The Best And Worst Of Kansas City Chiefs NFL Draft History

With all of the success the Kansas City Chiefs have enjoyed in recent years, it’s easy to forget it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the franchise, especially when it comes to the NFL Draft. While the Chiefs have only had one first-round selection in the past four drafts, they currently hold two first-rounders in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft thanks to the blockbuster Tyreek Hill trade. In fact, the Chiefs hold 12 picks in this week’s draft, which is tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the most selections this year.

Even with the loss of Hill and other free agency shakeups, Kansas City is still being listed favorably in betting markets. Top online sportsbooks, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, on average have the Chiefs with the third-shortest Super Bowl 57 odds and second-shortest AFC Championship odds.

There’s been a bunch of buzz and rumors around what the Chiefs might do with their war chest of 2022 draft picks, but until we see how it all plays out, we can always take a look back and review some of their best and worst first-round draft picks since 2000. Let’s dive in.

When can we wager? When will Kansas sports betting launch?

Best First-Round Picks In Chiefs NFL Draft History

Patrick Mahomes, 2017

Four straight AFC Championship games. Two Super Bowl appearances. Super Bowl 54 MVP. 2018 AP Offensive Player of the Year. I mean, come on. What might be even more impressive is the fact Mahomes came off the board as the second quarterback at pick No. 10. The cost for Kansas City to trade up from 27 to 10? A future first-rounder and pick No. 91 in the 2017 NFL Draft. What an absolute steal.

Eric Berry, 2010

Where to begin with the former Tennessee Vol? Berry was a true leader both on and off the field. In the five healthy seasons he played for Kansas City, Berry received Pro Bowl honors. In three of those seasons, he was a First-Team All-Pro. For many, his most memorable season was 2015 when he won Comeback Player of the Year after his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For me, personally, watching him run out onto the field for the Chiefs’ 2015 home opener will be one of the most memorable football moments.

Derrick Johnson, 2005

Johnson will go down as one of the best Chief’s defenders of all time. His 182 games played are tied for the most by a Kansas City defensive player, and he leads the franchise in solo tackles (941), assisted tackles (213), and forced fumbles (41). Johnson also made four Pro Bowls, with three consecutive honors from 2011 to 2013.

Honorable mention: As a Penn Stater, I feel obligated to include Tamba Hali and healthy Larry Johnson.

Worst First-Round Picks In Chiefs NFL Draft History

Jonathan Baldwin, 2011

Let’s kick off this list with the player who had the shortest stint with the Chiefs out of my picks. Coming out of Pittsburgh, Baldwin was supposed to form a dynamic duo with 2007 first-round receiver Dwayne Bowe. Instead, Baldwin couldn’t beat out Steve Breaston in his rookie season and was then out-produced by Dexter McCluster in his second season. The Chiefs had seen enough by that point and Baldwin was traded to San Francisco. The former Panther had a measly 44 receptions, 607 yards, and 2 scores in his two years with Kansas City.

Tyson Jackson, 2009

The highest-drafted player on my “Worst Of” list, Jackson never lived up to his third-overall draft status. He wasn’t a complete bust, as he did spend five years with the Chiefs and tallied 200 tackles. Those are alright numbers, but not nearly the production or impact expected from someone taken in the top three of an NFL Draft.

Ryan Sims, 2002

Last, and certainly least, we arrive at Ryan Sims. While Sims went sixth overall to Jackson’s third, there is little doubt about who is the bigger bust in terms of the Chiefs’ worst first-round draft picks. Like Jackson, Sims also played five seasons with the Chiefs, but their production was never close. The former North Carolina Tar Heel started 36 games across his five seasons and is credited with a mere 76 total tackles during that time. After playing his college ball next to future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers, Sims never capitalized on the hope and hype surrounding him entering the NFL.

Honorable mention: Sylvester Morris

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

About the Author