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Ranking the Chiefs: Derrick Johnson squeaks in the top five

On Saturdays through May, Arrowhead Pride contributors will weigh in on the five best Chiefs of all time. Ron Kopp leads us off.

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

On Saturdays through May, Arrowhead Pride contributors list (and explain) their top five Kansas City Chiefs of all time.

My top five all-time Chiefs

  1. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
  2. Quarterback Len Dawson
  3. Edge rusher Derrick Thomas
  4. Tight end Travis Kelce
  5. Linebacker Derrick Johnson

For my list, I factored in their achievements and production, but I probably weighed popularity among Chiefs fans the heaviest. A player’s legacy — how well they are remembered after their careers — is significant.

The reigning Super Bowl MVP quarterback has etched his name in stone atop this list.

Dawson won three AFL championships and earned a Super Bowl MVP during his 14-year career as the face of the franchise. I also think his 32-year career as the color analyst for the Chiefs broadcast crew should count towards his legacy.

To me, Derrick Thomas will always be correlated with the rise of Arrowhead Stadium. His dominance in passing situations fueled the havoc that the Sea of Red creates on every third down to this day.

In my opinion, Kelce has surpassed former Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez as an all-time Chief. It may not have been Gonzalez’s fault that he seldom had postseason opportunities — but everything from Kelce’s three-touchdown game in the Divisional Round to his speech at the victory parade have turned him into a legend. Besides... Gonzalez claims his career was made in Atlanta.

I gave the last spot to the team’s all-time leader tackler: 13-year Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson — but he barely beat out other worthy candidates. Three-time All-Pro and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier won Super Bowl IV and still contributes as a team ambassador. Running back Jamaal Charles also garnered consideration — but Johnson’s longevity and strong reputation put him on my list.


How do you feel about this list?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Strongly agree
    (351 votes)
  • 46%
    Somewhat agree
    (1168 votes)
  • 24%
    Somewhat disagree
    (612 votes)
  • 15%
    Strongly disagree
    (401 votes)
2532 votes total Vote Now

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