Top 10 Greatest Chiefs of All Time Pt. 1

Looking back at some of the greatest players in franchise history


Logen Myers

10. Emmitt Thomas, CB

Emmitt Thomas kicks off the first half of the best Chiefs players of all-time list. Thomas joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 1966. He would never look back as he went on to be the Chiefs all-time leader in interceptions with 58. Thomas dominated the league for 13 seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008. Thomas had a career-high 12 interceptions in 1974, two shy of the NFL record. Thomas is easily the best cornerback Kansas City has ever had. His jersey, number 18, was retired by the team.

9. Len Dawson, QB

Until recently, Len Dawson was regarded as the best quarterback in Chiefs history. He joined the Chiefs after a few backup roles with teams like the Steelers and Browns. That’s when his career really came to life. Dawson led the Chiefs to two Super Bowls, winning one in a huge upset against the Vikings. Dawson won Super Bowl MVP that game and went on to be the Chiefs all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, and just about every other significant QB stat. His number 16 was retired in 2009. Dawson was easily the best Chiefs QB of all time, until another player took the reins a few years ago.

8.Willie Lanier, LB

The Chiefs were one of the most feared defensives in the 1960s for a reason. In fact, two of those reasons are on this list. Linebacker Willie Lanier, nicknamed “contact,” was the first Black linebacker to play in the pro league. Lanier was known for his hard hits and fast playstyle. Outside of his first and last season, Lanier would intercept at least two passes a year. This middle linebacker was a pioneer for the entire league and would set the standard for some of the best players in NFL history. Lanier was a large reason why the Chiefs were such a dominant defense in the 60’s era.

7. Buck Buchanan, DT

Next on the list is another star from the 1960s Chiefs teams. Junious “Buck” Buchanan was drafted first overall in the 1963 draft. At a huge 6’7, Buchanan was known for batting down passes at the line of scrimmage, and being a monster in the trenches. He was the leader of the defensive line and played a big role in the team’s upset win against the Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Buchanan was one of the first true defensive tackles in league history and easily one of the best of all time. He would end up playing for 13 seasons. He was on the field for 182 games, including 166 straight. Buchanan was inducted into the HOF in 1990.

6. Travis Kelce, TE

The last player on this part one list is the current Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce is coming off a monster season, in which he broke the single-season receiving yards record for TE. Kelce put up a career-high in touchdowns, yards, and catches. More impressively, Kelce had his 5th straight 1,000-yard season, an NFL record for TE. Kelce is the fastest TE to 500, and the second-fastest to reach 7,000 career yards. Kelce has reached his prime at the perfect time, as he now has all-star QB Patrick Mahomes with him on the field. Kelce is on his way to becoming the greatest Chiefs TE of all time, and easily has a spot in the HOF waiting for him when he retires.