Top five wide receivers in Chiefs franchise history

Throughout the entire Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs history, there has been some phenomenal talents to represent the Hunt family. Some of the top talents have come at the WR position.

The current and reigning Super Bowl Champs, Chiefs team has one of the league’s best WR groups. Tyreek Hill leads this phenomenal group that also consists of Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson.

Let’s take a deep look into the top five WR in franchise history.

5. Chris Burford (1960-1967)

Burford was the first-round and inaugural pick for the Dallas Texans in the first AFL Draft in 1960. He was an All-American at Stanford University, leading the NCAA in receptions in his final collegiate season with 61.

Burford played for the Texans/Chiefs from 1960 to 1967. He was the team’s leading receiver in each of his first four seasons, including a franchise record and AFL-leading 12 receiving touchdowns in 1962. This record lasted for over 45 years before being beaten by Dwayne Bowe in 2010. His 1962 performance earned him an AFL-Star Honors.

His best season came in 1963, where he recorded 824 yards and nine touchdowns in only 14 games. Over his career, Burford was a two-time AFL champion, along with his All-Star season in 1962.

Burford was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 175, becoming the first WR ever to obtain this accomplishment. He currently ranks eighth all-time in receiving yards with over 5,500 yards and ranks third all-time in receiving touchdowns in receiving touchdowns with 55.

4. Carlos Carson (1980-1989)

Carson was selected by the Chiefs the fifth round of the 1980 NFL Draft out of LSU. Over his three-year career with the Tigers, he averaged over 19 yards per reception.

The one thing about Carson that was known early on is that he had tremendous talent. In his second and third season combined, he averaged almost 20 yards per reception. This display of game-changing ability led to an increased focus and role in the future years.

His fourth season with the Chiefs was where he put everyone on notice. Carson exploded for 1,351 yards and seven touchdowns on 80 receptions. His career-season in 1983 got him his first Pro Bowl selection. His 1,351 yards were the most in a single season in franchise history, and he held that record for 17 years.

From that 1983 season through the 1987 season, Carson averaged almost 1,000 yards per season, achieving the 1,000-yard mark three times. His best season was yet to come and it came in 1987.

In 1987, Carson reached 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns in only 12 games, averaging 87 yards each game. His stellar play led to his second Pro Bowl nomination of his career. Following the 1987 season, he began to fall off and would not finish his career in KC.

Carson played a vital role for KC with his game-changing and big-play, ability. He holds his place all over Chiefs record books, ranking sixth in receiving yards with 6,360 yards, and first all-time in average yards per reception at an astonishing 18.1 yards. His play earned him a spot in the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2017.

3. Dwayne Bowe (2007-2014)

Dwayne Bowe was one of those players who had all the talent and tangibles to be great: size, speed, athleticism, and body control. He was selected with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Chiefs out of LSU.

Over his four years with the Tigers, Bowe recorded 2,403 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns on 154 total receptions. His size and athleticism drew attraction from Kansas City. Bowe stood at 6’2″ and 220 pounds with great speed and agility that would become a problem for opposing secondaries.

Bowe made an impact right away in his rookie year with just under 1,000 yards receiving and five touchdowns. This was only the start for Bowe as he continue to develop and improve.

From 2008-2012, Bowe led all wide receivers in receptions in each season. Over those five seasons, Bowe eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving three times, with his best season coming in 2010.

In 2010, Bowe set career-highs in receiving yards and touchdowns. His 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns led him to his lone Pro Bowl selection in his career. The 15 receiving touchdowns in 2010 set a franchise record, breaking Chris Burford’s record that lasted nearly half a century.

Bowe was a dominant receiver for the Chiefs over his career. He has career totals of 532 catches for 7,203 yards and 44 touchdowns. Bowe ranks second all-time in franchise history in receptions, third all-time in receiving yards, and fifth all-time in receiving touchdowns. Bowe is a soon to be Chiefs Ring of Honor member and is an all-time great at the WR position.

2. Tyreek Hill (2016-Present)

Tyreek Hill has not been with the Chiefs for a long time, but he has certainly made an impact and is one of the league’s best WRs in the NFL right now. The Chiefs fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft has already become an all-time great in Chiefs history and is a true steal out of the University of West Alabama.

Hill began his college career at Garden City Community College before signing with Oklahoma State. Hill played one season with the Cowboys, recording 815 total yards and two touchdowns. He would move on from OSU snd finish his collegiate career with Tiger of West Alabama, tallying 681 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season.

Over his collegiate career, Hill displayed elite speed and athleticism to become a true weapon for any offense and nightmare to opposing defenses. The Chiefs took a risk by drafting Hill, but they brought him in and Andy Reid and the rest of the coaching staff have turned him into one of the greatest weapons in the NFL.

In his rookie season, Hill put the league on notice with 1,452 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns, including 593 yards and 6 touchdowns through the air. From the very start, Hill possessed the extreme potential to become the next franchise WR.

Hill’s success only grew after his rookie year as he led the team in receiving yards the next two seasons, surpassing 1,000 yards in both seasons. He set a new franchise record for the most receiving yards in a single season with 1,479 yards to pair with his 12 touchdowns.

Hill has clearly made a name for himself in just four short seasons. He has put the entire league on notice and has put the pressure on the rest of the league to find a talent like him. Hill has been named to the Pro Bowl in each season of his career, a two-time First-Team All-Pro, and was on the receiving end of Super Bowl LIV’s biggest pass, and one the biggest receptions in Chiefs history. 

Hill has already put his name in the franchise history books as he currently ranks first all-time in franchise history for most receiving yards per game and 10th in career receiving yards with over 4,100 yards. For now, Hill is No. 2, but when it is all said and done, he could easily go down as the greatest WR in Chiefs history and one of the league’s most dangerous players ever.

1. Otis Taylor (1965-1975)

Otis Taylor is one of the most decorated players in franchise history, He was drafted by the Chiefs in the fourth round of the 1965 AFL Draft. However, his services were also wanted in the NFL as the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Taylor in the 15th round of the 1965 NFL Draft. Fortunately for the Chiefs organization and Chiefs Kingdom, Taylor chose to rep the red and gold in the AFL.

Taylor was a different breed of receiver for the Chiefs, his size and speed were completely unique for the 1960s. Head coach Hank Stram really liked Taylor and transitioned the offense to fit Taylor and make him a huge piece. This would show in his second season as Taylor shined with 1,297 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, with a league-leading and insane 22.4 yards per reception.

Taylor’s signature moment came in Super Bowl IV, when he clinched the Chiefs first Super Bowl victory and the AFL’s second Super Bowl win. The heavily favored Minnesota Vikings cut the Chiefs lead from 16 to 9 points, but QB and all-time great Len Dawson and Taylor responded on the next drive. On the second play of the the drive, Dawson hit Taylor in the flat, and he broke two tackles, taking it to the house for a 46-yard touchdown.

During his career with the Chiefs, Taylor put himself high up in the history books of franchise history. Taylor currently ranks second all-time in franchise history in receiving yards with 7,306 yards, second in career touchdowns with 55, and fifth in receptions with 410. He was a three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time AFL Champion, and a one-time Super Bowl champion. for now, he holds the top spot in franchise history, but his spot could soon be overtaken by No. 2, Tyreek Hill.