FanPost: Top 5 Chiefs Outside Linebackers

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The ForeverRanger Top 5 Continues!

It is the off season for the NFL but with the draft a little over a week away at the time of me writing this, I figured it might be fun to do some rankings.

What kind of rankings? Let’s go positional rankings with five greatest Chiefs to play a certain position. This time we will be talking about the Chiefs OLB’s, which is a massive position of strength for the team historically.

  1. Derrick Thomas (1990-1999)- DT had to be number 1 on this list or else I would be killed.  It was an easy decision to put Thomas at this spot because he is the best Chiefs OLB/EDGE and with all due respect to the other four on this list, it wasn’t even close.  Thomas is the Chiefs leader in sacks and holds the NFL single game record for sacks at 7. His 58 is retired by the Chiefs and one can only wonder how much more he would have done if he had only wore his seat belt.
  2. Tamba Hali (2006-2017)- You could easily flip Hali and the number 3 entry for a variety of reasons.  The Tambahawk gets the nod because of overall sack numbers and he played for the team longer, which is the tiebreaker.  He had relentless effort, was the hardest working player on the team and he lived and breathed Chiefs red. Before calling it quits because his knees were shot, he finished with 89.5 sacks (second all time in franchise history), 32 fumble’s forced and 8 recoveries.  When it is all said and done, Tamba fully deserves to be called one of the Chiefs greats.
  3. Justin Houston (2011-2018)- This third round pick was a force to be reckoned with and made his impact known early on when he recorded 5.5 sacks in the final 5 games of his rookie season. Together with Tamba Hali, they formed one of the greatest pass rushing duos in the NFL.  What sets Houston apart from other OLB’s is that he was not only an excellent pass rusher but he could play the run and the pass. Sadly a poorly diagnosed knee injury really slowed Houston down and he was never the same guy that was a sack away from breaking Strahan’s asterisked single season sack record in 2015.  That being said, Houston was a great all around LB for the Chiefs and his 78.5 sacks puts him 4th in franchise history behind the other two men on this list plus one other that we will see in another list.  Best of luck in Indy.
  4. Bobby Bell (1963-1974)- Oh I can see the debate happening about this one.  Make no mistake about it, Bobby Bell is one of the best players to ever wear the Chiefs uniform.  This multi-accolade LB was the prototype for how most OLB’s in a 34 are wired. While he only recorded 40 sacks, he had a whopping 26 INT’s and 8 TD’s (6 off those INT’s).  He is one of 10 members of the Chiefs 1969 SB team in the Hall of Fame and his number 78 is retired by the team.
  5. Jim Lynch (1967-1977)- The ROLB in the Chiefs 1969 defense that includes two Hall of Famer’s, Lynch might be the best player on that defense not in the Hall of Fame.  His steady play helped others be successful around him. Even Chiefs Hall of Fame DB Emmitt Thomas credits his play for making his life easier.

So there we have it, the five best OLB’s in Chiefs history.  This was not an easy list to put together because there were so many good players and not enough spots.  Speaking of such difficult lists, next time we take a look at the Running Backs. Until then, take care and feel free to rip me a new one.

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StramtoReid
StramtoReid

I’m 5 weeks late on this discussion, I think I have to put DT over the great Bobby Bell. Bell was the most complete OLB, DT could take over a game, like L.T.

I have to go Hali over Houston, because he was great for a long time, and Houston was great for a couple years.

I’M happy to see Jim Lynch is on the list

tsv0728
tsv0728

Have you done the RBs yet? I can’t find it, but I want to make sure I didn’t miss it. As far as this list goes…I never got to see Bell play, and by the time I was a fan, he wasn’t really a topic of conversation, except casual references to how good he was. DT is definitely on top for me. It sounds like maybe Bobby should be higher though. I really thought Justin would eventually challenge for a top spot. Injuries are a bitch.

dablueguy
dablueguy

Bobby is #1 for me and it’s not particularly close. He’s the best Chief ever, IMO, although hopefully Mahomes passes him up in the next few years. Best all around OLB I’ve ever seen next to LT. DT was the best pass rusher, but was a liability against the run, so much so he was sometimes taken off the field, and he wasn’t a pass defender. He was so good as a pass rusher, he edges out Justin for #2. Justin was going to challenge Bell, before the knee injuries, but he’s still a comfortable #3 to me. His all around game was 2nd only to Bell. Hali next. Great pass rusher and became a good player against the run. Lynch was a real good player, and if it wasn’t for us getting Lanier, Lynch might have become a great MLB.

upamtn

Butkus
Lanier
Bell

NovaChiefs
NovaChiefs

I’d put both Bell & Lynch above Hali & Houston. And I might put Bell above DT

upamtn

yes on both statements

Stuckinpackland
Stuckinpackland

I’m putting Houston over hali the rest doesnt matter. Where’s Zombo?!??!

BleedingRedAndGold

Odd to me that Willie Lanier didn’t make the list, but I don’t know the criteria for making said list. So I’ll give him an honorable mention.

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

Lanier was on the ILB list

BleedingRedAndGold

Personally, I’d put Bell at 2, at least, for Wayweird Son’s reasons. Only criticism I have is minor, and that’s the way Hali studied, expanded and perfected a good-sized array of handfighting skills. IMO that drive to improve his skills in that area extended his time playing by 2-3 seasons – and his loyalty to KC and the Chiefs runs deep. Tamba’s #alwaysaChief.

stjoechief
stjoechief

It’s tough to compare players from different eras, and everyone will have a bias toward guys they have seen themselves over time. I won’t argue with Tamba at #2 but Bobby Bell was a beast.

upamtn

totally beast mode

WaywerdSon
WaywerdSon

I might put Bell at the top of the list. Derricak had the sacks, but Bell was a much more complete player, and also played in a era when there werent as many opportunities for sacks due to the number of pass plays called. Very much in the running for the best to ever wear the red and gold at any position, but I would give that honor to Buchanan

upamtn

the best to ever wear the red and gold

Lanier … Buck and Bell might just be tied at #2 though

Team Player
Team Player

DT and IOL should be similarly difficult. Good luck!

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

Even I’m not that masochistic. I am going to do DL as their own list and OL as their own list.

BleedingRedAndGold

FWIW, I thing your series is going pretty well, actually. I even sense some improvement, but I’m at a loss to say exactly what the signs are.

Tyrone
Tyrone

It caught me a little off guard reading about Justin Houston relative to the Chiefs in the past tense. Gonna have to get used to that.

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

Great list. I probably put number 4 at 2 other than that it’s just like I’d put it.

KCChef
KCChef

I’d Swap 4 & 2 …

ForeverRanger91
ForeverRanger91

It wasn’t easy deciding where to put Bell, Houston, and Hali.