Warpath Draft Report

It's hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the NFL Draft, where rumors start like cracks in a windshield. They start small but spread fast. And that's what's happening with Washington.

Not only do those rumors involve the Redskins and trades, they involve who the team might select. The Redskins have talked to teams about trading up in the draft, then selecting left tackle Robert Gallery.

Washington could pay a heavy price to get the Iowa tackle. And, in the short term, they would not improve themselves, leaving gaping holes in other areas. The Redskins also are playing down such talk of maneuvers, but why would any team do otherwise when it comes to trade talk? Makes no sense for them to acknowledge that they might swap a Pro Bowl tackle (Chris Samuels) to move up. If they fail to make the trade, then you have a hurt or angry player on your hands.

If the trades don't go through, then who do they pick? For months it's been assumed they would take either tight end Kellen Winslow or safety Sean Taylor. Now the strongest name we're hearing is Oklahoma defensive tackle Tommie Harris, at least according to one NFL source.

Remember, anything at this point could be just a smokescreen. And we see draft experts changing their mock drafts on a daily basis. So we're not ready to predict they will take Harris.

But one NFL source said ''[Joe] Gibbs puts a premium on defensive linemen and most teams figure they'll take Harris at that spot.'' The source said that scouts feel Harris would be a good fit in Gregg Williams' scheme, an attacking and aggressive lineman who can apply pressure. The Redskins lack that person now.

Also, Harris, at 292 pounds, could play end or tackle as he did for the Sooners. The Redskins need help at both positions, despite some offseason signings.

But this same source said he had talked to a Redskins scout who bemoaned Harris' lack of production at times. Our source dismissed such talk, saying, ''He's a rotational player and no defensive lineman in the NFL is consistent on every play.''

The downfall on Harris, described by some as a potential boom or bust player, is his size. Redskins tackle Cornelius Griffin weighs just 300 pounds, meaning the team lacks a huge body in the middle. In the NFC East, a wide body is a necessity.

For what it's worth: Harris scored only an 11 on the Wonderlic test. Gallery scored a 23, Winslow a 12 and Taylor a 10.

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