clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mel Kiper on the Chiefs draft, trading up, Amari Cooper and more

Kiper covered a litany of topics during a conference call on Thursday, including a few pertaining to the Chiefs.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know if you have heard, but the Kansas City Chiefs might be taking a receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft, On Thursday, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. spoke via conference call and had some interesting tidbits on that topic, along with many others including a weak quarterback class, the fullback being a dying breed and some people rising up the boards.

One of the most interesting notes from Kiper echoes what he said earlier this week: The Chiefs and Eagles are two candidates to move up for Marcus Mariota.

Robust market for Amari Cooper

With Kevin White having one of the better combine of all the participants, there is a sentiment that he could have surpassed Alabama's Amari Cooper on many big boards. The Oakland Raiders are universally projected to want a receiver at the No. 4 spot, giving second-year quarterback Derek Carr a legitimate weapon.

Kiper believes that if Cooper is bypassed by Oakland, there will be a potential frenzy of activity by teams hoping to move up for him.

If he gets past the Raiders ... I could see KC or Cleveland jumping up to get Amari Cooper. -Kiper

"If Cooper is there, and Todd McShay has him falling to the St. Louis Rams at No. 10, I think there would be a trade. If he gets past the Raiders with Kevin White going there, I could see Kansas City or Cleveland jumping up to get Cooper. You can't just let him fall all the way to the 10th pick."

Receivers are available like never before

The ESPN draft guru also talked about an obvious trend over the past few years. With many college teams going to spread offenses which feature three and four-wide sets regularly, there are more receivers developing NFL abilities. After the famed class of 2014 which included Odell Beckham Jr., Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, Kiper expects a similar crop again.

"Guys are throwing the ball all over the lot. We had 33 receivers drafted last year and probably will have at least 35 taken this year. Some underrated guys this year are Desmond Lewis of Central Arkansas or Tre McBride. This is a really good group of wide receivers."

Jalen Collins moving up

Another topic of conversation was the LSU corner Jalen Collins. Many had Collins as a first or second-round selection going into the NFL Combine last week in Indianapolis. However, Collins improved his stock and became the clear-cut second option behind Michigan State's Trae Waynes.

"Jalen Collins had a real good workout. He's a big corner with long arms and ran under a 4.5 (40-yard dash) ... He has explosiveness but only started 10 games which will bother some people, although he played in 39 games. ... Teams think you could develop him into a number one corner and I think he could jump up into the middle of the first round."

Shaq of all trades

One of the most interesting cases heading into the draft season is Shaq Thompson. Thompson played a bevy of positions at Washington including running back, linebacker and safety. Kiper sees Thompson in myriad ways, perhaps helping his draft stock because he appeals to teams with multiple needs.

"Shaq Thompson has the ability a variety of positions, he is a great athlete. .. He's not a pass-rusher though. He could play the WILL linebacker or maybe play as an in-the-box safety like Deone Bucannon played for the Arizona Cardinals last year."

Additional news and notes from Kiper

- Nick Marshall could be coming off the board in the third or fourth round as a developmental corner.

- Inside linebacker Paul Dawson of TCU hurt himself significantly with a 4.93 40-yard dash time. Will need a great pro day to make up lost ground.

- Only seven quarterbacks are draftable, called it a "very weak" class

- Pass rushers will be abundant in the first round, including Randy Gregory, Preston Smith, Dante Fowler Jr., Leonard Williams, Shane Ray, Eli Harrold and Vic Beasley.

-Outside linebacker Vic Beasley or Clemson, OLB Preston Smith (Mississippi State), OLB Eli Harrold (Virginia), WR Tre McBride (William & Mary), OG Ali Marpet (Hobart) and CB Byron Jones (Connecticut) all made money in Indianapolis.

- Believes Randy Gregory, Dorial Green-Beckham and Brett Hundley did not help stock at NFL Combine.

- One, maybe two draftable fullbacks in the draft.