He's a prospect prodigy

NFL draft expert Kiper logs statistics and measurements, meticulously studying and cataloging, all for one weekend

Nfl Draft

April 27, 2006|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG | KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG,SUN REPORTER

When ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. opens his mouth around this time of year, what comes out must be measured in paragraphs, not sentences.

Sentences, frankly, are simply too restrictive for Kiper, even if his time, as usual, is limited. He doesn't pause for punctuation - or to draw a breath, for that matter - instead choosing to speak in a series of rapid-fire, high-volume monologues jampacked with as much information as humanly possible.

Want to know who Kiper, 45, thinks will be the best player available when it's the Ravens' turn to pick in the 2006 NFL draft? You'd be wise to buckle up. Kiper can, without notes, rattle off countless players' names, give you their measurements, then tell you almost as much about them as their own mothers could. Does he run good routes? Does he catch the ball too much with his body? Is he afraid of contact? Is he coachable? There is no detail Kiper hasn't cataloged, no flaw he hasn't considered, and he has thousands of hours of study to back up his opinions.

NFL DRAFT Saturday, noon (rounds 1-3); Sunday, 11 a.m. (rounds 4-7); ESPN, ESPN2 and NFL Network

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