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On The Scouting Trail

In the next week or so, the Chiefs crew of college scouts will all come into headquarters and spend time as a group going over the vast amount of information they they’ve collected during the season.

This is a very “hands on” personnel department, led by Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich. Along with Chuck Cook, the team’s director of college scouting Kuharich has crisscrossed the country to look at some of the top ranked players that were initially scouted by area scouts: Bruce Lemmerman, Willie Davis, Terry Delp, Cornell Gowdy, Mike Hagen, Matt Littlefield and Greg Olejack.

Kuharich’s travels started back in September and ended only last week with a trip to see the Western Michigan-Ball State game. Overall, he saw 30 different teams all over the country. The most talented team he saw was Southern California, and by talented we mean with the most pro prospects. Oklahoma was second. He did not see Texas, Texas Tech or Florida; Cook handled those assignments.

But after watching hours and hours of tape from those Division 1 programs, here are the top five senior players that Kuharich scouted in person.

Now remember, this is all just one part of the scouting puzzle. He did not include underclassmen because at this time, 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.

These players are ranked only in the order that Kuharich recalled them when asked the question: name the top five players you saw?

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”


33 Responses to “On The Scouting Trail”

  • December 4, 2008  - vincent belt says:

    There is some excellent information here. I’m a little surprised Laurinitus or Orakpo is not included. I do believe that with a lot of talented juniors, we will be drafting young.


  • December 4, 2008  - findthedr says:

    I credit Kuharich for the chiefs improvement in drafting, and Herm for our improvement in drafting CBs.

    They say that you should only judge a draft class after 3 full years of playing. The chiefs 2006 draft class (the 1st under herm and kuharich) looks to be a complete bust.


  • December 4, 2008  - JohnNdallas says:

    Really!?
    Pollard a bust? Page a bust!?
    Hali hasn’t played well at all with out another stellar D End, but calling him a bust is stupid at this point in time.
    Same go’s for Croyal.

    You must be high find!


  • December 4, 2008  - findthedr says:

    Hali- cant stay healthy. cant play the premier RDE position, horrible against the run.

    Pollard- takes poor tackling angles, is a liability in coverage. possibly will be replaced by Dujuan Morgan if he can ever get healthy.

    Croyle- cant stay healthy, not our QBOTF, might not even be trusted as a #2

    Herm Edwards – 4th round pick. disgusting.

    Maxey – cut
    Stallings – cut
    Webb – waste of roster spot
    Page – steal. poor tackler.

    ————————————–
    Yes, overall the chiefs 2006 draft has been a bust.


  • December 4, 2008  - JohnNdallas says:

    Fire it up SPARKY! LMAO


  • December 4, 2008  - Jody says:

    I can’t see them passing up a Stafford or Bradford in they fall to them unless someone like McCoy comes out and they think they can snag him in the second round. In some ways Tyler is regressing to me, He locks on Tony G and forces the ball to him. He had been spreading the ball around.


  • December 4, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    The real shame of the next draft is that the chiefs are young, very young. Add at least 10 more rookies and what have you got? A young team not capable of winning much. Now for those of you who are willing to wait until 2010 for a team with any chance of being at least .500, no problem. But the KC chiefs could take until 2012 for a team to compete in the West. If there are flops in the draft or career ending injuries, this team could be garbage for the everending future. The chiefs will have to add 6 or more impact players, pick a position. They will need all the skill and luck to be successful in the draft alone, forget about winning games.


  • December 4, 2008  - findthedr says:

    the draft is really going to depend what happens to Tony, IMO.

    Although publicly Cottam was drafted to replace Dunn, privately he could be groomed to replace TG. The problem is that he never caught very many passes in college.

    Merritt has stone hands, and having a blocking-only TE doesnt fit in with a spread offense anyway.

    Basically, if TG is no longer a chief, than they need to find a replacement for him, and there will likely be at least 3 in this yrs draft.
    —————————————

    Thigpen locking in on TG has to do with the fact Bradley is hurt, but TG has stepped up his game and so far it has worked. Bradley really makes the offense what it is. Since he didnt practice today, I wonder who takes his place (likely DVD).


