If a Ravens player were being mentored by Michael Vick five years ago we’d be concerned.  On September 1, 2011 it’s an encouraging sign for Baltimore’s rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor.  Who would’ve thunk it?

During the NFL lockout fellow Virginia Tech alumnus and sixth-round draft pick Tyrod Taylor trained with Eagles $100 million quarterback Michael Vick.  Today, NFL experts including Sports Illustrated’s Peter King are crediting Vick’s mentorship as the reason for Taylor’s development into the Ravens second string quarterback.

Vick and Taylor training as part of ESPN's Year of the Quarterback

This week Vick went from a guy who was in prison on dogfighting charges a little over two years ago and was forced to file for bankruptcy to what FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez calls the “greatest rags-to-riches story not only in NFL history, but in all of professional sports.”  Along the way to his flashy new six-year deal, Vick has become a changed man and as King points out, his tutoring of Taylor was all a part of that process.

One reason the Eagles felt comfortable handing Vick more than $40 million guaranteed is because they’ve seen a more mature Vick. A good illustration of that is his relationship with Taylor. They worked out together in Virginia Beach with speed-and-agility trainer Tom Anderson on the athletic stuff, and with Vick teaching Taylor the football stuff, over the spring and summer.

The new Michael Vick, who had previously been blasted for a lack of effort and overall laziness during his days in a Falcons’ uniform has preached football education and playbook studying to his protege Taylor.  “You’ve got to go in and call the plays like you know them. There’s not going to be any excuses,” Vick said to Taylor.

The comparisons between Vick and Taylor have run rampant around the interwebs.  Both guys are Hokies, mobile scrambling quarterbacks with an ability throw downfield or burn you with their speed.  Taylor is an inch taller than Vick at 6’1″, but 15 pounds lighter at 200.

“This kid I’m really rooting for because he’s gone after it the right way,” Vick said.  “He really wants to be an NFL quarterback.  He’s really worked at it.  One night I called him at camp and said, ‘How’s it going, little bro?’  He said, ‘Getting it down.  Running with the twos.  Going good.'”

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com. You can follow his random thoughts on twitter @zamwi or shoot him an email zach@baltimoresportsreport.com