Chuck Cook’s Top Five Seniors

Last week we brought you the top five senior prospects that Chiefs VP of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich had seen in his travels through college football this fall.

Now, here’s the top five of Chuck Cook, the Chiefs director of college scouting. Kuharich and Cook split up the top programs in the country and if one didn’t see a prospect, the other did. That’s along with the area scouts and the tape evaluations the Chiefs build in the file for each prospect.

The only school where both Kuharich and Cook both spent time at was Southern Cal, and that shows up in Chuck’s top five picks.

Now remember, this is all just one part of the scouting puzzle. Underclassmen are not included at this time because they have not yet had the opportunity to declare for the NFL Draft. Last year, 17 underclassmen were taken in the first round, so this is by no means is the top of the Chiefs draft board.

At this time, this is for entertainment purposes only, so please, no wagering.

Here’s the top five from the travels of Chuck Cook:

T Michael Oher/Mississippi 6-5, 320 pounds.

At Ole Miss, Oher has been a starter since his freshman season. That first year he worked at right guard, but they moved him to left tackle his sophomore year and he’s started 36 consecutive games there. He will wind up his career in the Cotton Bowl when Mississippi plays Texas Tech. “He’s got the best feet I’ve seen in years for an offensive lineman,” Cook said of Oher. “He’s very physically gifted and there really isn’t anything he can’t do at left tackle. I can’t imagine anything other than major injury that would keep him from coming into the league and playing well at left tackle for the next 10 or 12 years.”

CB Malcolm Jenkins/Ohio State 6-0, 200 pounds.

One of the best two or three overall athletes in this senior class, Jenkins has the whole package to play the corner in the NFL. He’s fast, strong, quick and has good ball skills. He can jam receivers at the line and then turn and follow them down the field. He’ll wrap up his college career in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas and so far this season he has 54 total tackles, one sack and three interceptions. “He’s a very physical player,” Cook said of Jenkins. “But that’s just part of the whole package with him. He’s what you are looking for at the corner.”

LB Rey Maualuga/Southern Cal 6-2, 260 pounds.

In 11 games this season for the Trojans defense, Maualuga had 73 total tackles and two interceptions. He’s a big, physical man who plays with great intensity and enjoys the contact aspect of football. “With his aggressiveness and temperament he could bring to a defense the same thing that Shawne Merriman brought to San Diego when he went down there,” said Cook. “He’s very good inside, plus he can run. He can cover the field inside to out.”

LB Brian Cushing/Southern Cal 6-4, 255 pounds.

Cushing has played defensive end and strong-side LB in his time at Southern Cal. He’s aggressive and explosive and the only thing that has held him back are injuries as he’s dealt with shoulder, knee and ankle problems over his career. In 12 games this year, he has 66 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception. “He’s very aggressive and loves to be in the middle of the action,” Cook said of Cushing. “He can play outside and I think he has the skills to rush the passer.”

CB Mike Mickens/Cincinnati 6-0, 190 pounds.

Mickens suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee on November 20. He had surgery five days later and is expected to be ready to play in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. He has four interceptions this season and 14 over his career with the Bearcats. This year he had 65 total tackles. He’s accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl. “He has the corner temperament that you are looking for,” said Cook. “He’s always ready for the next challenge. He’s a good athlete and he’s not afraid to get physical. I think he’ll play a long time in the NFL.”

34 Responses to “Chuck Cook’s Top Five Seniors”

  • December 10, 2008  - P Baird says:

    All signs point to taking a MLB or DE to me!

  • December 10, 2008  - Devildog1976 says:

    Dear Santa

    All I want for Cristmas is these five picks plus the LB from ohio st.

    Wishful thinking

  • December 10, 2008  - JohnNdallas says:

    For me it would be Hard to pass on a guy like Oher, I know that is not our most desperate need but a DOMINANT O-Line is a God send.

    If it comes down to Maualuga or Oher with our 1st pick, what would y’all do?

    I’d have a hard time making that choice.

  • December 10, 2008  - Kevin B. says:

    Pick the best talent avalaible

  • December 10, 2008  - Blake says:

    Trade down and get more picks, top needs are right side of o-line, RDE, and LBs.

