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Is Gaither worth a gamble?

Sometimes it's nice to have friends in high places.

The NFL's Supplemental Draft is July 12th, and I only bring it up because of the buzz being generated by one of the players likely to be available in that draft.

That would be University of Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither, a 6-foot-9, 350-pound behemoth. Most early reports have Gaither, who is academically ineligible to play this season, penciled in as a guy who would likely have been selected in the middle of the first round in the regular 2008 NFL Draft.

Internet boards are abuzz with Gaither talk. Everybody seems to be wondering just how good this guy is, and whether or not it would be worth it for their team to take a flier on him.

In case you don't know, if you bid on a player in the supplemental draft and win his rights, you lose the corresponding draft pick in the next regular draft. So, if a team puts in a third-round bid on a player and gets him it loses its third-round selection in the next draft.

The Giants are, of course, one of those teams with a need for a franchise-type left tackle. So, that is what brings me back to having friends in high places.

My good buddy (at least when he's nice to me) Rick Snider, currently of the DC Examiner, is a Maryland grad -- along with yours truly.

More importantly, Rick has been a nationally known sports writer in the DC area for almost 30 years, and has spent the last couple of football seasons covering the Terrapins.

Rick was kind enough to share his thoughts on Gaither. Here they are.

I covered Jared for two seasons as a beat writer and while he is massive, he is also lazy and knows little football. He flunked off the team despite repeated chances because he just didn't want to go to class. Everyone told him he'd be an NFL star, but not with that work ethic. I'd say he's a sixth-rounder at best in the supplemental draft and maybe you can work him on the practice squad for a year. He can't come right in and start.

That does not sound like a guy you can depend on to become a fixture on an NFL offensive line. Considering that speculation would lead you to believe there are teams willing to put in a second- or third-round bid on Gaither, I'd think the Giants should pass.

Your thoughts?