He talked at length about what Cam Newton and Nick Fairley have to do to impress teams in the next three months.
Kiper currently has Fairley going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers. He had Newton going No. 10 the Washington Redskins.
(Follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook.)
I'll have a full story tomorrow, but here are some raw quotes on both players. On Newton, who he said "has all the upside you could want":
"I think Cam Newton, the interview process, the due diligence that teams go through over the next two to three months with every prospect is going to be important. Intangibles is a word you're going to hear a lot about. That's going to define whether Newton is a top-10 pick or if (Ryan) Mallett is even a first-round pick, for that matter. So I think intangibles are going to be critical. They're going to be checked out in the next couple months. It's still three months before draft day and between now and then Cam Newton is either going to be in the top 10 or he's going to slide into the late first round. It's going to be a very fluid grade depending on how that goes."And remember, he's only got 14 starts and people are going to be looking at that Florida situation and what went on there, what went on in the recruiting controversy with Mississippi State and Auburn and look into all that. And if they feel he is worthy of being the face of an organization, worthy of getting a lot of guaranteed money and a guy you want to move forward with as your quarterback, then Cam Newton, based on what I saw this year, on his performance and his upside, I think he's worthy. If all that falls into place, he's certainly worthy of being a top-10 pick."
Kiper had similar things to say about Fairley, who had one dominant season in college:
"He went from one and a half sacks to 11. From three and a half tackles for a loss to 24. From 28 tackles to 60 in one year. The dramatic improvement was obvious. i think there were some games here he kind of paced himself. He didn't go all out on every play and attack on every play and in the NFL you've got to adjust to that. That's the case for a lot of defensive tackles. That's why I think the comparisons to Ndamukong Suh I think are overrated. Suh had a higher grade with me. Suh was my No. 1 player all year last year. He played all out every play and he was a dominant player for two, three years. Really, it was a great performance for three years because he was out there making his presence felt. Fairley was only doing it for one year, so there's a big difference between Suh and Fairley and their body of work. So that's why I don't give Fairley nearly the grade I gave Suh."But I think in terms of being the No. 1 overall pick, Carolina needs a defensive tackle more than it needs an end. I know Da'Quan Bowers will be in the discussion. But I think Fairley could win out. If the interviews go well and they're solid on him, he was a guy who was a one-year wonder, but he's got so much talent, so much ability that we're going to forget about the fact that he only dominated for one year."
Kiper expects WR Darvin Adams, OL Lee Ziemba and LB Josh Bynes to be taken on the third day of the draft (rounds 4-7). Right now -- and this an extremely early projection -- he had Adams going early on the third day, Ziemba in the middle and Bynes late.
Of the three, he had the highest interest in Adams, who he called "intriguing ... just because of the talent he showed in a number of games that I watched this year."