The Best Kansas City Chiefs Of All Time

Over 5.2K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Kansas City Chiefs Of All Time
Voting Rules
Please rank the players based on their time with the Chiefs

This is a list of the best Kansas City Chiefs of all time. Founded by football pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Kansas City Chiefs were originally the Dallas Texans. The franchise started in 1960, but moved to KC in 1963. The Chiefs had some of the best players in the AFL during those early days. Many of the greatest players in Chiefs history were on these teams. Superstars like Len Dawson, Buck Buchanan, Abner Haynes and Otis Taylor were on the Chiefs during the formative days of the franchise. With the foundation of the team in place, the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV with a convincing 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.That Chiefs team is considered one of the best teams in franchise history.

After those initial glory years, the Chiefs wallowed in the NFL wilderness for years. The late '80s saw the Chiefs draft two of the greatest players in team history, including one of the best linebackers ever. Beginning with Neil Smith in 1988, the Chiefs hit the jackpot when they drafted superstar linebacker Derrick Thomas in 1989. Thomas was one of the most feared defensive players in the league and along with Buchanan, is considered one of the best Chiefs of all time.

This list of the best Kansas City Chiefs dates back to the team's formation in 1995. If you notice someone who is missing from this list of all time Chiefs, feel free to add him. Vote or rerank this list of the greatest Chiefs ever according to who you think should be considered the best in franchise history, then head over and check out the top Chiefs kickers ever and best Chiefs tight ends.

Most divisive: Dino Hackett
Ranked by
  • Patrick Mahomes

    Patrick Mahomes

    2,138 votes
    • Birthplace: Tyler, Texas
    • Teams: Kansas City Chiefs

    Patrick Mahomes II, a true game-changer for the Chiefs, has taken the NFL by storm with his uncanny ability to make jaw-dropping plays under pressure. His innovative playing style, including the no-look pass and sidearm throws, causes opposing defenses to scramble to find ways to contain him. As the face of the franchise, Mahomes continues to build on his already remarkable legacy, aiming to lead Kansas City to many more championships.

  • Derrick Thomas
    2,436 votes
    • Birthplace: Miami, Florida
    • Age: Dec. at 33 (1967-2000)
    • Teams: Alabama Crimson Tide Football, Kansas City Chiefs

    Derrick Thomas remains a legend among Kansas City Chiefs fans, thanks to his undisputed dominance as a pass-rusher and his relentless pursuit of quarterbacks. Often referred to as a "sack machine," Thomas was a key reason for the Chiefs' defensive prowess in the 1990s, striking fear into the hearts of opponents whenever he took the field. Though sadly, Thomas's career was cut short by a tragic accident, his impact on the game is still felt today as a model for aspiring defensive players.

  • Tony Gonzalez
    Tight end
    2,312 votes
    • Birthplace: Torrance, California
    • Age: 47
    • Teams: Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons

    Tony Gonzalez revolutionized the tight end position in his time with the Chiefs, making it a weapon offensive coordinators had to account for. His reputation for having soft hands and a knack for picking apart defenses made him a nightmare matchup for opponents. The impact of Gonzalez's stellar career can still be felt today, as modern tight ends often model their game after his trailblazing style of play.

  • Travis Kelce

    Travis Kelce

    Tight end
    1,724 votes
    • Birthplace: Westlake, Ohio, USA
    • Age: 33
    • Teams: Kansas City Chiefs

    A linchpin in the Chiefs' high-powered offense, Travis Kelce exhibits unmatched versatility as a tight end, with an innate ability to create mismatches against defenses. Known for his crisp route running and impressive ball skills, Kelce has securely established himself as one of the league's best receiving threats. His undeniable synergy with quarterback Patrick Mahomes constantly fuels the Chiefs' success as they remain perennial championship contenders.

  • Len Dawson
    1,684 votes
    • Birthplace: Alliance, Ohio, USA
    • Age: 88
    • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs

    Len Dawson stands as one of the most iconic figures in Chiefs' history, leading the franchise to its first Super Bowl victory in 1970. Known for his pinpoint accuracy and decision-making, Dawson controlled the game as an exemplary field general. Dawson's impact on the game and the Chiefs organization is still palpable today, cementing him as one of the all-time greats.

  • Will Shields

    Will Shields

    1,517 votes
    • Birthplace: Fort Riley, Kansas
    • Age: 52

    The epitome of consistency, Will Shields manned the Chiefs' offensive line with incredible skill, unwavering dedication, and an unmatched work ethic. His ability to protect the quarterback and pave the way for running backs made him a critical component of Kansas City's offensive successes throughout his tenure. When reflecting on the finest offensive linemen in league history, there's no doubt that Shields holds a rightful spot among the elite.