Giant Holes

The Bears may or may not have enough in their arsenal to trade up past the Giants to select Robert Gallery, but there is reason to believe that New York might have to pass on the best tackle in the draft.

The Giants have so many glaring needs that addressing them in one year's worth of free agency and the draft isn't possible.

The overwhelming need now was at defensive tackle until Barret Robbins was signed. The hunt for defensive tackles is based on Cornelius Griffin's defection to the Redskins plus the retirement of 12-year veteran Keith Hamilton. The double dose of disaster leaves the team with such as Lance Legree, no better than a journeyman, and Keith Washington, normally an end, as the "starting" tackles.

The Giants are also interested in addressing their quarterback situation. Whether it's finding a quality backup for Kerry Collins or using him to trade up for the first pick in the draft and thereby snaring one of the two blue-chippers available. Then they would turn around and sign a free agent to take over until the wonder kid is ready.

Still high on the list is the offensive line, fouled by injuries to left guard Rich Seubert, left tackle Luke Petitgout and ineffective play from tackle Ian Allen. Rookie David Diehl started every game at right guard.

One reason it would be hard to imagine the Giants passing on Galleryis his relationship with New York's offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, who spent the past three seasons as the Bears tight end coach.

Flaherty recruited Gallery to the University of Iowa and converted him from a tight end to a tackle. The two remain in touch and Flaherty would love to add Gallery to anchor a weak offensive line.

Gallery is the most dominant tackle in the draft by a wide margin. However other needs might supersede the offensive leaving the Bears with a chance to trade up with Washington.

The Redskins are short on draft picks because of various free agent signings over the past few seasons. Moving from 14 to 5 won't be cheap.

Jerry Angelo doesn't like to give up draft picks, so it could come down to a question of quality of quantity.

While it might be a stretch for Angelo to make such a bold move, but it's certainly worth the thought. Trading for Gallery to go bookend the tackles with John Tait would quickly turn the Bears offensive line into one of the best in the game.

The Insiders contributed to this report.

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