  • December 4, 2008  - JohnNdallas says:

    Right you are Jody, I have notice that to the last 3 games, Thigpen’s passes haven’t been as crisp or accurate as they were early in the season.
    The strange thing about it is, he’s had as good of pass protection as he had all season.
    But we have to remember that opposing defenses have film on him and this new offense now, where before no one had anything to prep with.

    The good thing is there are still 4 more games to evaluate this team.


  • December 4, 2008  - JohnNdallas says:

    IMO if Chiefs have a pick in the top 4 and Crabtree is available that would be my pick.

    I think he is the best player in the draft.


  • December 4, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Another great draft ahead for the Chiefs courtesy Herm & Kuharich…keep up the great work & drafts Herm – all of yours have been.

    ALL of KC is behind you and we know that you will lead us back to glory- and to another great draft very soon now.

    AND NOW, Clark Hunt & Rin Tin Tin have RE-affirmed Herm’s The Man!

    :-)


  • December 4, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    The USC LB is likely out, so is any WR – none are good enough to merit a high #1. Also, we will not draft another young DE or DT – we need a veteran, not another time specimen.

    OT – that is the likely position of the Chiefs #1 draft choice, after a trade down (unless they win a few games- in which case there will ‘not’ be as great an ability perhaps to do so/trade down.)

    Mark it down, Rin has spoken…so it shall be.

    heh heh heh

    :-)


  • December 5, 2008  - TimInKC says:

    Offensive tackle or stud pass-rushing defensive end. Those are my points of focus at the top of the first round.

    Good-looking OT prospects in Andre Smith out of Alabama, Michael Oher out of Ole Miss, and the above mentioned Eugene Monroe out of Virginia.

    The pass-rushing end (for a 4-3 defense) everyone seems to be drooling over at this point is Michael Johnson out of Georgia Tech, but I feel a bit uneasy about a guy who even in college is only being used on passing downs. I don’t want to draft a “3rd-down only” player at the top of the first round. Maybe Johnson will show himself to have all-around potential, but I’d be cautious. Then again, I’m not a professional NFL personnel man.

    I’m hoping for another top-flight offensive lineman. Teams are built at the line of scrimmage. Branden Albert looks to be a good player, but Brian Waters is going to turn 32 in a couple of months, and the Chiefs are pretty shaky at every other spot along the line.

    My own dream draft scenario? The Chiefs take a blue-chip offensive tackle like Andre Smith or Eugene Monroe in the Top-5, then jump back up into the bottom of Round 1 and pick offensive guard Duke Robinson out of Oklahoma. The addition of a stud tackle would allow Branden Albert to stay at tackle or move to guard, and would improve 3 spots on the line with 2 picks.

    My own two cents.

    —Tim


  • December 5, 2008  - A Pacific Chief says:

    My dream draft scenario, is to be able to trade down and pick up an additional 3rd round pick. Hoping that Derrick Johnson proves more successful at MLB than WLB. We then can take OLB Brian Cushing or MLB Lauranitis with our 1st round pick, and trade up in front of Detroit then take QB Graham Harrell. The two 3rd picks then could be used on the BPA at O-Line.


  • December 5, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    I do not like it but the defense is really bad, still. The chiefs cannot ignor the fact that the defense line is full of top picks who are not doing their job even though they have played together over half a season (i know Hali was moved to the other side but I did not do that nor did I tell the public he would do nicely for Allen) I do not know who to pick but with the exception of the CBs, the chiefs have not found a impact, stud player so I doubt herm and bill will find a defensive player who can help in 2009.

    Cottam looks ok but the chiefs took three years to even draft a replacement for Roaf and have not drafted for Shields yet…..so I trust you do not expect Cottam to replace an all pro HOF TE.


