Building the Kansas City Chiefs all-time 55-man roster

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DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 29: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs roles out to pass during the third quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Kansas City defeated Detroit 34-30. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)


Quarterbacks (2): *Patrick Mahomes, Len Dawson

There is no doubt that Patrick Mahomes is the most talented quarterback in Chiefs history. That made this an easy decision. Len Dawson, of course, is the most successful (so far), but we suspect that Reid will push for Mahomes here. With the increase to a 55-man roster, we thought about keeping a third quarterback; ultimately, decided to keep extras elsewhere.

Honorable Mention: Alex Smith

Running Backs (4): *Jamaal Charles, Priest Holmes, Abner Haynes, Joe Delaney

Kansas City’s All-55 roster has an embarrassment of riches at running back. It was difficult to decide how to make the decision on which rushers to keep. We went with multiple eras and styles of backs, which we’re sure Andy Reid will appreciate.

Honorable Mention: Larry Johnson

Full Back (1): Christian Okoye

Christian Okoye was technically a running back but he lined up at fullback often for Kansas City. That gave us justification to put him here, and he adds an incredible weapon for the offense.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Sherman

Wide Receivers (6): *Otis Taylor, *Dwayne Bowe,*Tyreek Hill (slot), Carlos Carson, Chris Burford, Dante Hall

The Chiefs do not have the most decorated wide receiver room in NFL history, but they have plenty of talent here to make some noise. This is especially true when one considers the tight end talent on the team. There is a room for a lot of debate on this part of the roster due in part to its relative parity. As with the running back position, we tried to diversify talent as much as possible.

Honorable Mention: Stephone Paige

Tight Ends (3): *Tony Gonzalez, Travis Kelce, Fred Arbanas

The Chiefs have only three tight ends in history who have ever made the Pro Bowl or All-Pro team: Tony Gonzalez, Travis Kelce and Fred Arbanas. As such, this was not a difficult roster decision and no one else was considered. There are some really interesting two and three tight end sets coming at the All-NFL league this season, with two Pro Football Hall of Famers (yes, Kelce) and a three-time 1st Team All-Pro (Arbanas) on the roster.

Honorable Mention: None

Tackles (4): *Jim Tyrer, *Willie Roaf, Mitchell Schwartz, John Alt

The Chiefs get to field a Hall of Famer (Willie Roaf), and one of the biggest HOF snubs in NFL history (Jim Tyrer) as their starting tackles. To back them up they get Mitchell Schwartz, a future Hall of Famer, and John Alt, one of the more consistent linemen in Chiefs history. Eric Fisher almost makes the team over Alt, but that’s a hot take for another day.

Honorable Mention: Eric Fisher

Guards (4): *Will Shields, *Ed Budde, Dave Szott, Brian Waters

Another Hall of Fame lineman to protect Mahomes makes the roster in Will Shields, one of the greatest linemen in NFL history. Ed Budde takes the other guard spot; he, too, is a Hall of Fame snub. Dave Szott and Brian Waters were also great players for the Chiefs.

Honorable Mention: Billy Krisher

Centers (2): *E.J. Holub, Jack Rudnay

E.J. Holub would have been a Hall of Famer if it weren’t for the 11 knee surgeries he was forced to undergo as a player. In addition to being a great (and versatile) lineman, he was also a linebacker, starting in both Super Bowl I and IV on both offense and defense for Kansas City (the only player to ever do so). Rudnay, too, was a great center for the Chiefs, playing here for 13 seasons.

Honorable Mention: Tim Grunhard

(*) Denotes starting 11

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