Patrick Mahomes headlines Kansas City Chiefs 53-man all-decade team
Kansas City has had a lot of great players during the 2010s. With the end of the decade upon us, it’s time to assemble the all-decade Chiefs team.
It has been a very good decade for the Kansas City Chiefs. The team has finished above .500 in eight of the ten seasons. The Chiefs made the playoffs seven times and won the AFC West five times, including a franchise best four consecutive seasons after never winning the division in back-to-back years before.
Everything considered, it has been a good decade for the Chiefs with a lot of great players across the board. Therefore, we decided to put together a 53-man all-decade Chiefs team, followed by the best coaches the Chiefs had during the ’10s.
As always, comment below or follow up with us on social media with your thoughts on our 53-man all-decade Chiefs roster and let us know what you agreed with and who you thought we missed.
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, Alex Smith, Matt Cassel
It is easy to put Patrick Mahomes on top of this list after his 50 touchdown passes and more than 5,000 yards passing from 2018, followed by more success in 2019, despite missing two games. Alex Smith was also an easy choice to put behind Mahomes as he placed himself in the top five in franchise history in touchdown passes and passing yards. For the third quarterback spot, you have to give it to Matt Cassel for his 2010 season.
Running Back: Jamaal Charles, Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware
Jamaal Charles, hands down, is one of the best Chiefs players of the decade. He broke the franchise record for rushing yards, gaining most of those yards during the 2010s. Even though Kareem Hunt did not play two full seasons and had a controversial exit, it is impossible to exclude him from this list. Spencer Ware edged out Damien Williams for doing a good job filling in after Charles suffered a knee injury in 2015. Ware was one of the top pass-catching running backs in 2016, a great fit in Andy Reid’s offense.
Fullback: Anthony Sherman, Mike Cox
If you wore No. 42 and played fullback for the Chiefs, you were really good. Mike Cox only spent one year with the Chiefs this decade. But he was deserving of this after paving the way for Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, who had the league’s best rushing attack that season. Anthony Sherman did the same thing for Charles, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Kareem Hunt and Damien Williams. The biggest difference was that Sherman was more serviceable as a pass-catcher and has spent more seasons with the Chiefs.
Tight end: Travis Kelce, Tony Moeaki, Anthony Fasano
Travis Kelce recently became the first tight end in league history to have 1,000 receiving yard seasons in four straight years. He is, easily, the best tight end today and could be considered as one of the best tight ends of all time one day. As for the players behind Kelce, it is hard to pick two tight ends. Tony Moeaki and Anthony Fasano both had flashes, edging out Leonard Pope.
Wide receiver: Tyreek Hill, Dwayne Bowe, Jeremy Maclin, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson
Tyreek Hill has become the league’s most dangerous wide receiver in the NFL today. Hill, Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson all were key receivers in helping the Chiefs have the third highest scoring offense in NFL history in 2018. Dwayne Bowe was inconsistent in his career, but he still finished his career in the top five in Chiefs history in receptions, yards and touchdown grabs. When the Chiefs decided to move on from Bowe, Jeremy Maclin was a good No. 1 receiver for Alex Smith, but only spent two years in Kansas City.
Left tackle: Branden Albert, Eric Fisher
Branden Albert was with the Chiefs from 2008 through 2013. Even before the 2010s, Albert was an underrated offensive lineman and did not get his first Pro Bowl invite until 2013. Eric Fisher has had some great games. However, he is second on this list due to his inconsistency.
Left guard: Brian Waters, Ryan Lilja
While we have Brian Waters over Ryan Lilja, it would be hard to disagree with anyone to have it the other way around. Waters played left guard in 2010 while Lilja only played this position in 2011. In fact, Lilja ended up playing a different position in each of the three seasons he was in Kansas City. After Waters and Lilja left, the Chiefs have not had a reliable left guard since then.
Center: Casey Wiegmann, Mitch Morse
This is another position group where you could agree with what we have here, or put Mitch Morse in front of Casey Wiegmann. Both Wiegmann and Morse were viable centers as run-blockers and in pass protection. The big difference between the two centers is that Wiegmann was more active, whereas Morse missed 15 games with the Chiefs. Wiegmann concluded his playing career with more than 11,000 consecutive snaps.
Right guard: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Jon Asamoah
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was an underrated offensive lineman in 2015 and 2016. But the Chiefs recognized what he had done and gave him a contract extension to stay long-term. Even though he has missed 20 games in the past four seasons, Duvernay-Tardif has been the most reliable right guard, closely followed by Jon Asamoah, who had three solid seasons with the Chiefs.
Right tackle: Mitchell Schwartz, Barry Richardson
Mitchell Schwartz has been heavily underrated throughout his career. Schwartz should be considered the best offensive lineman the Chiefs have had this decade. As for who the second best right tackle would be, it is hard to find someone worth putting on here. But the nod goes to Barry Richardson, who had the longest tenure at this position before Schwartz this decade.
