a big-time performer at the pro level? I've seen some early reports placing Ruud as a top 'backer prospect coming out.

Mel Kiper: When you look at Ruud, he is the son of Tom Ruud, a linebacker of Nebraska who went to the Buffalo Bills. HE's got superior productivity, he's got the bloodlines. He is consistent, reliable, you name it. HE will be the second highest rated next to Lance Mitchell. Lance Mitchell is the 12th best player of the senior class, Ruud is 15.


Chris (Austin): It seems that there are a lot of college QBs in the mold of Michael Vick, but no where near the same talent. Do you see any current college QBs that could be just as good or close to Vick?

Mel Kiper: Well, when you look at Michael Vick, to be able to throw with that velocity and accuracy plus have that speed and change of direction ability, wow. In terms of comparision, you really don't see anybody like that. He's a once in a lifetime talent. He's got unbelieveable runningback skills really. There's stilll some stuff he needs to work on, but he's got such style. Once player that has a little bit of that mult-dimensional capability is a soph -- Vince Young at Texas is an intriguing comparison.


Doug(Seattle,WA): Mel, Walter of ASU gets a ton of publicity. But Anderson of Oregon State is every bit as good. Do you see both these guys in the NFL?

Mel Kiper: Yes. I have Walter rated ahead of Derrick Anderson. They both really need to improve. They need to improve their completion percentage and cutting down on interceptions. Walter is on the verge breaking into my Top 25 senior board.


Nate (Va Beach, Va): Mel, if ahmad brooks, linebacker out of virginia, goes in the draft this year, will he be drafted in the first round? Has his stock dropped any since not starting the first game?

Mel Kiper: No, he is a great football player. Look at him with Chris Canty on that defense too. Canty is their leading tackler and Brooks is a super blue chip. You can see why Virginia is playing at such a high level.


Jeff (Indianapolis): Purdue has had an excellent start with such a young team. Orton is obviously headed to the pros, but how do you rate the Boilermakers young talent?

Mel Kiper: Offensively, they have some key entities. They can run, they can throw, Orton, unline Drew Brees is physically gifted. He's got a future as a winning, starting QB in the NFL. He is No. 17 on my Top 25 board. Defensively is where the questions lie. They lost 7 players last year. Purdue's schedule has allowed them to have some success so far. They've got some statement games coming up -- Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan. Those games will tell you all you really need to know about Purdue. Are they pretenders, are they able to reload. We'll find out!


Rob (Atl): Should we feel more sorry for anyone other than Anthony Davis? This poor guy has all the skills and talent, but just can't stay on the field. Does he have any NFL stock?

Mel Kiper: Yes he does. It's unfortunate that injuries are a part of the game. Some players bounce back. Some come in with no history of injury and then get hurt in the NFL. You just never know. When he is healthy, he's 197, he's strong, he gets behind his blockers, he's tough to find. I think he'll be a good utility back, a good number 2 back in the NFL.


Tommy(Atlanta): Be honest, will Alabama fall apart? Was all the team only playing becoause of Croyle?

Mel Kiper: Nah, I think they were playing well b/c they've been running the football. The Guillon kid has a chance, with an injury to Brodie Croyle, this kid who was heavily recruited by Miami, went there and then transferred, he really has an opportunity here. We'll see what Marc can do.


George (Virginia Beach, VA): Penn St vs. Wisconsin, my co workers think Penn St. will be able to win this one? I strongly disagree. What do you think?

Mel Kiper: Tough game! The home field advantage will be big there. Erasmus James is a Sr. DE at Wisconsin who comes off the injury list and has just been tremendous this year. Tony Hunt is that young RB who is giving Penn STate a real good running dimension now. You look at this game on paper and it's a pretty even football game. PSU has made a lot of strides. Wisconsin has had a lot of injuries to deal with especially at the RB position. I will be a hotly conteseted game. It will come down to whoever turns it over more.


Marcia (Westwood, CA): Mel, is Va Tech this years sleeper team in the BCS? They are one bad call in the USC game away from being undefeated.

Mel Kiper: Well, that's true. But that is that one bad call would have allowed them the OPPORTUNITY to win that game. I look at VT's overall talent base right now. From a personel standpoint, they will be challenged this weekend by NC STate. They battled Ohio STate, had it now been for their own mistakes they probably would have beaten the Buckeyes. Now, what VT has to take advantage of is that NC State is going in with some serious QB questions. NC State has better overall talent than Virginia Tech does, but the difference will be their QB situations.

Moderator: NFL anyone?


Sean (Alexandria): Tell it true Mel, can my Jets get 10 wins and go to the playoffs this year? The O speaks for itself (though against two lesser D's) and the D is young, hungry and learning what it takes...

Mel Kiper: If you are looking for potential stories of the year, I think the Jets are that team. Their offense is outstanding and their defense will only get better with experience. You've got Pennington -- one of the best arms in the league and a veteran who's playing like a young kid in CUrtis Martin, and Justin McCareins so you know they can throw the ball. Their schedule is so favorable. I would be shocked if they don't win 10 games. They should start off 4-1 or 5-0.


Geoff (Detroit): Lions vs. Eagles in the first big Lions game in a few years. Cake walk for the Eagles or can the Lions keep it close and possibly win?

Mel Kiper: The key his, are the Lions the real entity. Detroit was really outplayed by the Bears, the Bears won the game everywhere but the scoreboard. Then, the Texans, it's a nice win but it's still the Texans and it was still a home game. The Eagles might be looking at this game as something they will just roll over. If they don't come in motivated, then you might see a good game. Lions can lay it all on the line b/c they have a buy week coming up. YOu'll probably get an A game from Detroit and a C+ game from Philly... now is that enough for Detroit to win? That's debatable.


