The top 15 greatest draft picks in Kansas City Chiefs history

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Chiefs, Tony Gonzalez
Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

6. Tony Gonzalez

Draft Details: 1st round, 1997

Key Stat: 1,325 career receptions

When the Chiefs came into the 1997 NFL Draft, one of the most common pre-draft predictions had Gonzalez falling to the Chiefs—a team that felt like an obvious home for the Calfornia tight end. Good thing for Chiefs history that no one in the front office felt like getting cute with the pick. In fact, the Chiefs even traded up five spots with the Tennessee Titans to No. 13 overall to make it happen.

For the next 12 years, Gonzalez would rewrite the rules at the tight end position in the NFL. Instead of being an offensive afterthought, Gonzalez made tight end the focal point of the Chiefs’ offense, and his 916 career receptions in K.C. are a team record. He also set the franchise marks for receiving yards with 10,940 and receiving touchdowns with 76.

The Chiefs would eventually trade Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round pick, one of many bad moves by Scott Pioli (the return was Javier Arenas, for crying out loud). In Atlanta, Gonzalez would catch another 4,187 yards worth of passes and put up another 35 touchdowns.

A few things have clouded the picture for some in Chiefs Kingdom when it comes to remembering Gonzalez properly. It didn’t help that he made some questionable comments (for some) when he was a member of the Falcons, and having someone like Travis Kelce come along so soon didn’t allow K.C. to miss Gonzalez all that much after he was gone. It’s not as if tight end has been a void in the wake of his departure.

That said, the majority of fans likely reflect on Tony Gonzalez’s incredible career through an accurate lens: as the most decorated and dynamic tight end to ever play the game.