Note: Although the Chiefs are currently in the 4-3 defense, we used the 3-4 scheme for this list since the Chiefs spent nine of the 10 seasons this decade under the 3-4 defense.
Left defensive end: Jaye Howard, Mike DeVito
Both Jaye Howard and Mike DeVito were similar in terms of skillsets. Neither were dominant. Both were solid defensive ends for the Chiefs during the 2010s. Howard was given the top spot because of his ability to occupy offensive linemen while allowing Justin Houston to go off for 22 sacks in 2014.
Nose tackle: Dontari Poe, Ron Edwards
Dontari Poe was a special player in Kansas City. The eye test proved more than statistics for Poe. The success Tamba Hali and Justin Houston had was in large part due to Poe. Because of Poe’s size and skills, he constantly drew double teams from interior offensive linemen, which allowed Hali and Houston to have mostly one-on-one battles on the outside. As you know, Hali and Houston won many of those duels. Ron Edwards did not spend a lot of time in Kansas City, but was able to help the Chiefs improve their defense in 2010.
Right defensive end: Chris Jones, Allen Bailey
Chris Jones has been one of the more dominant defensive linemen in the NFL since being drafted in 2016. Jones broke the NFL record last year for recording a sack in 11 consecutive games. Whether it is in the 3-4 or the 4-3, Jones has no problems dominating offensive linemen and getting to the quarterback. Allen Bailey was a serviceable defensive lineman before Jones arrived.
Left outside linebacker: Justin Houston, Dee Ford
As mentioned a couple of times already, Justin Houston was a force to be reckoned with. His best season was in 2014 when he collected 22 sacks, just one shy of the NFL single-season record. Dee Ford was limited in his success due to his injuries. Although many remember Ford mostly for his mistake in the AFC Championship game, he was a key part of the defense when he was available.
Inside linebacker: Derrick Johnson, Reggie Ragland, Ramik Wilson
It was this decade where Derrick Johnson evolved into a more complete linebacker. He broke the franchise record for most tackles in a career and is the only defender in Chiefs history with more than 1,000 tackles. Reggie Ragland had some flashes in his first year with the Chiefs in 2017 against the run, working alongside Johnson. Ramik Wilson is another player who was a serviceable linebacker while working with Johnson.
Right outside linebacker: Tamba Hali, Frank Clark, Mike Vrabel
Originally planning on only putting two players here, an exception was made and as three players deserved to be mentioned here. Tamba Hali is an obvious choice to top the list. He is second all-time in team history in sacks and forced fumbles. Mike Vrabel spent just two years with the Chiefs and Frank Clark has only been with the Chiefs for one season. But both have played well enough to have their names on this list.
Cornerback: Marcus Peters, Sean Smith, Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Kendall Fuller
Marcus Peters made an impact since the very first snap of his career when he got an interception. He had 19 in his three years with the Chiefs, the most by any defender. Sean Smith did not have a lot of stats to help his case. But he was one of the better cover corners in the league. Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr both came out of the 2008 draft class and spent four years together in Kansas City. Flowers spent two more seasons with the Chiefs than Carr did. Both were underrated corners. Lastly, Kendall Fuller deserved to be the fifth cornerback on this list.
Safety: Eric Berry, Tyrann Mathieu, Ron Parker, Dan Sorensen
Eric Berry was not just a ball-hawking safety. Prior to his injuries limiting him, Berry had a knack for coming through in the clutch. Ron Parker and Berry formed a stout duo when playing together. Dan Sorensen has had his struggles, but he’s done a good job as a role player, filling in when needed. Although Tyrann Mathieu has only been here one season, he has done enough to be considered as one of the best safeties of the decade for the Chiefs.
Kicker: Harrison Butker
The Chiefs have been fortunate with great kickers this decade in Ryan Succop and Cairo Santos, but Harrison Butker quickly itched his name in the record books. During his rookie year in 2017, Butker broke the NFL rookie and Chiefs franchise records for most field goals made in a season with 38, doing so while not playing the first three games that year.
Punter: Dustin Colquitt
Dustin Colquitt recently broke the franchise record for most games played with 235 and has added on to that. Colquitt has played every game this decade. He’s only missed two games in his career, both coming in 2008.
Long snapper: James Winchester
Although the Chiefs have had a couple of miscues on special teams snaps recently, James Winchester has been a reliable long snapper since joining the Chiefs in 2015.
Punt Returner: Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill has seen less time on special teams recently. But before that, he was one of the best punt returners in the game. Hill has had four total punt return touchdowns from 2016 to 2018.
Kick Returner: Knile Davis
There were a lot of options here as Dave Toub has done a great job with return specialists throughout his career, including in Kansas City. But Knile Davis was the best. He scored a 108-yard kick return in 2013, which tied for the longest return in NFL history. Davis had another kick return touchdown in the 2014 regular season. He also opened up the 2015-16 NFL playoffs with a kick return touchdown, helping the Chiefs win their first playoff game in 22 years.