  • December 10, 2008  - JT says:

    Dear Santa,

    All I want for Christmas is a solid Chiefs d-lineman. I think you can find those at a place called DRAFT in aisle FIRST ROUND.


    The True Red & Gold Fans

  • December 10, 2008  - JT says:

    Can’t wait to hear what Rin has to say! :)


  • December 10, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Rin says ‘woof’ & sorry to keep you all waiting – I shant disappoint but ra’er will reward you for your patience.

    Rin reiterates, an OT will be the top pick. Best crystal ballin mine 3-5 months afore free agency and the draft:

    KC needs OT, C, WR, OG, FB that order on offense. I don’t see Niswanger staying at or Waters moving to Center. On offense the WR will come from free agency- we’ve young WRs aplenty – a vet needed – and not a horse doctor…doctor.

    “What about QB!?” you say. Got it covered – KC will go with their current cast & augment with one more, my guess either a veteran signee – or yet another project mid or late round pick. Vet like Cassel, draftee like Daniel or some other token stab in the dark? Dunno.

    Thigpen, Gray, Croyle, Martin- who says KC needs a QB? Hagans can always be return, and CFL Casey Printers too…heh heh heh.

    From the draft an OT, C, OG & FB. Perhaps later rounds or college FA’cy WR, TE, LS & P for camp.

    KC needs 2 DEs, 2 LBs, 1 CB and 1 S on defense, & copious doses veteranship needed- the “none past” 30-ish halt & lame variety. Minimum, KC will get one/maybe both DEs from free agency, same as for LBs…McBride to DT – if not, he stays at DE and KC gets only 1 new DE – scary – because, if that new guy gets hurt we’re right back to our current 2008 situation in a heartbeat.

    From the draft will come a CB & S; perhaps a LB too & maybe late round or college FA’cy one each DT and/or DE, maybe even a LB.

    A LS, a TE and some more filler to provide t-camp competition and rookie hazing chuckles.

    I’m all tuckered out from sharing insights…must rest now.


  • December 10, 2008  - JohnNdallas says:

    Full Back is a bit of a concern only because Cox has no back up, still think running back needs to be addressed in the draft too.

  • December 10, 2008  - DavidS says:

    I have to agree with Rin nearly completely. I know that the C and OT positions in the draft have a couple of the “best in years” prospects that we will have the opportunity to pick up. I don’t see them available in the FA, so I believe we will get one of the two as our top 2nd round choice. For their first round pick, I see KC picking the best LB in the country…which ever that shakes out to be.

  • December 10, 2008  - NFL fan says:

    I think they will go DE in the first and LB in the second and OT or C or G in the third.

  • December 10, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    For those of you who want a DL with first. Where does he play. When healthy, four starters are no worse than third round pick. Is someone a bust?? Who?? How much money can the chiefs put into the DL?? We could easily end up the opposite Vermiel’s all the money on offense. Face it, herm has done nothing with the current (his picks) DL but you want him to pick another to not be ready to play for a few years.

    The chiefs need help on the OL badly. They need a monster LB. Hope they do not waste a pick and the cash for another developemental project on the DL.

  • December 10, 2008  - redarrowhead says:

    They may trade back for DE Michael Johnson
    If Crabtree is there, he’s a Chief.

    if not…
    If Oher is there, he’s a Chief.

    if not…
    If Maualuga is there, he’s a Chief.

    if not…
    They may trade back…

  • December 10, 2008  - Nick says:

    Anybody seen Aaron Curry play? LB from wake forest. If so what do you think of him? After all he did win the butkus award….nations top LB. I cant wait for the draft, if im this excited after the draft that will be even better. Seems there are plenty o’ good pro prospects to choose from.

  • December 10, 2008  - Nick says:

    Here is Kuharich’s top 5 if anyone was interested…..

    1. T Eugene Monroe/Virginia 6-5, 315 pounds.

    Last year, he played next to Branden Albert on the left side of the Cavaliers offensive line. This year, he’s had to hold down the left tackle spot without much veteran help next to him. “I think he’s a lot like Branden,” Kuharich said. “He’s very athletic. He’s probably better than Branden at the same stage because he’s played the position (Albert played guard at Virginia). He’s got good feet and he can pass protect.”

