Chargers Draft Prospectus III

Thanks to Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview we have a clearer understanding of just who the San Diego Chargers plan to Draft in round one. While things may change between now and the Draft, one thing is clear the Chargers brass are enamored with…

Kwame Harris, offensive tackle out of Stanford. Both Coach Marty Schottenheimer and General Manager John Butler spent extensive time with Harris during Senior Bowl week and the combines. They watched every move Harris made.

Despite needs on the defensive line and in the secondary, the Chargers currently feel no one of value will be left when the number 15 pick rolls around three hours after the Draft starts in April. The next need is another young offensive lineman to help grow the blossoming tri of LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees and David Boston.

Kwame Harris
Offensive tackle
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 308
Body Fat: 16.4%
40 times: 5.28/5.25
Vertical Jump: 35.5
Cone Drills: 7.97/8.00

"Athletic blocker with the versatility to be used on either side of the line of scrimmage. Offers a lot of upside potential which may take some time before it is realized. " Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Harris has really done well to elevate his stock during the combines and Senior Bowl week. He enters the final month before the Draft entrenched behind Jordan Gross of Utah.

Harris is a huge offensive tackle with great athleticism as shown by his impressive cone drills during the combines. Included in that is his versatility, he is comfortable playing on either side of the line and excels at each. Harris is quick off the snap and plays well in space.

The Chargers have targeted Harris because of his versatility and also because Vaughn Parker may be in his final year as a Charger. Not to mention Damion McIntosh who could reach unrestricted free agency at the end of 2003. If they are able to hold onto McIntosh the line could be dominant for years to come. By adding Harris they can slowly move him into the starters' role and minimize rookie mistakes.

With the run happy Bolts, Harris would be effective at the outset. LaDainian Tomlinson likes to rush the edge and Harris moves well enough laterally to open holes on the outside. With his ability to pull and control defenders once engaged it could open huge craters for LT to run through. That dimension of his blocking is what the Chargers covet.

Harris is not a stretch at the 15 spot. Offensive linemen are valuable unsung heroes, and when you have LT, Drew Brees and David Boston, all of whom are 24, it only makes sense to protect your assets, even if the defense does need serious help.

The feeling is all the elite defensive tackles will be gone by the time they select, so why reach for a player when there is help to be had, it just so happens that help is along the offensive line.

Special thanks to Tony Pauline who contributed to this report

Denis Savage can be reached at: Denis Savage

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