Kansas City Chiefs: Best and worst draft picks


In the days leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, NFL.com will allow users to determine the best and worst draft picks for every team. We kick off the proceedings with the team that owns the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Best picks


Buck Buchanan -- 1963 (No. 1 overall)
The Chiefs scored two future Pro Football Hall of Fame players in the 1963 American Football League draft. Kansas City kicked off that talent haul by making Buchanan -- a star defensive tackle from Grambling State -- the top overall pick. Fifty-five picks later, the Chiefs selected linebacker Bobby Bell. Buchanan and Bell wound up as cornerstones of a stout defense that helped Kansas City go to two Super Bowls, winning one, over a four-year span.
» Photos: Buchanan through the years


Dale Carter -- 1992 (No. 20)
Before off-the-field issues derailed Carter's career, he was one of the pre-eminent shutdown corners in the NFL. Carter was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, as well as the 1992 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Over seven seasons with the Chiefs, Carter recorded 21 interceptions. Carter was also a dazzling return specialist early in his career, returning two punts for touchdowns in his rookie season.
» 1992 NFL Draft


Tony Gonzalez -- 1997 (No. 13)
The Chiefs traded up with the Houston Oilers in the 1997 NFL Draft to get Gonzalez. What he's done in the years since is establish himself as one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game. Gonzalez holds the NFL records for most receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns for a tight end. On March 15, Gonzalez re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons to return for an unprecedented 17th season in the NFL.
» 1997 NFL Draft | Photos: Gonzalez through the years


Neil Smith -- 1988 (No. 2)
Smith was one of the top defensive linemen of his era, and celebrated sacks of opposing quarterbacks with a signature home-run swing. Smith led the NFL with 15 sacks in 1993, and registered 85.5 sacks in nine seasons with the Chiefs.
» 1988 NFL Draft


Derrick Thomas -- 1989 (No. 4)
Four of the first five players selected in the 1989 NFL Draft went on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Chiefs' selection of Thomas was sandwiched between the Detroit Lions' pick of Barry Sanders and the Atlanta Falcons taking Deion Sanders. Thomas turned into one of the NFL's all-time great pass rushers. In 1990, Thomas set an NFL record that still stands with seven sacks in a game and finished that season with a league-leading 20 sacks. In 11 seasons, Thomas had 126.5 sacks.
» 1989 NFL Draft | Photos: Thomas through the years

Worst picks


Todd Blackledge -- 1983 (No. 7)
Blackledge turned out to be the weak link in the famed quarterback class of 1983 that sent three players to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Blackledge was the second quarterback taken in that draft -- John Elway was the top overall pick -- and wound up as the least productive. Jim Kelly (No. 14) and Dan Marino (No. 27) were all-timers along with Elway. Tony Eason helped lead the New England Patriots to Super Bowl XX. Ken O'Brien was a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the New York Jets.
» 1983 NFL Draft


Trezelle Jenkins -- 1995 (No. 31)
Jenkins played in just nine games in three seasons with the Chiefs. That's an awful showing for a lineman selected in the first round, and makes Tony Mandarich look like an All-Pro. But, here's the kicker: In 2000, Jenkins was selected in the XFL draft by the San Francisco Demons but failed to make the team. So, there's that, too.
» 1995 NFL Draft


Sylvester Morris -- 2000 (No. 21)
The Chiefs' selection of Morris in 2000 kicked off a rough three-year stretch of drafts for the team. Morris played just one season in Kansas City -- posting respectable numbers (48 receptions, 678 yards, three touchdowns) -- but had his career cut short by injuries.
» 2000 NFL Draft


Paul Palmer -- 1987 (No. 19)
Palmer was a dynamic weapon on the college gridiron for Temple, and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1986 to Vinny Testaverde. Palmer opened his career as a kick-return threat (he had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in 1987), but could not break into the Chiefs' backfield. That could be because 16 picks after the Chiefs took Palmer, the team selected Christian Okoye, the "Nigerian Nightmare." Palmer's pro football career concluded with two seasons (1991-92) with the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football (to be renamed NFL Europe).
» 1987 NFL Draft


Ryan Sims -- 2002 (No. 6)
The Chiefs passed on Albert Haynesworth and John Henderson in the 2002 NFL Draft to take Sims instead (in hindsight, it wasn't exactly a strong year for defensive tackles). Rather than anchor the interior of the Chiefs defense, Sims made just 36 starts over five seasons in Kansas City. He registered just five sacks in that time, and was unceremoniously traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a seventh-round pick in 2007.
» 2002 NFL Draft

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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