Countdown: The Kansas City Chiefs top 3rd-round NFL Draft Picks
The Chiefs have a great history of the players they’ve selected as third round draft picks in the NFL Draft. They have made huge contributions to the franchise during their time, especially recently. Also, as a reminder, every pick the Chiefs have made, including while they were in the AFL, are in consideration. With all that said, let’s continue our series and take a look at the best third round draft picks made by the Chiefs.
#10: Travis Kelce
Tight End, Cincinnati, 63rd pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, Played for KC 2013-present
Although he hasn’t been in the league too long, Travis Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and one of the best third round picks by the Chiefs. Kelce has continually improved during his career, with his receptions and receiving yards increasing each season he’s been in the league. In 2016, Kelce had his best season with 85 catches, 1,125 yards and 4 touchdowns, including a record-tying streak of four-straight 100-yard receiving games. He also made his second Pro Bowl this past season and named first-team All-Pro for the first time in his career. You can count on Kelce to move up this list in the future as he continues his career in Kansas City and become the next great Chiefs’ tight end.
#9: Henry Marshall
Wide Receiver, Missouri, 79th pick of the 1976 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1976-87
During his 12-year career in Kansas City, Henry Marshall was the top receiver for the Chiefs and one of the best in franchise history. While never going to a Pro Bowl, Marshall put together a great career and was the go-to receiver for the Chiefs in his career. His receiving stats put him in the top 10 in franchise history in each category, being third in receptions, fourth in receiving yards, and seventh in receiving touchdowns. Marshall finished his career with 416 receptions for 6,545 yards and 33 touchdowns.
#8: Gary Spani
Inside Linebacker, Kansas State, 58th pick of the 1978 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1978-86
Gary Spani lead the Chiefs’ defense in his 9 seasons in Kansas City and was a tackling machine. He lead the team in tackles for four straight seasons (1978-81) and had five seasons with over 100 tackles. In fact, Spani had the franchise record for career tackles with 999 until Derrick Johnson broke his record in 2015. Spani also had the franchise record for most tackles in a season in 1979 with 157 until 2002, when Mike Maslowski broke the record with 162 tackles. Spani was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2003.
#7: Lloyd Burruss
Safety, Maryland, 78th pick of the 1981 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1981-91
During the ‘80s, Lloyd Burruss was one of the most productive safeties in the NFL. In his career, Burruss racked up 628 tackles and 22 interceptions, is tied for fifth in franchise history for interception returns for touchdowns, and has the Chiefs’ record for most interception return yards in a game with 115. Burruss didn’t have the most decorated career, but was named to one Pro Bowl in 1986 and the team’s MVP in 1985, plus he was inducted to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1999.
#6: Justin Houston
Outside Linebacker, Georgia, 70th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, Played for KC 2011-present
Justin Houston has become one of the best pass rushers in the league today and on pace to become the franchise’s all-time sack leader. Already in his 6-year career with the Chiefs, Houston has 60 sacks, fourth in franchise history. 2014 was a milestone year for Houston, leading the NFL in sacks with 22 and was one sack away from breaking the NFL record, but he did set a new franchise record and was named first team All-Pro. So far in his career, Houston has made four Pro Bowls from 2012-15. If he can get back to his usual play coming off a season battling injury, you can definitely expect Houston to be higher on this list in the future.
#5: Gary Barbaro
Safety, Nicholls State, 74th pick of the 1976 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1976-82
In his seven seasons with the Chiefs, Gary Barbaro was a threat in the secondary from day one. Barbaro started his career being named second team on the All-NFL rookie team. In 1979, he was the first player to be named Chiefs’ MVP and followed that up with three-straight Pro Bowls from 1980-82. Barbaro was also named All-Pro twice, second team in 1980 and first team in 1981. He never missed a game in his seven years, starting all 101 games he played in. At the end of his career, Barbaro was named to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2013 and currently sits at fourth in franchise history in career interceptions (39) and second in interception return yards (771).
#4: Albert Lewis
Cornerback, Grambling State, 61st pick of the 1983 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1983-93
One of the best defensive backs in Chiefs’ history, Albert Lewis spent the first 11 seasons of his 16-year NFL career in Kansas City. During the prime of his career from 1986-90, Lewis collected awards left and right. He was named the Chiefs’ MVP in 1986, the Chiefs 25-Year All-Time Team in 1987, four-straight Pro Bowls from 1987-90, and first team All-Pro two straight years in 1989-90. Lewis left his mark on the franchise, currently fifth in career interceptions (38) and has the franchise record in blocked punts (10). Lewis was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2007.
#3: Jim Tyrer
Tackle, Ohio State, 22nd pick of the 1961 AFL Draft, Played for KC 1961-73
David Tyrer started with the franchise when they were still in Dallas and became one of the best offensive lineman in team history and of his time. In his 13 seasons in Kansas City, he helped anchor the left side of the line along with hall-of-famer Ed Budde to win 3 AFL Championships and Super Bowl IV. During his time as a Chief, Tyrer proved to be one of the top linemen in the game, being named either an AFL All-Star or to the Pro Bowl 9 times in his career and named to the AFL All-Time Team. After his time with the Chiefs, he spent a season playing for the Washington Redskins and then retired. Shortly after retirement, Tyrer was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1978.
#2: Jamaal Charles
Running Back, Texas, 73rd pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, Played for KC 2008-16
Even though he missed almost three seasons due to injuries, Jamaal Charles is one of the best running backs in franchise history in his 9 seasons in Kansas City. Just in team records set in a game, Charles has the most rushing yards in a game (259) in 2010 against Denver and receiving touchdowns (4), total touchdowns in a game (5), and points scored in a game all set in 2013 against Oakland. Charles also currently holds the NFL record for highest career rushing average at 5.5 yards a carry, plus the franchise records for highest rushing average in a season in 2010 at 6.4 yards a carry and career rushing yards (7,260). On top of that, Charles also has the team’s fourth-most career rushing touchdowns (43). Through all this success on the field, Charles was named to four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams, twice first team and once second team, and a four-time team MVP. Although he was recently released by the team, we wish him success for and look forward to him being inducted to the Chiefs Hall of Fame shortly after he decides to retire.
#1: Will Shields
Guard, Nebraska, 74th pick of the 1993 NFL Draft, Played for KC 1993-2006
The only Chiefs’ third-rounder in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Will Shields is easily the one of the best guards in NFL history and the best second round pick Kansas City has ever made. Shields spent his all of his 14-year career in Kansas City and never missed a game the entire time, setting franchise records in games played with 224 and games started with 223, all consecutively and second in NFL history behind Brett Favre. Throughout his career, Shields showed he is one of the best lineman in both Chiefs and NFL history. Shields made 12 straight Pro Bowls from 1995-2006, a team record, and was named to seven All-Pro teams, three times first-team and four times second-team. Shields was also named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2003 and to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. After he retired, Shields was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
What do you think about this countdown? Did we overrate or underrate a player, or even leave someone off? Let us know in the comments!
Check out our Chiefs’ page to find more articles about the team. Be sure to subscribe to a FREE digital version of the magazine on the home page and to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Look for more 2017 list of draft picks at http://kcsportspaper.com/category/pro-teams/chiefs/