Head of the class: the best Chiefs drafts of all time

The Chiefs would be fortunate to have a draft as strong as they had in 1963, 1969, 1984, 2005 or 2008.
The Chiefs would be fortunate to have a draft as strong as they had in 1963, 1969, 1984, 2005 or 2008.

With 10 selections in the NFL Draft, which starts on Thursday, the Chiefs have many chances to get it right. They’ll have to hit on several to match some of the best drafts in team history. Understanding that recent classes have time to develop, here’s a countdown to my list of the best drafts in team history

5. 2005

This draft is remembered for two players, and both remain with the Chiefs. Linebacker Derrick Johnson was the first-round selection out of Texas. The Chiefs didn’t have a second-round choice but added punter Dustin Colquitt in the third round. They have six Pro Bowl selections between them and are among the most durable players in franchise history.

4. 1969

The first four selections produced four regulars and two Chiefs Hall of Famers. Cornerback Jim Marsalis started in Super Bowl IV and was an All-NFL choice by the Associated Press in 1970. Running back and return man Ed Podolak was one of the most productive players in team history. Tight end Morris Stroud started for nearly four seasons and center Jack Rudnay appeared in four Pro Bowls. Podolak and Rudnay are in the team’s Hall of Fame.

3. 1984

A solid draft that produced some of the best players at their positions in team history: Nose tackle Bill Maas was taken in the first round, as was offensive tackle John Alt. Defensive back Kevin Ross was a seventh-round steal. The three players each made two Pro Bowls and were all part of the franchise’s transition from a losing to winning franchise by the early 1990s.

The era of unrestricted free-agency began in 1992. Before then, teams had greater ability to keep players under team control. The draft was 17 rounds from 1967-1976, and 12 rounds until 1994 until it dropped to the current seven rounds.

2. 2008

Third-round selection Jamaal Charles, the franchise’s career rushing leader, headlines a solid class of Brandons (or Branden). Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey went in the first round as did offensive guard Branden Albert. The Chiefs took defensive back Brandon Flowers in the second round. Defensive back Brandon Carr was the fifth-round selection.

1. 1963

The Chiefs were about to play their first season in Kansas City after moving from Dallas when the draft arrived. Who knew the treat in store for Chiefs’ fans from these newcomers?

Defensive tackle Buck Buchanan was the overall top choice in the AFL Draft and went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also in the first round came offensive guard Ed Budde, named to the all-time All-AFL team. The seventh round produced outside linebacker Bobby Bell, the first Chiefs player to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the 11th round, the Chiefs landed punter Jerrell Wilson and in the 24th round, they grabbed offensive tackle Dave Hill. Wilson, Hill and Budde are members of the Chiefs Hall of Fame and his draft helped lay the foundation for the Super Bowl seasons.

There were 29 rounds in the 1963 AFL draft, which occurred four years before the first NFL/AFL common draft. In 1963, the draft was separate and each league competed for players. The Chiefs offered Bell $500 more and signed him instead of the Vikings, who had drafted Bell in the second round.

Honorable mention

1983: Todd Blackledge (first round), Dave Lutz (second), Albert Lewis (third)

1996: Jerome Woods (first), Reggie Tongue (second), John Browning (third), Donnie Edwards (fourth), Joe Horn (fifth)

2013: Eric Fisher (first), Travis Kelce (third). Quarterback Alex Smith was acquired for a second-round pick.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

2017 NFL Draft

At Philadelphia

TV: ESPN and NFL Network

Round 1: 7 p.m. Thursday

Rounds 2-3: 6 p.m. Friday

Rounds 4-7: 11 a.m. Saturday

Chiefs’ draft picks

Round 1: No. 27 overall

Round 2: No. 59 overall

Round 3: Nos. 91 and 104

Round 4: No. 132 overall

Round 5: Nos. 170 and 180

Round 6: Nos. 216 and 218

Round 7: No. 245 overall