    2. OLB Aaron Curry/Wake Forest 6-2, 246 pounds.

    With the Demon Deacons, Curry has racked up 101 total tackles, with 15 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception, three fumbles recovered and one forced fumble. “He’s very athletic and gets to the ball,” said Kuharich. “He’s a little bit straight line, but he has shown some pass rush skills. He plays up tempo. He would be better in the 3-4 defense than the 4-3.”

    3. ILB Rey Maualuga/Southern Cal 6-2, 260 pounds.

    With a game still to play on the schedule, Maualuga has 68 total tackles and two interceptions in the Trojans top-ranked defense. “He’s very athletic, but he’s more physical than the kid from Wake Forest,” Kuharich said. “He’s a tackler, he loves the contact. He has a tendency to miss tackles because he does play out of control. He misses too many tackles for my liking. He’s very physical, he’s very intense and he wants to hurt you.”

    4. DT B.J. Raja/Boston College 6-1, 325 pounds.

    Last year, Raja did not play because of academic reasons and then in the spring he underwent shoulder surgery. But he’s come back and has 33 tackles and seven sacks for the Golden Eagles. “He’s very strong and quick inside,” said Kuharich. “He’s a one year guy after missing last season. He’s a penetrator, more than a line of scrimmage player. He’s good at the point of attack and he can push the pocket.”

    5. TE Brandon Pettigrew/Oklahoma State 6-6, 260 pounds.

    With the Cowboys, Pettigrew has 36 catches for 421 yards and he’s the first tight end in O-State history to have over 100 career receptions; he’s at 106 right now. He missed three games this season with a high ankle sprain. “He’s got the size and his very athletic,” said Kuharich. “He’s a good route runner and he’s a good runner with the ball in his hands after the catch. He’s not an in-line blocker type. He’s more of a receiver.”

  • December 10, 2008  - Uncuffed says:

    Tm1946, what do you mean “who’s a bust”? I’d be happy if McBride, Hali, and Tyler were all relegated to backup duty next year (meaning we picked up new guys). They sure wouldn’t be starters (based on what they showed this year) on most other NFL teams.

    I say start Dorsey and Boone inside next year.

    Draft a DE in the first 3 rounds and pick another one up as a FA.

  • December 10, 2008  - RedandGoldRice says:

    Yes, I know, with as many glaring needs that the Chiefs have, how can they possibly spend a 1st round pick on a qb with Thigpen showing so much promise?! Offensive line problem for the last 2 years, linebackers not covering their assignments, absolutely no pass rush from the D line, and a general lack of depth almost everywhere…..
    How can the Chiefs not take a 1st round qb?!
    Cutler…1st round pick
    Rivers…1st round pick
    Russel…1st round pick
    Other than Russel, the 1st round picks are playing well. Are the Cheeps going to try and settle for an “almost as good as” “game managing” (that stands for just don’t F it up) QB? Russel is struggling through his first full year as a starter in a dsyfunctional franchise.
    How can we not take a QB that could be the face of our frachise, even if he sat for a year a la Carson Palmer while Thigpen got another year of experience under his belt playing?
    The Chiefs won’t see another top 3 pick for 10 to 12 years (hopefully), so why pass up such a Godsend?
    How many Brady’s are there in the 5th and 6th rounds? How many 2nd and 3rd round picks actually end up quarterbacks that can put a team on their backs and will the team to victory?!
    We have a chance to get “that” player to Manning us to the Superbowl……. IMO.

  • December 10, 2008  - Michael says:

    Free Agency in ’09 has a good group of linebackers-Vilma-Saits, Leroy Hill-Seahawks, Bart Scott-Ravens, Mike Peterson-Jaguars. Ok OL group-OG Jahri Evans from the Saints, OT Marvel Smith from Steelers. DL has Peppers-Panthers, and Suggs-Ravens, at end and Haynesworth-Titans and, I think, Tommy Harris from the Bears at DT, not much after that. Tank Johnson might be available. Defensive Backs pretty good, Corners-Asomugha from Oakland, Kenny Gamble from Carolina and Kelvin Hayden from Indy-Safeties-Jermaine Phillips from the Bucs, Kerry Rhodes from the Jets.

