5 Best Chiefs Players Ever, According To NFL Analysts

The Kansas City Chiefs are back on the grandest stage, their sights set on another Super Bowl victory. But before they take the field, let’s rewind and celebrate the men who paved the way for this dynasty. These are the gridiron giants who built the foundation of excellence, the heroes whose echoes resonate in every Arrowhead roar. Today, we honor their legacies, their stories intertwined with the very fabric of Chiefs lore. So, before Mahomes unleashes his magic and the defense rises to the challenge, let’s take a trip down memory lane and meet the best Kansas City Chiefs players of all time, the ones whose spirits will undoubtedly be cheering from the stands, urging their modern-day counterparts to add another glorious chapter to the team’s illustrious history.

For the players, it’s all about the game, but for many of the fans, football Sundays are all about the food! For those football fans planning to watch the game on television, it turns out many will do it in the comfort of their own homes. Last year’s survey found that six in 10 had no plans to host or attend a Super Bowl party. Just one in five planned to go to a Super Bowl Sunday party, and those parties were estimated to have an average of 14 guests for the big game. This same survey also found that Americans eat 1.4 billion chicken wings during the Super Bowl. Shoppers buy 10 million pounds of ribs during the week leading up to the big game. Additionally, Americans chow down on 11.2 million pounds of potato chips and over eight million pounds of guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s also a huge night for local pizzerias, as pizza orders go up by 30 percent on gameday in comparison to a normal Sunday.

As for which state is most excited for the Super Bowl, Google search data shows Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Utah are the top five states, all showing a big interest in watching the final NFL game of the year. On the other hand, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia show the least amount of interest, according to Google searches. Perhaps this is due to the game being on a Sunday. Another survey of over 2,000 NFL fans found 48 percent would like to see the big game move to Saturday. That would likely help out the 14 percent of Americans who call out “sick” the next day.

Whether you watch football for the sport, the food, or both, it’s undeniable that football games bring people together. The excitement of cheering for your favorite team and the camaraderie among fans create an electric atmosphere that is hard to replicate. Our team at StudyFinds did the work to determine the best Chiefs players who brought so much to the game of football. Thanks to our expert sources, the Kansas City Chiefs top five players of all time were easy to find. Let us know your favorite players in the comments below!

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created

StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

Chiefs flag
Chiefs flag (Photo by Brock Wegner on Unsplash)

The List: Best Chiefs Players, According To Sports Fans

1. Patrick Mahomes

Super Bowl champion and quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the only player on our list that is currently still on the field. Mahomes’ best NFL season may still be ahead of him. Mahomes has cemented himself as a legend in Kansas City Chiefs history, and the accolades agree. Stadium Talk highlights his impressive achievements in just six seasons: an MVP award, a Super Bowl win, appearances in two other Super Bowls, and leading the Chiefs to the AFC championship game every year as a starter. This dominance landed him a record-breaking $503 million contract. Let’s not forget how he will be appearing in yet another Super Bowl in 2024.

Arrowhead Addict echoes the praise, emphasizing Mahomes’ rapid rise to stardom. His second year saw him break records with 10 touchdown passes in the first two weeks, followed by a “redshirt rookie” season boasting 50 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards.

The Sportster declares Mahomes the undisputed best quarterback in the NFL, poised for his second MVP. Despite his relatively short starting career, his electrifying play and consistent winning have solidified him as one of the most entertaining players ever. Mahomes is a force to be reckoned with, leaving an undeniable mark on the NFL landscape. Mahomes’ ability to consistently deliver explosive plays and lead his team to victory has made him a fan favorite and a true asset to the Chiefs organization.

2. Derrick Thomas

Derrick Thomas set records for the Broncos and the NFL. His physicality on the field was remarkable. The memory of Derrick Thomas looms large over the Kansas City Chiefs, and for good reason. The Grueling Truth emphasizes his sheer dominance, calling him “one of the most dominant linebackers in NFL history.” He transformed the ’90s Chiefs defense, setting franchise records for sacks, safeties, fumble recoveries, and even recording an unbelievable seven sacks in a single game. NESN highlights his elite status, arguing that “you’d be hard-pressed to find a better defensive end” than him, not just for the Chiefs, but across football history. His Rookie of the Year honors with 75 tackles, 10 sacks, and three forced fumbles solidified his early brilliance.