  • December 5, 2008  - Tim-may says:

    Hold on here. First, the Chiefs need defensive help big time, which could be addressed in free agency. I expect this team to try and go after some young defensive players in free agency (keeping with the youth movement). Second, if were drafting in the top 5, we can get a stud DE, or LB with our first pick, and pick up either good RT or RG in the second round. Then in the third round go for an OLB, or WR. Then in the fourth round again with WR or OLB, or G.

    Your forget Scott Fujita was picked in the fourth Round, Dave Szott was picked in the third or fourth round. Solid O-line and linebackers can be picked up in the later rounds.

    Now, then if TG retires, or if the Chiefs trade him to a contender in the offseason, we could go after MU Coffman? or OKst Pettigrew. I’m a lot higher on MU TE, just because of the volume of passes thrown to the TE.


  • December 5, 2008  - True Red and Gold says:

    The Safest 1st round pick will be at the OT position. I am in full favor of using it for just that. I would like to see another young Brandon Albert type on the OL.

    Gunther will work his butt off and the D will get better. They can do this with later picks.

    “2006 draft a bust”. If that is true I can’t think of a word that describes the four drafts before that.

    Herm and Kuharich have similar philosophies when it comes to drafting players and they work well together. It has been this combination that has improved our drafts.


  • December 5, 2008  - HOUSE says:

    The Chiefs are not going to spend top 5 pick money on a RT and I dont think they should move Albert to the right side. I think you must go w/ defense with the first round (DE or LB), pick up Herman Johnson with the 2nd round pick and insert him at RG. And then come back in the third with more defense (DE or LB).

    We all also need to consider what free agents might be added next year. My dream pick ups are Terrell Suggs and/or Jonathan Vilma. How nice would that be…

    RE Suggs, DT Dorsey, DT Tyler, LE Orakpo, OLB Johnson, MLB Vilma, OLB (3rd Round Pick), CB Flowers, CB Carr, Nickle Leggett, S Pollard, S Page, Rotating Saftey Morgan


  • December 5, 2008  - Ian says:

    If we can get Andre Smith, Oher or Monroe in the first we should try and trade up or hope that Brandon Spikes from Florida is available in the early second, he is a MLB and is ranked pretty high on most draft boards and would fill a huge need. I really think getting an OT would allow Albert to be a pro bowler at another position, I also believe that somewhere in this draft we need to draft someone to eventually replace Brian Waters, Our line was in shambles because we did not draft replacements for Willie Roaf or Will Shields, we need to make sure that when Waters leaves that we will be okay.


  • December 5, 2008  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    HOUSE

    Rin sees the humor in many things…unintentional as well otherwise. As such, chuckled at the thot your man HJ being literally interpreted, follows -

    “pick up Herman Johnson with the 2nd round pick and insert him at RG.”

    - Herm sounds like something one could place in their nose- insert, your verbiage – to clear up the ‘runs’ problem as it were (as in what’s been a highly contagious case over the last few fall seasons- not so much a case iron poor blood tho that too a symptom the march of time veteran or several, more so as in & via a talent deficient offensine line.

    (SPONSOR MESSAGE)

    “Yes friends pick up some ‘Herman Johnson’ today at one of our several IN-convenient locations in the greater Southern California area.

    Normally, HJ sells for the low, low price of but a mid 1st round pick -BUT- if you act act ‘right now’, we will also throw in a very sharp looking & convenient contract carrying case, & a limited five-year (5) warranty that covers any defects in rating, performance, workmanship as well failure any to perform and please the buyer via unforseen breakdowns in blocking the rush of irritants that attempt to down one’s spirits (translation: QBs.)Y e s . . . all this’ friends for the LOW – LOW bargain basement price of only a 2nd round pick. Where else can you find a deal like this?

    HJ has also been “scientifically proven” in lab testing (Mel Kiper’s table-top draft prospectus)tho not yet approved via formal FDA/NFL blessing to cure those teams suffering from ‘cold spells’ as in bad drafts that come on suddenly and even over time, this according to the latest studies.