  • December 11, 2008  - A Pacific Chief says:

    Joe Montana was a 3rd round pick.
    Brett Favre was a 2nd round pick.
    Drew Brees 2nd round pick.
    Trent Edwards 4th round pick.
    Kyle Orton 4th round pick.
    Marc Bulger 6th round pick.
    Matt Hasselback 6th round pick.

    But I’d like Harrell in the 2nd round myself, or either Nate Brown, JP Wilson.

  • December 11, 2008  - Ryan L says:

    Rin you’re an idiot – and now you’ve proved it once again! LOL

  • December 11, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    Uncuffed – you are joking, right? This is a team sport. The chiefs cannot spend all their high round MONEY on defense line picks. What would satisfy you would mean there would be a hugely overpaid DL and where is the money for position players on offense? A good/great LB or 2? A “name” free agent or two? No you would be happy with a bunch of never was’ on the DL?

    I guess they could score all the TD as well as stop the offense.

  • December 11, 2008  - Uncuffed says:

    you misunderstood my comment. I was saying to take ONE DE somewhere in the first 3 rounds. That’s only one draft pick. Then sign another as a free agent. Stick with the DTs we have, and hope for development from at least one, and solid performance from Boone.

  • December 11, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    Why is rin an idiot? The people who look like idiots are the ones who call out people like you do, Ryan.

    I know Rin is a lil different then most, but when he wants to, he makes good points. The best thing, and this is really an underated part of what the chiefs have done this year, is they have Identified EVERY WEAKNESS on the team. Even we as fans can tell who the “problems” are. LJ a bad influence, Hali isnt a number one pass rusher, turk needs more development, but probably needs to stay healthy to be any help to us, we dont have a single mlb that can play the position, DJ needs to focus or move on, C, RG, RT dont fit the system. those questions are answered. we have questions at QB and RB, and #2 and 3 wideouts.

    This was a tough year, but we know what we have to do going forward. Its just a question of who and how long

  • December 11, 2008  - Tim says:

    Taking the MLB from USC tthat high would be a mistake. In a salary cap world (which I understand could change), its not a premium position dollar-wise. Those would be QB, LT, DE & CB. If we pick top 5 again, I believe we’ll go with one of those positions. I believe its less likely to be a CB because of what we have.

  • December 11, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    I.T. I do not get the “going forward” If going young is forward, ok. If stripping the team of most veterans, ok. After three drafts we have maybe 5 quality players, based on that we will be going forward for the next 8 years just to put a decent team on the field. carl is done so forward would be his removal. herm and coaches have shown little except excuses for the last two years, what is forward with this? Owner is a soccer man and has little concern about the chiefs other than money (my view and may not be factual but nothing shows different). So what is forward, floundering about at the bottom of the NFL for the next few years. It might seem going forward is just about getting older not better with the KC chiefs.

  • December 11, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    RedandGoldRice says:

    “Cutler…1st round pick, Rivers…1st round pick
    Russel…1st round pick. Other than Russel, the 1st round picks are playing well.”

    - well is a subjective matter: stats? wins? what?I’m not any more impressed by those than Thigpen -even more so when their pedigrees are considered.

  • December 11, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    A Pacific Chief says:

    “Joe Montana was a 3rd round pick, Brett Favre was a 2nd round pick, Drew Brees 2nd round pick.
    Trent Edwards 4th round pick, Kyle Orton 4th round pick, Marc Bulger 6th round pick, Matt Hasselback 6th round pick.”

    - not only those, but -

    - Len Dawson was a street free agent after having been released/a former #1 pick.

    - Bart Starr was a 17th round pick (a free agent today, undrafted.)

    - Johnny Unitas was a 9th round pick found to be not good enough by PITTS, just like Dawson.

    - Kurt Warner…bagboy/stocker. The stories be many in the annals pro football.

  • December 11, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Ryan L says:”

    “Rin you’re an idiot”

    - thank you for the obligatory sucker punch…was it something I said?