Beyond raw talent, Thomas left an indelible mark on the team’s spirit. As SI poignantly points out, his life was tragically cut short, yet his impact endures. Fans still proudly wear his #58 jersey, a number retired in his honor. The “Derrick Thomas MVP Award” further cements his legacy as an on-field icon. But his influence transcended the gridiron. Thomas earned the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 1993, showcasing his character and commitment to giving back. He was a force, both on and off the field, and his absence is still felt deeply by the Chiefs family.

3. Tony Gonzalez

Another spectacular player on our list, Tony Gonzalez, is a gridiron great. In the early 2000s, Gonzalez made his impact on Chiefs history. Tony Gonzalez’s legacy in Kansas City is undeniable. Chiefs Wire highlights his dominant stretch from 1999 to 2008, where he racked up 10 Pro Bowl appearances and five first-team All-Pro nods. They emphasize his ability to exploit coverage mismatches and revolutionize the tight end position.

B/R echoes this sentiment, citing his 12 Pro Bowls and shattering franchise records for receptions, yards, and touchdowns during his 12-year Chiefs tenure. Finally, Not In Hall Of Fame declares Gonzalez as arguably the greatest tight end ever, but undisputed as the “most successful in terms of offensive potency” for the Chiefs. This paints a picture of a game-changing talent who left an indelible mark on the team’s offensive power.

Gonzalez’s exceptional athleticism and football IQ played a significant role in his success on the field. His dedication to perfecting his craft and relentless work ethic made him a nightmare for opposing defenses to cover.

4. Emmitt Thomas

Emmitt Thomas graced the gridiron in the 1960s. Thomas would help the Chiefs achieve victory in the regular season and postseason. Thomas’ story is one of overcoming odds and leaving an undeniable mark on the Kansas City Chiefs. Roto Baller and Stadium Talk highlight his journey from undrafted free agent to Super Bowl champion, emphasizing his impressive accolades: four Pro Bowls, two First Team All-Pro selections, and a key role in their Super Bowl IV victory with four playoff interceptions.

Experts praise his exceptional playmaking ability, with Stadium Talk calling him a “ballhawk like few have ever been” with a staggering 58 interceptions throughout his career. NESN further reinforces his dominance, crediting him as the best defensive back in Chiefs history. His league-leading interception performances (9 in the AFL’s final season and 12 in the NFL) solidify his legendary status.

But Thomas’ impact goes beyond statistics. Sports analysts commend his leadership within the 1969 Super Bowl defense and his successful coaching career, extending his legacy beyond his playing days. Emmitt Thomas stands tall as a testament to perseverance, talent, and leadership, a true Chiefs legend.

5. Will Shields

Offensive lineman Will Shields was a great player among an entire team roster of great players. Strong and steady, Shields would contribute to many game-day wins. But Shields’ legacy transcends mere statistics, etching his name into Kansas City Chiefs history as a dominant force and exemplary leader. Arrowhead Addict hails him as not just the team’s best offensive lineman ever, but potentially one of the top five in NFL history. His versatility and consistency shone through as he protected quarterbacks like Joe Montana and running backs like Priest Holmes, creating openings for offensive success.

Chiefs Wire delves deeper, highlighting his third-round selection and concerns about adapting from Nebraska’s option offense. Yet, Shields silenced all doubts, starting a remarkable 223 games and becoming the franchise leader in games played. He proved himself not just as a stalwart pass protector, but also a key run blocker.

B/R adds another layer to the story, mentioning his unexpected rise from a third-round pick to legendary status. But Shields’ impact went beyond the field. His “Will to Succeed Foundation,” established in his rookie year, further cemented his legacy as a leader and earned him the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2003. Will Shields is not just a Chiefs legend; he’s a testament to dedication, adaptability, and a commitment to giving back. His philanthropic efforts off the field also make him a role model and beloved figure in Kansas City.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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