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3. Derrick Thomas

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 Bowls.  In his second season, he solidified himself as an elite defensive player in the league by going to what would be his first of three straight First Team All Pros and he would also lead the NFL in Sacks that year.

Thomas was clearly a dominating player on the field and off of it, he was known for his philanthropic efforts.  He was named the NFL Man of the Year (later renamed the Walter Payton Man of the Year) in 1993 because of it and it is not inaccurate to say that not only was he a fan favorite but a community hero.

Sadly Thomas was speeding on an icy interstate in January of 2000 and crashed causing paralysis below his chest.  He would die less than a month later.

Thomas would be posthumously elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.  In 2001r, the Chiefs inducted him into their Hall of Fame and retired his no. 58 in 2009.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Acquired: Drafted in the 1st Round, 4th Overall in the NFL Draft 4/23/89.
  • Departed: Died 2/8/00.
  • Games Played: 169
  • Notable Statistics:

    157 Games Started
    1 Interception
    20 Interception Yards
    19 Fumble Recoveries
    161 Fumble Recovery Yards
    4 Fumble Recovery Touchdowns
    126.5 Quarterback Sacks
    641 Combined Tackles
    272 Solo Tackles*
    42 Assisted Tackles*
    10 Tackles for Loss**
    134 Approximate Value


    *Solo Tackles and Assisted Tackles were not official stats until the 1994 Season.
    **Tackles for Loss was not a stat until the 1999 Season.

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    AP Defensive Rookie of the Year (1989)

    Walter Payton Man of the Year (1993)

    First Team All Pro (1990 & 1991)

    Second Team All Pro (1993, 1994 & 1996)

    Pro Bowl Selection (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 & 1997)

    Most Quarterback Sacks (1990)
Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2020 16:55
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0 #1 Michael Matic 2019-06-26 23:51
Please change University of Miami to University of ALABAMA!!!! Derrick Thomas one of the Greatest of Crimson Tide!!
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