Current Chiefs making Hall of Fame case

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Exhibit C: Derrick Johnson (ILB) — 3x Pro Bowler, 1x All-Pro

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Career stats of note: 872 combined tackles

The anticipation surrounding Derrick Johnson’s return to the Kansas City Chiefs is approaching a fever pitch now that the team’s into Phase 3 of its offseason program. His unceremonious exit from the 2014 season, on the heels of a ruptured Achilles tendon (no pun intended), struck a major blow to Kansas City’s run defense. It also robbed Johnson of his 10th NFL season and a chance to inch closer to 1,000 career tackles.

Less than 40 defensive players have posted as many career stops and with 128 more Johnson will join that group. While that may be the only career-defining statistic Johnson is capable of attaining, it seems to be an inevitable achievement (barring further injury).

Johnson’s career, while impressive, lacks the gaudy numbers of the other two players on this list. He’s managed just 22.5 career sacks (though most of his career has been spent at inside linebacker), 20 forced fumbles, and a paltry 11 career interceptions. Johnson’s inferior ball skills are to blame for a career average of about one per season. As much as it pains me to say this, his best hope for career recognition is at One Arrowhead Drive (in the franchise’s own Hall of Fame). Though, he can make a stronger Canton case with 2-3 more triple-digit tackle campaigns.

Next: Another defensive candidate and more...