The 100 Best Chiefs of All-Time: #1 – 50

The NFL Network has its 100 best players for the 2011 season, with the top 10 released over the July 4th holiday weekend.

So we decided to bring you the 100 best players in Chiefs history. Why? Because we can and we have no desire to write more stories about the NFL lockout as it hopefully crawls to a conclusion.

On Wednesday, it was No. 51 through No. 100, from FB Tony Richardson to LB Derrick Johnson. The list can be checked out right here if you missed the post.

On top of the 100 are three Hall of Fame defenders in LB Bobby Bell (left), LB Willie Lanier (center) and DT Buck Buchanan (right).

Again, remember this caveat – there are no correct answers when creating a list like this one. It’s personal opinion, nothing more. I expect to hear discussion, suggestions and corrections. Let me know what you think of the best in Chiefs history from the first to the 100th player.

#

Player

Years

Games

Comment

1.

LB Bobby Bell

1963-74

168

1st KC player in Hall of Fame and one of football’s greatest LBs.

2.

DT Buck Buchanan

1963-75

182

He was the emotional leader of the great KC defenses.

3.

LB Willie Lanier

1967-77

149

Hard-hitting, cerebral, he was explosion in the middle.

4.

QB Len Dawson

1962-75

182

Rescued off the scrap heap by Stram; great accuracy.

5.

G Ed Budde

1963-76

177

Voted among the best players in history of the 10-year AFL.

6.

WR Otis Taylor

1965-75

130

His Super Bowl IV TD catch is signature KC play.

7.

CB Emmitt Thomas

1966-78

181

Leads team in INTs and was money in the playoffs.

8.

OT Jim Tyrer

1961-73

180

Voted among the best in the history of the AFL.

9.

FS Johnny Robinson

1960-71

164

Started as RB in ’60, moved to DB and was sensational.

10.

OLB Derrick Thomas

1989-99

169

A game changing pass rusher with his forced fumbles.

11.

G Will Shields

1993-2006

224

The most reliable player in KC history; played every game.

12.

DE Jerry Mays

1961-70

140

Dallas native was one of the AFL’s best defenders.

13.

TE Tony Gonzalez

1997-08

190

Best pass catching TE in NFL history and still going.

14.

LB-C E.J. Holub

1961-70

127

First on defense, then offense, he was a Chiefs leader.

15.

K Jan Stenerud

1967-79

186

The only pure kicker in the Hall of Fame.

16.

DT Curley Culp

1968-74

82

One of the top players to work at NT in his career.

17.

RB Priest Holmes

2001-07

65

Maybe the best UFA signing in KC history.

18.

CB Albert Lewis

1983-93

150

Among top 10 athletes in team annals; great punt blocker

19.

TE Fred Arbanas

1961-70

118

Veteran leader who provided blocking and sure hands.

20.

DE Neil Smith

1988-96

138

He played Butch to D.T.’s Sundance Kid.

21.

WR Chris Burford

1960-67

103

One of the first players to sign with Texans; he was a keeper.

22.

DE Art Still

1978-87

136

Remarkable athlete with size and quickness on the edge.

23.

P Jerrel Wilson

1963-77

103

Overshadowed by Ray Guy, his numbers were equal.

24.

FS Deron Cherry

1981-91

148

CFA that failed as punter, but became Pro Bowl FS.

25.

Abner Haynes

1960-64

65

The franchise’s first star, after a big rookie season in ’60.

#

Player

Years

Games

Comment

26.

QB Trent Green

2001-06

88

He was the triggerman on the most productive KC offense.

27.

WR Dante Hall

2000-06

97

Record setting returner with 11 return TDs.

28.

RB Ed Podolak

1969-77

104

Performance in playoffs vs. Miami ranks among NFL best.

29.

S Gary Barbaro

1976-82

101

On bad teams he was one of the best players.

30.

RB Christian Okoye

1987-92

79

The Nigerian Nightmare ran hard and caused pain.

31.

LB Jim Lynch

1967-77

151

Solid third man with Bell & Lanier on Super defense at LB.

32.

CB Kevin Ross

1984-93

156

Ranks as one of the team’s best late round choices.

33.

C Jack Rudnay

1970-82

178

Undersized, he survived on guile & heart at Pro Bowl level.

34.

WR Henry Marshall

1976-87

165

Underrated Mizzou receiver who battled injuries.

35.

LB Gary Spani

1978-86

124

The franchise’s leading tackler, stuck forever at 999 stops.

36.

RB Larry Johnson

2003-09

75

Big, bruising and troubled runner who faded quickly.

37.

DT Dan Saleaumua

1989-96

125

A big fan favorite after coming to the Chiefs as free agent.

38.

OT Dave Hill

1963-74

150

Solid blocker who was there for a pair of Super Bowls.

39.

G Brian Waters

2000-10

163

One of the best position moves in team history – TE to OL.

40.

LB Sherrill Headrick

1960-67

108

Known as “Pyscho” to his teammates, he set early tone.

41.

WR Carlos Carson

1980-89

120

Smallish receiver blossomed in Mackovic offense.

42.

CB Dale Carter

1992-98

104

Possibly the best athlete in team history.

43.

OT John Alt

1984-96

179

Back problems hurt the start of his career but he overcame.

44.

RB Jamaal Charles

2008-10

47

Explosive, game changer who still has touches ahead.

