Top 50 Kansas City Chiefs

The story of the Kansas City Chiefs begins in Dallas where they were a charter member of the American Football League as the Dallas Texans and in their third year of existence, they won the title, which coincided as being their final year in Dallas.

Relocating to Kansas City and redubbed the Chiefs they would win the AFL title again in 1966 and that was the year of Super Bowl I, where they would represent the league against the Green Bay Packers.  They didn’t win, but they would win the final AFL Title in 1969 and this time they would beat their NFL counterpart, the Minnesota Vikings to win Super Bowl IV, though that would be their last title for decades. 

After 1971, it would be 15 years before they would return to the playoffs and by the 1990’s they would do well making the playoffs seven times that decade, although they never went deep into the postseason.  The 2000s would see more of the same with multiple trips to the playoffs, but it felt like they were perpetually slotted in the second tier.  This would all change with the arrival of Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.

The electric QB led the Chiefs to a win in Super Bowl LIV, and they appeared in the big game the following season, though they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

The Chiefs remain a top-profile team with one of the best fan bases in sports.

This list is up to the end of the 2021 regular season.

Note: Football lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.

We certainly could have made a case for Len Dawson at the top of this list.  There is also merit to stating that Dawson was the greatest Quarterback in the AFL throughout the 1960’s.
Derrick Thomas was the fourth overall Draft Pick out of The University of Alabama where he was the Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top Linebacker.  That defensive prowess translated to the pro game immediately as he would be named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1989 and was chosen for what would be his first of nine Pro…

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Tony Gonzalez is arguably the greatest Tight End in NFL history and even if you don’t agree with that you can’t dispute that he was the most successful in terms of offensive potency.
In terms of athleticism, Bobby Bell was well ahead of his time as he was a larger athlete (though he would not be considered that today) with blistering speed.  Bell was named the Outland Trophy winner at the University of Minnesota and when the Chiefs drafted him late in the 1963 Draft they may not have expected to sign him,…
The Kansas City Chiefs have had their share of great players on the Offensive Line, but there is one who stands above the rest; Will Shields.
Buck Buchanan was a proven force at Grambling; so much so that the Kansas City Chiefs made him the first overall draft pick in the 1963 AFL Draft, the first time a black player was chosen at that spot.
If you are reading this from the top to the bottom you are probably realizing that the late 60’s/early 70’s Kansas City Defense was pretty damned good and here we are with another defensive stud from that era in our top ten.
Jim Tyrer was definitely the top Offensive Lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs throughout the 1960s and there is a case to be made that he was among the top tier in the AFL.  Tyrer was a First Team AFL All-Pro five times (and also a First Team All-Pro twice) and a vital part of the O-Line that protected Len…
Yep…another defensive star from the late ’60s/early ’70s.  Johnny Robinson is arguably the greatest Safety in Kansas City Chief history though he did not start his professional career that way.
Another defensive superstar from the 1960s, Jerry Mays came out of SMU and in his second season was already an AFL All-Star and an AFL Champion, assisting the then Dallas Texans win an AFL Championship.  Incredibly agile, Mays would be an AFL All-Star at both Defensive End and Defensive Tackle, Mays was a six-time All-Star and one time Pro Bowl…
Emmitt Thomas is the franchise leader in Interceptions (58, one more than Johnny Robinson) and was a two-time league leader in that statistic (1969 & 1974).  Making a case as the greatest Cornerback in Chiefs history, Thomas played thirteen of his NFL seasons with Kansas City and he was named to the AFL All-Star Team once (’68) and was a…
Ed Budde is another member of the Super Bowl IV and 1966 AFL Championship team that has earned a high spot on this list.  The longtime Left Guard started every game from 1963 to 1971 and was a five-time AFL All-Star and two time Pro Bowl Selection.  Budde was especially singled out for his handling of opposing end, Alan Page…
When you are a Tight End for the Kansas City Chiefs you can realistically only hope to be the second-best ever in franchise history due to the greatness of first ballot Hall of Famer, Tony Gonzalez.  That being said, Travis Kelce is currently the top producing Tight End in the NFL and is currently on a four year Pro Bowl…
Derrick Johnson played 182 Games in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform after being drafted 15th Overall in 2005.  The former Dick Butkus Award winner from the University of Texas did not start out flashy but for his first five seasons he was a dependable Outside Linebacker.  He would move to Inside Linebacker in the 2010 season and from 2010 to…
Originally from Liberia, Tamba Hali arrived in the United States at age 10 and the athletically gifted youngster took to football like a duck to water.  Hali went to Penn State and the Chiefs would draft him 20th overall in 2006 and he played Defensive End for the first three seasons of his career.  Moving to the Right Outside Linebacker…
Deron Cherry was a team MVP at Rutgers where he was both a Safety and a Punter.  He went undrafted in 1981 however was signed as a Free Agent by the Chiefs where he attempted to become the team’s Punter.  It didn’t stick but he was brought back to tryout at Safety and the rest as they say is history.
Neil Smith was the second overall pick in the 1988 Draft and the former Nebraska Cornhusker would emerge as the star Defensive End for the Chiefs for years.  Smith was a Pro Bowler from 1991 to 1995 and in those last four years, he finished double digits in the Sack department.  His best total was in 1993 when he finished…
In the period where Otis Taylor played (in relation to the Kansas City Chiefs) the defensive skills of the team were clearly the stars.  This did not mean that there were not offensively capable players for KC as players like Otis Taylor can prove that to be the case.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been around a long time, and many Hall of Famers have called KC home.  This would you make you expect that a player that has only suited up for a few years as a Chief could not crack this list so high, so early. Patrick Mahomes was not aware of this expectation. Taken with the 10th Pick…