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.”