Kansas City Chiefs: The 7 Most Memorable Draft Picks in Team History

Nathan BadleyCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2011

Kansas City Chiefs: The 7 Most Memorable Draft Picks in Team History

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 26:  Glenn Dorsey poses for a photo after being selected as the fifth overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2008 NFL Draft on April 26, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    With the NFL Draft on the horizon, it’s easy for Kansas City Chiefs fans to become nostalgic for the past glory or pain these picks have caused.

    With a rich history spanning over 50 years, there is a lot for Chiefs fans to remember.

    Here are the seven most memorable draft picks in Chiefs history.

Honorable Mention: Jamaal Charles, RB

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 07:  Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs against Tyvon Branch #33 and Ricky Brown #57 of the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 7, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft, Jamaal Charles is beginning to make a name for himself.

    After two seasons, Charles has silenced many critics with his speed out of the backfield. With limited carries his first two seasons, Charles is averaging an unheard of six yards per carry and was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Year last season.

    If he continues at this rate, he will easily jump onto this list. If not, he will still be liked better than Larry Johnson ever was, so at least that’s something.

No. 7 Christian Okoye, RB

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    30 Sep 1990: Running back Christian Okoye of the Kansas City Chiefs (left) moves the ball during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won the game, 34-0.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Christian Okoye was drafted early in the second round of the 1987 draft, and with that, the Nigerian Nightmare was born.

    Okoye retired after just six seasons in the league due to injuries and a growing dislike of practices.

    However, in those six seasons, Okoye became the Chiefs' career rushing leader, amassing 4,897 yards, even leading the league in 1989.

    Although Priest Holmes has beaten those records since then, Okoye will live on as a folk hero amongst Chiefs fans.

No. 6 Todd Blackledge, QB

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    TUSCALOOSA - OCTOBER 17:  ESPN TV analyst Todd Blackledge walks on the field before the game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 17, 2009.  The Crimson Tide beat the G
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Some draft picks are memorable for the right reasons. Todd Blackledge is not one of those draft picks.

    Blackledge was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 1983 draft.

    Expected to be the future franchise quarterback of the Chiefs, Kansas City selected him over future Hall Of Famers Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.

    Instead, Blackledge has become known as the biggest failure in Chiefs draft history and a reminder of what could have been.

    Blackledge lasted five seasons with the Chiefs before ending his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Three other quarterbacks in his draft class are now considered legends. At least he has been able to make a career as a broadcaster.

No. 5 Tony Gonzalez, TE

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 21:  Tight end Tony Gonzalez #88 of Kansas City Chiefs makes a catch during the game against the Miami Dolphins on December 21, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Drafted with the 13th pick overall in the 1997 draft, Tony Gonzalez will go down as the best tight end in the history of the NFL.

    Gonzalez has set virtually every record for the position including receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, as well as being selected to 11 Pro Bowls.

No. 4 Buck Buchanan, DT

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    HONOLULU, HI - FEBRUARY 4:  Class of 1990 Hall of Fame inductee, Buck Buchanan, attends the 1990 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on February 4, 1990 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The NFC won 27-21.  Defensive tackle Buck Buchanan played for the Kansas City Chiefs f
    George Rose/Getty Images

    While the NFL was hesitant to draft Buck Buchanan (the Giants selected him in the 19th round), the AFL did not have the same reservations. Buchanan was drafted first overall in the 1963 AFL draft, making him the first black No. 1 draft choice in football history.

    Buchanan played 182 games in his 13-year career as part of one of the toughest front fours in professional football history. His performance earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as on the All-Time AFL second team.

No. 3 Bobby Bell, LB/DE

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    Bobby Bell is known as one of the fastest blitzers and most athletic defensive players in football history.

    Drafted in the second round of the 1963 draft, Bell used this athleticism to earn his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as become part of the all-time AFL team.

No. 2 Willie Lainier, LB

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    After losing in Super Bowl I, the Chiefs were forced to look for more defense. Their solution came in the form of Willie Lanier.

    Lanier was drafted in the second round of the 1967 draft. Combined with Bobby Bell, the Chiefs had one of the most fearsome and highly revered linebacker tandems in football history.

    Lanier was always a threat to force a turnover, picking off 27 passes and recovering 18 fumbles in his career.

    Lanier was listed on the 75th Anniversary NFL team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

No. 1 Derrick Thomas, LB

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    10 Sep 1995: Kansas City Chiefs linebackers Derrick Thomas (right) and Tracy Simien celebrate during a game against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won the game, 21-17.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Drafted fourth overall in the 1989 draft, Derrick Thomas is legendary for a tragically shortened career that left him the anchor of a strong Chiefs defense in the 90’s.

    Thomas is known as one of the best pass rushers of all time, becoming one of only 22 players in history to record over 100 sacks. He also holds the single game sack record with seven.

    Thomas also marked himself as, arguably, the best defensive player in Chiefs’ history, holding records for forced fumbles, sacks and safeties.


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