#5 – Eric Berry, Safety
When the Kansas City Chiefs used the fifth overall selection on a safety from the University of Tennessee, most believed that it was too high in the draft to justify taking a safety.
Ten years after making that selection, it would be difficult for anyone to argue that the Chiefs ‘reached’ for superstar Eric Berry. Berry captained the Chiefs defense, and served as its emotional and cerebral leader, for seven seasons.
Berry’s statistics alone make him worthy of placement on this list: 14 interceptions, five touchdowns, 29 tackles for loss, 445 total tackles 2 fumble recoveries and 5.5 sacks. But his true impact on the franchise massively transcends what he accomplished on the field.
Berry’s career has been defined by medical issues which have cost him nearly four fulll seasons in the last 11. In 2011 Berry suffered a torn ACL. After returning to the top of his game for 2012 and 2013, Berry was forced to take a leave of absence from football less than halfway through the 2014 season upon being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Berry persevered again, and was again an All-Pro in 2015 and 2016. At the end of his first game in 2017, Berry suffered a torn Achilles tendon that ended his season, and he has yet to return to the field for meaningful action since then.
Despite those hardships and an injury shortened career, Berry’s five Pro Bowls and three 1st Team All-Pro selections merit his placemen as the fifth best first round pick in franchise history.
Officially not retired, Berry is rumored to be prepared to return to the field this f all if a team will sign him.