Welcome to the weekend mailbag, where you ask and I try to answer. I hope you are having a lovely weekend...
Paul Kuharsky: How could a player assure he doesn't get drafted? La'el Collins' situation was unprecedented and can't be intentionally repeated. Would you suggest a player plot a way to appear connected to a crime just before the draft in a way where he is sufficiently cleared for teams right after the draft? And then make far less money than he would have if he was drafted high?
@PaulKuharskyNFL #PKmail. Could the L. Collins not getting drafted then selecting his own team lead to other top college players doing that?- TGPickern (@TGPickern) May 8, 2015
@PaulKuharskyNFL who will be the leader in the wr room? Or on offense for that matter to help DGB and other young players? #PKmail - j. z. (@jzinreallife) May 3, 2015Paul Kuharsky: Kendall Wright was a first round draft pick and he's heading into his fourth year. He should be the top guy in the room now. Harry Douglas, signed as a free agent from Atlanta, will certainly have a leadership role as well.
Paul Kuharsky: We won't know, necessarily. But the decision-making is rooted in the scouting. Once all the people who scout have chimed in and a consensus is reached about a guy's value, decisions are largely made guided by the board. So at the root, a failed pick starts with failed scouting. But it's an inexact science that includes a lot of projecting, so it's not like there aren't going to be mistakes made. If two guys are roughly even, were they scouted correctly and was the right decision made between them?
#PKmail When we have a good draft or poor draft, how do you know if it's the scouting or decision making?- Brandon Knecht (@BKnechtion) May 3, 2015
#pkmail I'm all in on Mariota. Curious, though, what would it have taken for Webster to trade the #2 pick? - p.r. newman (@prnewmansr) May 2, 2015Paul Kuharsky: I would presume a package much like the Rams got for the RG III pick, which included three No. 1 picks.
Paul Kuharsky: Let's say the football people didn't like Marcus Mariota but ownership drove the selection. How would a quarterback whom the football people don't believe in raise the value of the franchise? In those circumstances, odds would be that Mariota fails. And if he had a bearing on the price of a team (that's not for sale, by the way) then wouldn't he actually hurt the value? The Bills, by the way, had a terrible quarterback situation and sold for $1.4 billion last year. Sure, having a superstar on the roster helps the team on all fronts, including its value. But all players are temporary parts, not long-term infrastructure. If Mariota was somehow forced on Ken Whisenhunt, the forcing would have been by general manager Ruston Webster. I believe they both bought into the quarterback during the pre-draft process and what Whisenhunt sincerely believes with some slight tweaks Mariota can run his offense.
@PaulKuharskyNFL Any chance the Mariota pick was more owner driven in effort to drive up asking price for team? Forced on Whiz? #PKMail- The General (@mac9nj) May 9, 2015
@PaulKuharskyNFL what is the process with Titans signing rookies vs other teams getting their draft class signed in days or weeks? #pkmail - j. z. (@jzinreallife) May 8, 2015Paul Kuharsky: I'm shocked at how many variations of this question I'm getting. Rookie signings are pretty much not news anymore. The salaries are slotted with the pick and it's very rare for someone not to sign before camp. I'm told to expect deals for Titans picks sooner rather than later. But they have until late July and it's not worth any level of concern.
Paul Kuharsky: Leon Washington's contract expired, so he's not on the team. I expect Greene will be in camp, but not be on the roster after camp.
@PaulKuharskyNFL assuming Leon Washington and Shonn Greene get cut, when would that happen? Before camp or when roster cuts happen? #PKmail- Collin Dawkins (@CollDawk82) May 8, 2015
@PaulKuharskyNFL is this the most talented group of receivers the Titans have ever assembled? #pkmail - Titan up (@Danthaman77) May 9, 2015Paul Kuharsky: No. And even if it looked that way I wouldn't declare it so. Been there, done that, looked dumb. This team always seems to struggle to have sufficient pieces at wide receiver. But with Wright still dealing with a transition into what Ken Whisenhunt wants, Justin Hunter having such a disappointing second season, Hakeem Nicks coming off an unproductive year in Indianapolis, and Dorial Green-Beckham and Tre McBride unproven, I steer well clear of any such pronouncement.