Sumit (Pittsburgh): Green Bay at Indy, going to be a good game or do the pack look like they are imploding after the chicago game?

Mel Kiper: I think Green Bay will have some problems in this game b/c they have injuries to deal with. Indy comes in flying high against taht comeback win against Tenn. They will present major problems for the GB defense, although I do think the Pack will score some points too. I think Peyton will have a lot of success in this game and Indianapolis wins this one.


Steve (Albuquerque): Of these teams, which would you consider contenders or pretenders? Lions, Jaguars, Jets, Falcons?

Mel Kiper: In this order ... Jets are the best... Falcons are right in that mix with the Jags and Detroit is the pretender.


edward richmond va: mel who do u think well win the monday night game between cowboys and redskins

Mel Kiper: The Cowboys offense is the big problem. VInny T looked horrible last week, he's not making good decisions, he's putting too much loft on his passes. Their running qame is questionable. The Cowboys just won't be able to move the ball too much especically against Washington's defense. People are raving about this defense, but up until Oct when they play Green Bay, they will not be tested by a good offense. They will have not played a top notch offense! They only play four games the entire year against teams with above average offenses. No wonder their defense looks great. That is a team that should have no problem winning 10 games.


Jerry(Austin): Rahard Lee seeems to look pretty good with the Dallas Cowboys. Where did you have him in your Draft Board two years ago?

Mel Kiper: Yeah, I wrote him up! He runs with determined style, he showed flashes where he could be a role type NFL player. It's not a shocker that he is getting it done, he provides a dimension that they need now with now Julius Jones.



Mel Kiper: Miami's defense has always been good but not great. Miami's defense has always been unable to make the big stop at key points. But Jayson Taylor seems like he is on a mission to have a tremendous year. In terms of Rothlisberger, you are going to have mistakes with a rookie QB, there is no question about that. But, having the talent around him, good receivers, etc, some pressure will be taken off Ben. He's going to make mistakes, he's gong to throw interceptions, but he will have to overcome that.


Derek (Chicago): Now that Jason White is showing some real mobility, does he have a the pro-scouts realizing that he has all of the tools? How can anyone questions this guys arm strenght...do they not watch the games?

Mel Kiper: I viewed White last year as a fourth round possibility. Now, all of a sudden, he's 6'1 his weight is down about 10 lbs since last year. He's more mobile, he's putting up big numbers again, he'll have Heisman numbers and will be on a team that probably won't lose a regular season game. Charlie Frye of Akron, Kyle Orton of PUrdue, Dan Orlovsky of UConn and then Jason White is right there in that mix. SO White is fourth overall and that makes him very easily a third or maybe even a second rounder.


Chad (Muscle Shoals, AL): Which Auburn running back do you feel will be the higher draft pick, Brown or Williams?

Mel Kiper: I'm going with Ron Brown right now. He is my 4th highest rated overall. In RBs, Brown is No. 1 overall, Cedric Benson is the 2nd best and Cadillac is No. 3.


Tony (Albany, NY): Mel, UConn's Dan Orlovsky didn't have the greatest showing against BC this past Friday. Do you think that his performance did damage to his draft value? How high do you see him going? Thanks

Mel Kiper: BC has better overall talent. BC is where UConn wants to be in a couple years. You have to look at Orlovsky and say, hey, that loss wasn't all his fault. You gotta look at what's around him. CT was tied with Murray sTate their first game, they pushed hard to beat Duke in their second game. So, the bottom line is Orlovsky is a very good prospect with excellent size and leadership. He's got a shot to be a first rounder. He's not a lock, but he's got a shot. ARmy, that should be a game where they can really go toe-to-toe with. The rest of their schecule -- other than WVU and maybe Georgia Tech who are really the only two that will really outman them -- Connecticut can hang with everybody else and that program is really heading in the right direction.


Mat (Nashville, TN): Hey Mel, do you see Clemson being able to stay with Florida State this weekend or will they drop for the third weekend in a row?

Mel Kiper: It's a tough road for Clemson. When you look at it on paper, FSU is obviously a much better talent. Charlie Whitehurst hasn't gotten much help. Of their 4 interception, 3 were defelctions. Outside of WR Currie, Whitehurst really hasn't gotten much help. Florida State is getting great play out of OT Barron. They are fired up. Travis Johnson is having an oustanding year and is moving up the draft board. Bryant McFadden is playing excellent. If Clemson can stay with 17-20 points I'd be surprised. This is all Florida STate.

Mel Kiper: Enjoy the weekend of action. We'll chat again the same time next week. Even though the college football games don't look especially riviting, remember that there are always some major upsets and surprises. I expect some this weekend. ...And in the NFL, we find out a lot more about teams in Week 3. We'll get the true story and clear definition about teams that may have us fooled so far. Enjoy the action. See you next week!

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Originally posted by ramseyskins

Holy crap, I think you're right.



I think we’ve found out who is another member of Jabba’s Wednesday night spaggetti buffet crew.

If it wasn’t for the hair, you coudnt recognize Kiper from the guy that started at ESPN 20 years ago. :eek:

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yeah, but the Redskins D will be without both Daniels and Arrington the next 2-4 weeks, so we will be scrambling.

when adversity hits this is usually when Gibbs does his best coaching. I just hope this group of players has bonded enough to pull together and look at the next month as a shared baptism by fire :)

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