Commentary

Kiper's Mel Bag

The Giants' first pick, a QB for Carolina, Bradford to the Skins, Tebow and more

Updated: February 7, 2010, 3:55 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesSam Bradford, if he checks out medically, should leapfrog Jimmy Clausen on the Big Board.

I couldn't get to the -- literally -- thousands of questions that filled the mailbag, but I tried to hit a pretty wide range here, from questions about possible inconsistencies in where I have guys rated to direct personnel needs to why the Giants could somehow land a running back in Round 1. And yes, I even explain why Tim Tebow could land in the second round. (Not that he belongs there, but hear me out.)

Anyway, on to the 'bag.

Q: For much of the season, you had Jimmy Clausen as your No. 4 prospect on the Big Board, ahead of Sam Bradford. But then you have the Skins taking Bradford with the No. 4 pick. I realize the Skins have mismanaged the draft for years, but they have done fairly well in the first round. Are you projecting the Skins to make a mistake by taking Bradford, or do you just think he's the guy who will fit well with Mike Shanahan?

-- James (Washington, D.C.)

A: The reason I projected Bradford to land with the Redskins at No. 4 has nothing to do with where he had been rated. I should be clear on this: It's my assumption that his shoulder will check out well, and based on what I've heard, I've actually moved him just ahead of Clausen on my board. All things equal, I think Bradford is the better player, and I even had him as the top player on the board last year. So I put him there with the belief that he'll be fine.

The early reports we've gotten say he'll be fine, and he's consulted with Dr. James Andrews. His draft grade now reflects what we're hearing. So it's really a case of assuming where I believe he'll be. The Big Board is a week-to-week thing. Bottom line is he's an exceptional talent and would be a fit for the Redskins at No. 4. I also could note that Clausen had toe surgery and won't throw for a while too, but I think he'll recover just fine.


Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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