    Who needs Geritol or any old first round OT out there…we have Herman Johnson! Draft- er, act now. Get some…today! ”

    :-)


  • December 5, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    Sorry I see no reason to believe the chiefs will even try for any big name veterans. Vilma or whoever are not wanted on a team that need at least 3 more years to get the young players near ready to compete in the NFL (remember the chiefs saved over 30 mil by not signing free agents the year and there is no reason to believe they will not repeat the same in 2009).

    Secondly why would any free agent come to KC?? The team is not headed for a superbowl in 2009 so no ring. If the chiefs overpaid, maybe but why would they?

    I still do not get the love affair with Dorsey, looks like a solid journeyman to me, and now Morgan, who the coach says is not ready for the NFL. Why all the love?? Blind hope I guess.

    Looking at the draft I just hope we get more players who do not “lose their concentration” during their hard work period 16 times a season (Bowe, Dorsey, and DJ).


  • December 5, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    Hello all my future looking chiefs fans. Cant say I blame ya, though.

    First off, going young through the draft is great, but speculation at this point is a fun practice but breeds no real answers. This is a view of a MINOR piece of the draft pie.

    Also, we need veteran help on the team. RDE, MLB, FB are all positions we could fill with talented players that can make team better immediately. Jonathan Vilma is a solid MLB that will be a free agent next year. No reason to come to KC???? you may remember that his best years with the JETS came under HERMAN. DE spot is a position that almost always goes to the highest bidder….we have money to spend. JULIUS PEPPERS is a headliner guy, but probably not our guy. We need help, but guys will be out there. We need to develop depth at all positions. And dont forget, RB will be a big deal next season. WE will let LJ go, and not have to deal with CAP penalties because of his suspension and the fact that it allows us to void his contract. Look to that spot too.


  • December 5, 2008  - findthedr says:

    Kinda agree with you IT guy.

    I dont want the chiefs to spend their 1st round pick on a DE because those guys dont appear worthy of the pick, and will likely take a couple years to develop (like Dorsey) and the chiefs need someone who can immediately produce.


  • December 5, 2008  - tm1946 says:

    IT guy, would you explain you last two sentences. LJ’s suspension effects the CAP?? I might be misinformed by the Cap hit is based on his signing bonus and that does not change due to release or suspension. Vick is in prison and get to keep his signing bonus, court decision. So I would think the cap hit would remain the same no matter what.


  • December 5, 2008  - TimInKC says:

    “tm1946 says:
    Sorry I see no reason to believe the chiefs will even try for any big name veterans. Vilma or whoever are not wanted on a team that need at least 3 more years to get the young players near ready to compete in the NFL (remember the chiefs saved over 30 mil by not signing free agents the year and there is no reason to believe they will not repeat the same in 2009).”

    I don’t see any reason to rule out the notion that the Chiefs won’t pursue some free agents. The idea that the Chiefs are “at least 3 more years” away is rather silly, considering the abundant evidence that proves how quickly teams can be turned around in the NFL. Teams routinely go from “worst to first” in the NFL from one season to the next. Perpetuating the “it’s going to be at least a couple more years” notion doesn’t really change that.

    “Secondly why would any free agent come to KC?? The team is not headed for a superbowl in 2009 so no ring. If the chiefs overpaid, maybe but why would they?”

    Because free agents are interested in money. I’m not saying that as a knock to the players, it’s just a fact. Michael Turner, the top free agent running back last offseason, signed a big-money deal with the Atlanta Falcons, who were coming off of a 4-12 season and had some bleak prospects heading into this season before their surprising run with a rookie head coach and rookie quarterback. Several highly-touted free agents signed with the New York Jets last offseason, following a 4-12 season. It’s a routine event for top-level free agents to sign with teams that are coming off of very bad seasons. I realize you currently have a fairly negative opinion of the Chiefs, but that does not discount how things regularly transpire in the NFL.

    “I still do not get the love affair with Dorsey, looks like a solid journeyman to me, and now Morgan, who the coach says is not ready for the NFL. Why all the love?? Blind hope I guess.”

