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Bakay's Tale of Tape: Vick vs. Kiper

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At some point Saturday, Tags will step to the podium and lend his monotone to the sweetest April words this side of "unexpected refund": "The Falcons are on the clock."

Mel Kiper Jr.
Mel Kiper Jr.
Michael Vick
Michael Vick
Months of anticipation explode into glory as the marathon grind of seven rounds over two days lurches into first gear. My advice? Don't get distracted by the adrenaline, the hype, or the curious yet musky tang of the draftniks.

Stay focused on what draft day is all about -- the acquisition of franchise talent, go-to guys you can build your program around. Two names dominate my draft board in 2001:

  • Michael Vick -- the predestined first-overall-pick, now headed to Atlanta, thanks to a pre-draft day deal with San Diego.
  • Mel Kiper, Jr.-- draft guru, scourge of GMs past, present and future, the man who built an empire out of his passion for knowing every Juco's time in the 40.

    In a year with "trade down" written all over it, when the post-Vick talent level is generally described as one big push from No. 2 through the 20th pick, who else can compare than the man I call "Melificent"? Mel Kiper, Jr., is a proven commodity who brings his A game year after year. The man has seen more Mr. Irrelevants come and go than Heidi Fleiss.

    Now the time has come to give a final tweak to the big board, and designate who tops my list at No. 1-A and No. 1-B. Vick versus Kiper, the kid with big arm versus the institution with the big hair. Let's see how they stack up at the Tale of the Tape...

    Nick Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Michael Vick vs. Mel Kiper Jr.
    Category Michael Vick Mel Kiper Jr. Advantage
    Juniors No, left as a soph Yes! Kiper -- he didn't have to declare early
    Does he regularly use the word "tweener"? No Yes! Kiper
    Height 6-0 6-5 -- it's important to note that the Blesto scouting service adds four inches for hair volume. Kiper. He also graded out at 9.6 for sheen.
    Vertical leap High enough 33 inches at the combine, 72 inches when Jim "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?" Irsay lunges at him. Kiper
    Hokies His alma mater A term he invented to describe every Bobby Beathard draft pick in the '90s Kiper
    Tutors Doug Flutie The good folks at Vidal Sassoon Push
    How Mel's draft guide describes them "A southpaw with a rocket release and escapability." "A gamer whose motor doesn't quit." Push
    File them under Project Icon Kiper
    Stops on a dime and give you ... five cents change ... a stream of consciousness flurry of combine stats, intangibles, character references, and impressions made at the East-West Shrine game, even for a seventh rounder from Chadron State. Push
    Bonus Somewhere around $15 million The worship of millions Kiper
    Warning Try not to find yourself in the open field between him and the goal line. Try not to sit behind him in a movie theater. Vick
    Responsible for Lifting the Virginia Tech program within one game of a national championship Lifting the cult of draftniks to Trekkie status Push
    How they relax Surfs the 'Net, clicking on every mock draft that has him listed as Round 1, pick No. 1 Sits on park benches and tries to guess the Wonderlic scores of strangers Vick
    Oft heard at home "Where's the remote?" "Honey, you need to improve your reach." Push
    Next stop Falcons camp "Mel Kiper Jr. in an evening with Mark Twain" Push

    So there you have it. It's all so simple when you break things down scientifically. In a roll of the draft-day dice, the advantage goes to ... Mel Kiper, Jr. Major reach? Not until Vick cracks the starting lineup. Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

    Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a Web site at

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