No. 3 – Abner Haynes – 1960-64
Very few of us likely saw Abner Haynes run the football for the Dallas Texans (who went on to become the Kansas City Chiefs after the team moved in 1963). But his stats still speak for themselves over 50 years after suited up for the Chiefs, showing what a tremendous running back he was.
Haynes was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers but decided to play in the American Football League instead, Lamar Hunt’s upstart league to rival the NFL, and Haynes landed on Hunt’s very team. That’s a good thing because Haynes led the AFL in rushing yards and touchdowns during his rookie season, winning the league’s MVP. He would go on to lead the AFL in touchdowns in his first three seasons (31 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons), averaging 5.0 yards per carry in those years with a tremendous 4,472 yards from scrimmage.
Haynes was much more than a great rusher, however. He also had great hands out of the backfield, catching 199 passes for 2,739 receiving yards in his five seasons with the Chiefs. For some perspective, Haynes is still No. 15 on the Chiefs all-time career receiving yards list, with nearly 300 more yards than Jamaal Charles who played four more seasons with the Chiefs. In addition, Haynes was a tremendous kick and punt returner and led the NFL in return yards during his rookie season.
Haynes was traded to the Denver Broncos after only five seasons with the Chiefs, but his impact on the franchise is still felt. He’s a member of the team’s Hall of Fame and should be remembered as one of the greats.