    There’s nothing quite like burying a draft choice 12 games into their career, right? Since every Pro Bowl player plays at a peak level in their rookie season, right? I mean, if a player doesn’t play like a stud 12 games into his first season of pro football, then he’ll never develop into an oustanding player, right? Players who are good never start slowly. That never happens. Just look at the guy the Chiefs drafted 13th overall in 1997. He was the 13th pick in the first round of the draft, and he didn’t even starts a single game his rookie season. He only managed 33 receptions, 368 yards, and 2 touchdowns. That guy turned out to be quite a bust, didn’t he? Oh…wait…he actually ended up being statistically the greatest tight end who has ever played professional football. Good thing he wasn’t judged on his production 12 games into his rookie season, huh?

    Look, as I said, I see that you don’t like Carl Peterson, you don’t like Herm Edwards, you don’t think the Chiefs are heading in a good direction, etc. That said, simply because you view things negatively, it doesn’t mean everything is quite as dismal or bleak as you see it.

    —Tim


  • December 5, 2008  - True Red and Gold says:

    tm1946 is way off on the free agent signings just as Tim points out. I can think of more reasons why a player would want to sign with the Chiefs than not. 1. They have money to spend 2. Players in this league want to play for Herm 3. The chances of them having a starting role are good. 4. Many players like the idea of being a piece of a building process. No, players wanting to come here is not the problem. The problem is that the Chiefs are so selective on who they are willing to pay.

    tm1946 is just another one of those guys that thrives on all of the negative. I say knock yourself out, there is plenty of where that came from.


  • December 5, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    I apologize. I know they can void his contract after this year, which means they can release him without paying him the rest of the non-guaranteed money left on the contract….plz forgive.
    And True RED and Gold makes great points. The last few years have been slim pickens for really solid players. Most of the Free Agents we had a shot at were at positions not in flux (RB) or are way overpriced (Alan Faneca and Deangelo Hall). Trades or draft was where most teams made hay.
    We all have a long ways to go, and the negativity will not die until the chiefs make it to a super bowl. But fortunately the team doesnt pay as much attention to it as we do.


  • December 5, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    Scratch that Deangelo Hall comment, we had a shot at trading for him, but the price was to high.


  • December 5, 2008  - TimInKC says:

    ” The I.T. guy says: We all have a long ways to go, and the negativity will not die until the chiefs make it to a super bowl. But fortunately the team doesnt pay as much attention to it as we do.”

    Well, actually, the negativity will never, ever die down. Even if the Chiefs were to win the Superbowl next season, the season after that, and the season after THAT, there would still be people complaining about something. It’s just the nature of sports fans, unfortunately.

    —Tim


  • December 5, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    Well, you got me Tim….I guess what i meant is we’d be upset about not winning all 16 games and the superbowl…..seems like a better problem to have….


  • December 5, 2008  - TimInKC says:

    I understand what you’re saying, I.T.

    Just look at what’s going around with some of the fans in Boston. The Patriots have won 3 Superbowls in this decade, and finished 16-0 in the regular season last year, but now there are some Patriots fans talking about wanting to trade Tom Brady. Sports fans are amusing.

    —Tim


  • December 5, 2008  - The I.T. guy says:

    agreed sir. they take sports to seriously at times. I am going to the game in KC on the 14 when we play the limp lightning bolts. I know that its going to be a rough game, and cold, and chances are we are going to lose. But, Im going to Tailgate, hang with my buddies, and try and enjoy myself. Thats what sports is about for FANS. You cant live or die by what your team does….ruins your week for the real stuff.


  • December 5, 2008  - The Dude says:

    JohnNdallas, Croyle not a bust? Granted he was a 3rd round pick but the guy for one played in 2 games this year and not only didn’t finish either game he hasn’t won as a starter… EVER!!! He’s 0-7 and cannot stay healthy. But Pollard and Page I agree aren’t busts. Yes they take poor tackling angles but that can be taught and worked on, and I think that they have the will to become better players. Pollard being a liability in coverage so is Roy Williams of Dallas but he’s regarded as a great safety, mainly because he’s great for run support. I will say I have faith in this team. I believe that Herm will build a great team but I think some other coach will bring us to the promised land and get us the Lombardi.




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