45.

DE Jared Allen

2004-07

61

A mid-round find became one of the NFL’s best pass rushers.

46.

CB Gary Green

1977-83

100

Confident, loquacious DB who played with aggression.

47.

SS Lloyd Burruss

1981-91

145

With Cherry, Lewis and Ross, he formed 4-star secondary.

48.

FB Kimble Anders

1991-2000

125

When offense went West Coast, he became a factor.

49.

OT Willie Roaf

2002-05

58

Finished out his career with strong 4 years with Chiefs.

50.

DE/OLB Tamba Hali

2006-10

79

Climbing after a smooth position transition to OLB.


21 Responses to “The 100 Best Chiefs of All-Time: #1 – 50”

  • July 7, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    Chris Burford @ 21? He was kind of a poor man’s Raymond Berry with sure hands and good routes but seemed to have an ongoing feud with Lenny. The ranking seems high, given the achievements of some who are lower on the list, but we’ll live with it because he was important to the team in its early stages.


  • July 7, 2011  - RW says:

    A case can be made in any number of different groupings but my personal Chief’s Mt Rushmore would have these faces in stone:

    Lenny Dawson-Otis Taylor-DT-Willie Lanier


  • July 7, 2011  - CR says:

    What about Daryl Stroud


  • July 7, 2011  - goot says:

    What about Marcus Allen? He was one of the leaders throughout the great decade of the 90′s.


  • July 7, 2011  - Adam says:

    What About Montana?


  • July 7, 2011  - SG says:

    Not that he isn’t great – but J-Charles – doesn’t he have a bit more to accomplish over a longer period of time include maybe leading his team to a win in the playoffs before we can rank him over some of the guys you have below him?

    Joe Montana, on the other hand, alongside Marcus Allen, led his team to AFC Championship against the vaunted Buffalo Bills. He was an injury and a dropped red zone pass by Kimble Anders from giving them Cowboys a different SB opponent. And that’s not even to mention the great MNF football comeback over Elway’s Broncos. I don’t see him in the Top 20…the Top 40…the Top 60…wait he’s not even on the list??


  • July 7, 2011  - aPauled says:

    DT has gotta be in the Top 5, probably plug him in at #3 or #4.

    Will Shields should be higher as well, probably #9 or #10, either before or after Jim Tyrer.


  • July 7, 2011  - Blake says:

    I would put DT, Tony G, and Will Shields higher on the list.


  • July 7, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    Willie Roaf 49? Please. He made DE’s disappear. If KC had a defense when he played he would be a first ballot Hall of Fame. Definitely one of the top five OT’s to play in the NFL.


  • July 7, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    THE PRIEST should have EASILY been in the top 5 if not @ # 1!!!!! LONG LIVE THE PRIEST!!!!! GO MIGHTY CHIEFS GO!!!!!


  • July 7, 2011  - Richard says:

    Dante Hall at 27?? Really?? common now..


  • July 7, 2011  - Matt says:

    Larry Johnson is on this list. Seriously?


  • July 8, 2011  - PAChiefsFan says:

    Unless I missed his name, didn’t Joe Montana wear the red and gold? Yes. Should be on the list.


  • July 8, 2011  - Gump says:

    I would have Cherry and Alt higher.


  • July 8, 2011  - J_Elvis says:

    There are quite a few that require a WTF….You have done your job of getting discussion on creating a list like this..LOL…I just can’t believe it almost appears you ranked people YET on “Potential” like guys as Mike Bell, Dewayne Bowe and my God – Greg Wesley…he was horrible!!

    Where’s Keith Cash..? Where is Barry Word..? … There are quite a few 90′s era players getting missed here that really achieved more than those listed here….

    Appreciate stirring the pot… :-)


  • July 9, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    Never heard of Daryl Stroud, but if Jonathan Hayes can make the list then surely Morris Stroud can.


  • July 9, 2011  - RickyP says:

    Sorry, forgot to log-in. That Morris Stroud comment was mine.


  • July 10, 2011  - brainsmasher says:

    Nice selections. I cannot disagree with any of them; except I would have Willie Roaf higher on the list–probably in the top half. I know he only played a few years for the Chiefs at the tail end of his career; but I haven’t seen a better blocking or pulling lineman not named Gene Upshaw or Art Shell.


  • July 14, 2011  - Ben says:

    I don’t know a great deal about the Chiefs before the Trent Green/Dick Vermeil era so I will not try to make an argument for Tony G to be number one because I don’t have all the information. I will however ask why Tony Richardson didn’t make the list. Without knowing how good anyone who played before I started watching truly was, I’ll stick with player’s I’ve seen play every down in the Red and Gold. Mr. “make any running back look like a star” has to make the list over Dante Hall and Larry Johnson. Hall was a great return man and we probably averaged the best starting field position in team history with him receiving kicks, but he was an awful receiver. Johnson was a monster for a few years but loses points for beating on women and only being good for a few years. On a side note, thanks for making the list. I love reading up on Chiefs’ History and this is a great learning tool.


  • July 17, 2011  - paulkcc says:

    Joe Montana and Marcus Allen should definitely be on this list. The fact that they spent most of their time somewhere else and were on the downside of HOF careers, doesn’t change the fact that their time in KC was filled with memorable performances.


  • August 2, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    Will Shields should be much higher. SAme with Derrick Thomas and Tony G.




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