Top 100 all-time Kansas City Chiefs moments: 75-51

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DEC 4 1980, DEC 5 1981; Football – Denver Broncos (Action); Chiefs’ Joe Delaney gave Broncos fits in first meeting; here he outruns Broncos’ Louie Wright for a TD.; (Photo By Dave Buresh/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

59. Chiefs Draft Joe Delaney

In 1981, the Kansas City Chiefs drafted a running back from Northwestern State who would end up making an incredible impact on the franchise and many individuals. His name was Joe Delaney. A superb running back with incredible speed for sure, but the story behind the man further defines the kind of man Delaney was.

He made a decision his freshmen year at Northwestern State to switch to running back, despite having earned his scholarship to be a wide receiver due to team injuries. This same attitude of sacrifice and putting others first would be the mantra for his whole career on and off the field.

Those who knew Delaney would say the life of being a professional football player would not change who he was. He remained a kind-hearted individual who valued family and won over the hearts of the Kansas City community with his personality and smile.

Delaney immediately showed the Chiefs after being drafted in 1981 that he had a bright future after rushing for over 1,100 yards his rookie season. However, this young man’s bright future was cut short tragically in the summer of 1983, when Delaney died heroically in a drowning accident in an attempt to save three drowning boys.

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