5. Carlos Carson
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Carlos Carson in the fifth round of the 1980 NFL Draft out of Louisiana State University. Arguably under-utilized during his college career, his career best being 608 receiving yards his third and final season with the team, Carson still posted some jaw dropping statistics. His first and second season at LSU he averaged 24 and 21 yards per reception, respectively, and averaged 19.8 yards per reception over his collegiate career.
Carson had a very unassuming start to his professional career, but it was clear early on that he had talent. While only amassing 34 receptions in his second and third season combined, he averaged nearly 20 yards per reception. This display of ability lead to an increased focus and opportunity for him in the following years, and he took advantage.
In his fourth season with the team Carson exploded for 80 catches, 1,351 yards, and seven touchdowns. His 1,351 yards were the most in a single season in franchise history, and he maintained that accomplishment for another 16 seasons.
From 1983 to 1987 Carson averaged nearly 1,000 yards per season, eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark three times, and averaged a whopping 69.8 yards receiving per game. For context, the current all-time leader for the franchise is Tyreek Hill at 69.7 yards per game for his career.
Carson’s career peaked in 1987 when he eclipsed 1,000 yards in only 12 games and was named to the Pro Bowl for the second time of his career. Unfortunately, he declined substantially over the next few seasons and ultimately finished his career outside of Kansas City.
The saddest part of Carson’s career was that he peaked right before the Marty Schottenheimer era was truly underway. He starred for the team for nine full seasons, but only had a winning record in two of those. Luckily this story has a happy ending, as his place all over the Kansas City Chiefs record books earned him a spot in the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2017.