Kansas City Chiefs all-time best NFL Draft picks by round
By Jacob Milham
The Kansas City Chiefs have drafted well in recent years. What is the best player the team has selected in each round throughout its history?
In the heartland of America, where football reigns supreme, the Kansas City Chiefs have carved their place in the annals of sports history. With a rich history and dedication to excellence, this beloved football franchise has consistently drafted talented players. The Chiefs have unearthed diamonds in the rough from the early days of the NFL to the modern era, transforming them into era-defining stars.
From legendary quarterbacks to hard-hitting defenders, the Chiefs’ story is hard to imagine without their former draft selections. As we go through the years, let’s look at the Kansas City Chiefs draft successes, focusing on the best player the team has picked in each round of the draft throughout its long history.
Round 1: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes, a talented quarterback from Texas Tech University, had captivated the attention of NFL scouts and fans alike with his incredible arm strength and remarkable playmaking abilities. As the 2017 NFL Draft approached, there was a buzz surrounding Mahomes, with many experts predicting that he would be one of the top quarterback prospects selected. However, he was not without his doubters. Pundits pointed to Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense or Mahomes’ lack of footwork as red flags in the pre-draft process. But Mahomes’ college tape spoke for itself.
On draft day, the Chiefs had the 27th overall pick. Andy Reid, the Chiefs’ head coach, had been looking for a franchise quarterback to take their offense to new heights. Reid and his staff had closely evaluated Mahomes throughout the pre-draft process, recognizing his immense potential and unique skill set.
When the time came, the Chiefs made one of the boldest draft-day trades in franchise history. They traded up with the Buffalo Bills, swapping their 27th overall pick, a third-round pick, and a 2018 first-round pick to secure the 10th overall selection. The move shocked many, as it indicated the Chiefs’ strong conviction in Mahomes as their quarterback of the future.
Mahomes arrived in Kansas City with an eagerness to prove himself and a determination to lead the Chiefs to success. Despite being a raw prospect with limited starting experience in college, he displayed an unmatched work ethic and a hunger to learn from Reid and the veteran quarterbacks on the roster. The rest is history.
Mahomes has won two Super Bowls in Kansas City, becoming the team’s first NFL MVP in 2018 and collecting another in 2022. He has also shattered numerous NFL records, including the most passing yards in a single season and the most touchdown passes in a single game. He is a key part of the community, investing in Kansas City-area businesses and sports teams. Chiefs fans would be hard-pressed to say a bad word about Mahomes, who has been electric on the field and a stand-up member of the community off the field. The Chiefs have drafted some franchise legends in the first round, but none have the same ceiling as Mahomes. Entering his seventh year in the league, Mahomes will amaze fans and elevate the Chiefs for many more years to come. Mahomes’ incredible talent and dedication to his craft have solidified him as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Honorable mentions: TE Tony Gonzalez, LB Derrick Thomas