Mel's mailbag: Kiper answers your draft questions

From ESPN - April 17, 2018

We are almost to the finish line for the 2018 NFL draft. I am finishing up my evaluations this week and will have next week my list of the top 300 overall prospects and position-by-position rankings. And then the following Thursday night is Round 1.

First, I am answering your questions. I picked the 15 best questions I saw via Twitter and answered them below. To get even more of your questions answered, tune in Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN for a SportsCenter Special: You have Got Mel & Todd. It's an entire hour devoted to me and Todd McShay fielding even more of your draft-related questions. You can submit those via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #AskMelandTodd.

One note before I get going: Several of the questions below were edited for clarity. Let's get started with -- who else? -- the Cleveland Browns.

How can Browns GM John Dorsey sell Josh Allen to the fan base? (via @bueterful)

Allen has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this class, and he has all the talent in the world to be a superstar quarterback. It's just going to take some time. This is Dorsey's first draft as Cleveland general manager, and he just took over an 0-16 team. He deserves time to find his guy, and Allen could be that guy after a redshirt year in which he sits behind Tyrod Taylor and makes the adjustment to the NFL.

Who's the pass-rusher with the highest upside? (via @troyadami)

If we leave out NC State's Bradley Chubb, who I have said is the draft's best edge rusher, I have to go with Marcus Davenport. The 6-foot-6, 264-pound Texas-San Antonio product has size and athleticism that ca not be taught. His 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine was the fastest of any defensive lineman. He could play as a defensive end in a 4-3 or as an outside linebacker in a 3-4.

Davenport just needs a team to be patient with him and develop his pass-rushing moves. I have said for a while that Green Bay, which has veterans he could learn from, is a great fit.

Who is the safest prospect in the draft? (via @draftoutlook18)

I get this question often, and I usually go with the guys I know are going to see the field early and often. Running backs have the easiest path as a rookie -- they do not need a ton of developmental time. What you see coming out of college is what they are going to be in training camp. That's why the safest guy in this class is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, my top-ranked prospect. Barkley is a true three-down back who has an elite grade from me. He's going to be a star.

What are the chances Barkley falls to the Bucs at No. 7? (via @davidest93)

Zero chance. Sorry, David. He's going in the top five and might be off the board to the Giants at No. 2.

Who are the three best first-round fits for Lamar Jackson? (via @flachituk)

The teams most likely to take the Louisville quarterback, in my opinion:

Buffalo Bills: They have two first-rounds picks (12 and 22) and might try to use those picks to move up to grab one of the other top quarterbacks. If they do not trade the picks, Jackson makes sense at either spot. Would they risk passing on Jackson at 12 and hoping he makes it to 22? Another team could try to trade up, too.

Arizona Cardinals: Their quarterback depth chart is crying out for a young guy to take over in 2019. Sam Bradford only got a one-year deal. And with pick 15, Jackson could be there.

New England Patriots:With two first-round picks (23 and 31), the Patriots are the wild card here. How much do they like Jackson, and how much do they think they need a quarterback of the future behind 41-year-old Tom Brady? New England does have a few more needs than it usually does, so the Patriots do not have to grab a quarterback on Day 1.

Would the Saints pass on Calvin Ridley for a tight end at No. 27? (via @Saintspat)

They definitely could. This team has been looking for a big-time tight end since it traded away Jimmy Graham in 2015. And the Saints might think tight end is the bigger need because they have some quality wideouts. If I was the general manager there, I'd pick the Alabama receiver Ridley. He's so talented and his tape is so strong that I am not worried about his combine workout numbers.

In the end, though, I think Ridley will be off the board at pick 27, so Sean Payton & Co. wo not have to make that decision. The decision could instead be South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert or South Carolina's Hayden Hurst, who are neck and neck as the top tight ends in this class.

Has Derwin James moved ahead of Minkah Fitzpatrick as the No. 1 safety off the board? (via @MockGenDraft)

Which prospect could surprisingly slide out of the top 10? (via @ThatOsCruz)

Which team is the best fit for Derrius Guice? (via @e_hammond)

What is the highest Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph could be drafted? (via @maddawgfours44)

Could Tremaine Edmunds drop in Round 1? (via @BigEarn32)

Who are the best punt/kick returners in the draft? (via @reg3835)

In what round do you see Luke Falk being picked? (via @ouzohawk)

Who's the most underrated wide receiver in this class? (via @Ryanmac818)

After Dallas Goedert, who is the highest-ranked prospect from an FCS school? (via @NDSUTitan)


Continue reading at ESPN »