The Chiefs have had their fair share of successes and failures in the history of the NFL Draft. No draft class is ever perfect, but here are some of the Chiefs finest ever.
Note: These are in no particular order
This class was a huge hit and miss. It was the start of “Sack Nation” with Chris Jones in the second round, but then in round three, they drafted a guy that didn’t even make it out of the preseason, KeiVarae Russell.
The next two rounds after Russell were just as weak with Parker Ehinger and Eric Murray selected back-to-back at picks 105 and 106. Both of these players were unable to make a splash on the Chiefs and never became solidified starters. Sure, they weren’t first-round picks, but it was still incredibly disappointing.
In the fourth round, the Chiefs finally get a slight hit again in the draft. They took Demarcus Robinson out of Florida, who has been a solid contributor these past few years for the Chiefs. He was part of the Super Bowl-winning team and has made some key plays in big games. He is likely to leave the team in the coming years, but he has been great while he’s lasted.
And now we get to the Chiefs huge steal of the draft, Tyreek Hill. He had some controversy during college that hurt his draft position, but this was still an amazing find by the Chiefs and Andy Reid. Hill has been an NFL superstar and appears to be entering his prime with Mahomes at QB.
Some could argue this is the Chiefs’ biggest steal of all time, so it’s the main reason why I’ve included it in the conversation for the best class of all time.
This next all-time great class comes three years before the NFL-AFL merger, so the Chiefs were not technically in the NFL yet. Many players drafted in 1963, though, went on the become NFL legends, and some of the Chiefs earliest superstars.
With the first overall pick in the draft, the Chiefs made a simple, yet excellent pick, and drafted Buck Buchanan. He went on to be named to eight pro bowls in his 13-year career, along with four all-pro nominations. Buchanan is most likely the Chiefs best DT of all time, but he’s also one of the best defensive players in their storied history.
Another one of the greatest defensive players in the Chiefs history came in the 7th round, with the selection of Bobby Bell. To say that Bobby Bell was a force to be reckoned with is a huge understatement. He was a six-time all-pro and a nine-time pro-bowler.
During his career, the NFL didn’t record sacks or tackles, but he still made up for it with plenty of interceptions at the LB position. He finished his 12-year career with 26, along with 6 defensive touchdowns. He started 155 of his 168 career games.
Apart from those two Hall of Fame players, the Chiefs still had a few great picks in the 1963 draft. Jerrel Wilson, the punter-running back hybrid, went to three pro-bowls in his career. Ed Budde, the guard, went to seven, along with two all-pro nominations.
Overall, the 1963 Kansas City Chiefs draft class had some all-time greats that set the foundations for future success. This class had two Hall of Famers and plenty more excellent players.
The final class on this list comes two years prior to 1963, so the Chiefs were still in the AFL for this draft as well. However, like 1963’s class, this had plenty of NFL stars.
With their 6th overall pick, they selected linebacker Ed Holub, who quickly became a consistent starter for the team. Through his first three years, he had only missed one game and started all the games he was available for. In those three years, he also accumulated 8 interceptions at the linebacker position.
After picking hall-of-fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly, who chose to go to the NFL Cowboys instead, the Chiefs picked offensive tackle, Jim Tyrer. He’s the blueprint for a reliable player, as he only didn’t start for 2 out of his 180 career games for the Chiefs. He was a 6x All-Pro and 9x Pro Bowler.
Some other excellent names to point out in this draft class are Curtis McClinton and Jerry Mays, both of whom were multi-time Pro-Bowlers. They were solid starters for the majority of their careers and provided great skills to the Chiefs 1969 Super Bowl-winning team.
In my personal opinion, these are the main three candidates for the best Chiefs draft class of all time, but I’m sure arguments could be made for others. That being said, these three are all incredibly solid and lead to many Chiefs legends and superstars. It’s up to you to decide which is the best, but you can’t really go wrong with any of the ones listed.