The KC Chiefs have had some pretty great first round picks in their long franchised history.
This is the time of year where people start talking about draft busts frequently, but what about the guys who excelled for their team? The Chiefs have had some pretty great picks, some of whom even spent their entire career in Kansas City.
The cool part about all of this is that some of the Chiefs’ best first round draft picks are still playing for Kansas City today. There are three of those guys on this list, and hopefully more are on the way in the coming years.
A lot was put into consideration when ranking these players. I looked at overall career accomplishments, how long the player was with the Chiefs, where the player ranks all-time at their position, whether or not they’re in either the Chiefs Hall of Fame or Pro Football Hall of Fame, and other factors.
All of these guys were fantastic NFL players, and hopefully those reading enjoy this list.
*EDITOR’S NOTE – THIS POST WAS INITIALLY PUBLISHED IN 2016 AND WAS UPDATED IN FEBRUARY 2021*
Best First Round Picks by the Chiefs – Honorable Mention: Dale Carter (Chiefs cornerback from 1992-1998)
In the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Dale Carter out of the University of Tennessee with the 20th overall pick. He had a great rookie season with the Chiefs in 1992, with seven interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and recovered two fumbles.
Carter’s rookie year was so impressive that it earned him the 1992 NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year Award for his efforts. Carter also made it to four Pro Bowls while with the Chiefs (1994-1997) and was named to two All-Pro teams (1995 and 1996).
He had 21 interceptions during seven seasons in Kansas City, but had off the field issues throughout his time here. He later signed with the Denver Broncos on what was (at the time) the largest deal ever given to a cornerback at $22.8 million.
Carter went on to fizzle out with the Broncos, not even playing in the 2000 season and finished out his career in Minnesota, New Orleans, and Baltimore before hanging up the cleats after the 2005 season.
Despite his poor stats with the other teams, Carter was great with the Chiefs. He’s still considered one of the best cornerbacks in Chiefs history and just missed out on the top 15 best first round draft picks ever.