If the NFL gets around to bestowing a special name on the celebration at this point in its calendar, one suggestion is to call it Kiperfest. Mel Kiper and his hair are everywhere these days, on ESPN.com, on ESPN’s multitude of channels, on commercials.
This afternoon the Melatollah of the Value Board held another conference call with interested reporters and the Jets came up several times in relation to questions about certain players and where they might go in the upcoming draft. As a Radar public service, here are the questions and Mel’s responses:
Q. How long do you think it will take Barkevious Mingo to develop into an every-down player if he’s in a 4 3 defense?
Kiper: I look at him as a developmental defensive end. He has to get a little stronger to play that position, get a little bulk to his frame. I look at him as a 3-4 outside linebacker, an attacker off the edge. I think he’d be a factor right away at that spot. The majority of outside linebackers in that situation are.
I would say Mingo immediately as a 3-4 outside linebacker would be a major league factor. He gets from Point A to Point B lightning-quick. I would like to see him be more productive this year. If he would have been, maybe he would have been the top-three pick. If the Jets can get him at No. 9, that’s a real nice value pick.
Q. Tavon Austin to Percy Harvin seems to be a natural comparison. How well does Austin stack up to Harvin when you compare them, and is Austin a reach for a team such as the Jets at No. 9?
Kiper: He’s 5’8½”. You think about where he can be in the NFL — he’s got great potential to be an electrifying performer the way today’s NFL is.
Durability is the problem with Percy Harvin. Let’s hope, he’s never had an issue. Tavon Austin, you can put him in the backfield, in the slot, in the return game. Gives you a lot of versatility. With the ball in his hands, he’s electric. Very tough to corral.
So is it too early You could debate that at 5’8½”. Is it too early at 16? No. If you’re getting a great player at 16, can you make a great player at nine? Sure, you can. It’s a case where, hey, I always believe that you had to take a guy where he was slotted. Now if the guy can play, he can play. If he can play at 16, he can play at nine.
The Jets have a ton of needs. They need a playmaker. If they wanted to take a versatile kid like Austin who is going to change that scoreboard, I don’t think anybody would have a big issue with it. They may say it’s a slight reach, but so be it. Slight reaches sometimes turn out to be great players.
Q. Concerning Jarvis Jones, his stock has fluctuated quite a bit. Where do you feel would be the best fit for him?
Kiper: He was productive. He just didn’t run well. Some don’t. Look at Terrell Suggs. I think he goes in that top-15-to-17. I think he could go to New Orleans after 15, Pittsburgh at 17, maybe even as early as the Jets at nine. But if I had a say right now, it would be New Orleans at 15 or Pittsburgh at 17.
Tags: Barkevious Mingo, Jarvis Jones, Mel Kiper, NFL Draft, Tavon Austin
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