    No, likely just ‘Ryan’s Hope’ – that someday he might but elevate himself up to Rin’s level, the green eyes Ryan’s shimmering in the angst that be his. Truly, the eyes have it, Ryan’s.

    heh heh heh


  • December 11, 2008  - findthedr says:


    San Diego would have done just as well (if not better) by sticking with drew Brees instead of spending a 1st rnd pick on Philip Rivers.

  • December 11, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    from our friend tm1946 says
    —-I.T. I do not get the “going forward” If going young is forward, ok. If stripping the team of most veterans, ok. After three drafts we have maybe 5 quality players, based on that we will be going forward for the next 8 years just to put a decent team on the field. carl is done so forward would be his removal. herm and coaches have shown little except excuses for the last two years, what is forward with this? Owner is a soccer man and has little concern about the chiefs other than money (my view and may not be factual but nothing shows different). So what is forward, floundering about at the bottom of the NFL for the next few years. It might seem going forward is just about getting older not better with the KC chiefs.

    Look, if this is all you see with the chiefs, why not go be a fair weather fan of one of the great teams? Seriously, quit reading what you see on the KC star and other sites, and use your eyes to see on the field. You can say tons of stuff about CARL AND HERM and others, but its stuff you dont know. We have glaring issues, at tons of spots, but we werent going to be better with the old guys we had on the team. And last time i checked, im pretty sure the idea of owning something was to make it profitable…..yes? so just because the owner is a fan of the other football doesnt mean he hates the chiefs…..
    And i thought i was rough on my boys in Red and Gold.

  • December 11, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    You did a good job vaguely defending the need for a rebuild and clark hunt being a wonderful owner but can you point out just what you mean about going forward. I care less about you dislike for haters or the Star. Just stick to how the chiefs are going forward other than by aquiring age. And how you surmise this will end in the team being in the upper levels of the NFL.

    I am always tough on failures and no where can you prove clark loves the chiefs to oppose my reverse view. I am unwilling to be a lemming and wait 5 or more year for a franchise I feel deserves my unquestioning support.

  • December 11, 2008  - Larry says:

    Talking draft at this point is an exercise in futility. First of all, there are at least two player experiments being conducted at this time, TT and DJ in the middle. I sincerely hope Herb Taylor gets a chance at RT with Adrian Jones back. Until those experiments run their course, the coaches won’t really know what they need. Also, the next act in the play is free agency. There’s a couple of quaility DEs out there and KC has the cash to land them. That said, it is still fun to think about it. Here’s my thoughts:

    KC’s greatest needs at this moment are in order; pass rush and run defense. That means KC’s most needed players are DEs and LBs.

    DJ will be found to be no more consistent in the middle than he is outside. KC will need a middle linebacker and an outside linebacker(agree with Rin here)

    Hali will elevate his play with real pass rusher opposite him much the same as he did with Jared and Neil Smith did when DT arrived (“bust” talk was rampant with Neil his first couple of years). Here I disagree with Rin, only one DE needed but should be a proven one.

    I think TT and Herb Taylor have real shots at becoming consistent performers. That solves any early round offense picks and interior linemen usually go later.

    After researching some draft sites, if I were in Carl’s position, here’s what I would do. Acquire Peppers or Haynesworth in free agency (DE solved). Take Maualuga with the first pick (one LB solved). Reasoning for this is the way he plays the game. KC’s defense is looking for that leader that everyone looks to for the intimidation factor. Baltimore has Ray Lewis, KC once had DT. Maualuga could be the next one.

  • December 29, 2008  - Bigdaddyt says:

    Yes defensive line is a need.
    Middle Linebacker is a need also (free agent Bart Scott maybe)
    But, in my opinion, offensive line is the biggest need.
    Remember we lost two quarterbacks this season. The reason we didn’t lose a third is because Thigpen is mobile. That’s the reason Chan install the spread offense so the lineman don’t have to hold their blocks as long. Even with the spread we still can’t run the ball. Need proof? Go look at the last 5 minutes of the Cinncinati game. First and goal at the one and they can’t run it in. It’s been like that all year. The offensive cannot run the ball when they have to. You have to run the ball in the NFL. Especially late in the year.

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