This is the first in what is hopefully a regular series of Mailbag articles. Here I will attempt to answer a few of the questions I have received of late and perhaps in the process answer a question a few others didn't even know they wanted to ask.
Travis writes: Any shot for one more good signing on June first? Maybe a D Lineman?
I have a suspicion the team is set at defensive end with Lamarr Houston starting opposite Andre Carter and Jason Hunter and young guns Jack Crawford and David Bass behind them. At defensive tackle, the market is not good right now. However, there is a possibility one or more solid players could come available tomorrow (June 1) as teams have been waiting to make their June 1 cuts until, you know, ACTUALLY June 1. If a good option at defensive tackle becomes a cap casualty and hits the open market, the Raiders could grab him with some of their new $8 million from the Michael Huff release.
Sean writes: If we land a top pick next year, who would you rather have, Clowney or Bridgewater?
First of all, that's no way to think. Second, that's a tough one. I have to admit I am torn here. For the Raiders, Jadeveon Clowney would probably make a lot more sense. On the other hand, the number one pick is almost always a quarterback - 10 of the last 13 drafts to be exact. A defensive end has been the top pick just twice in the past 25 years. At this moment, most think Clowney is the exception which could break the rule but a lot can happen from now until 11 months from now. The same goes for Bridgewater. This time last year we were talking about Matt Barkley as the best QB in the 2013 draft and he fell into the fourth round. But, I won't take the easy way out -- Clowney would be my choice.
Kawika writes: What number will Tracy Porter be wearing come the season?
I believe the number situation will work itself out and Tracy Porter will don the #22 which he has worn his entire career to this point in both New Orleans and Denver. Taiwan Jones will either switch numbers to one of those that come available or his number will come available if he fails make the team. This will leave the #24 to Charles Woodson and all will be right with the world. I have heard of the NFL being a numbers game but this is getting out of hand.
Kiara writes: I really is horeny so I cretaed a profile
Is there a question in there somewhere? And you could use some work with the spelling but I think I get the jist. Creating a profile is not typically what I would think one would do when they were "horeny" but, hey, to each their own. Thanks for the message and good luck with that whole English thing.
Chris writes: I've always wondered why so much stock is put in combine numbers like the 40. I'd be much more interested in seeing how these guys move with all the gear on. Why isn't that a thing they do?
That there is the multimillion dollar question. The answer lies in the tape. NFL execs and scouts who have the most success rely heavily on the tape - with players in pads -- and simply use the combine as a supplemental measuring tool. There is a history behind it. What we now know as the scouting combine started in 1982. Prior to that, teams scheduled individual visits with players to run them through drills and tests. But the ultimate judge was always supposed to be what was on tape, on the field in pads. Some put more stock in those raw measurements than others. Al Davis of course being chief among them. He was always trying to find the next Cliff Branch at receiver and Mike Haynes at corner. It was a gamble that never really paid off. His failures focusing so heavily on the scouting combine numbers should be treated a cautionary tale.