Chiefs’ AFL Star Johnny Robinson Senior Finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson played for the franchise from 1960 to 1971.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nine members of the Kansas City Chiefs teams of the 1960s already have a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and now Johnny Robinson could make it even 10.

Robinson has that chance now after the seniors committee nominated Robinson as its candidate for the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

“I’m thrilled," Robinson told Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker upon news of his nomination. "I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have been selected.”

The 48-member Hall of Fame voting committee will consider Robinson's candidacy during its meeting before the 2019 Super Bowl. If 80 percent of the committees voters give Robinson a thumbs up, he will join the Hall. The 2019 class could have a distinct Kansas City flair if Robinson earns enshrinement. Next year marks the first year of eligibility for tight end Tony Gonzalez, who appears a shoo-in to earn his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year.

Robinson stood out as one of the best safeties in the American Football League during the 1960s, earning a place on the All-Time AFL team. The Chiefs added Robinson to their ring of honor in 1974. He played on both of Kansas City's Super Bowl teams of the 1960s, winning a ring in Super Bowl IV. He also earned a spot on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's combined all-decade team of the decade.

Robinson also played halfback, rushing for 658 yards and six touchdowns on 150 carries while catching 77 passes for 1,228 yards and nine touchdowns.

But his biggest accolades came on defense, where he earned six first-team All-Pro nods and nine all-star game or Pro Bowl appearances. He led the AFL in interceptions with 10 in 1966 and later led the NFL in picks with 10 in 1970. His 57 interceptions rank second in team history.

Senior finalists more often that not earn election to the Hall of Fame. Only 12 of 59 candidates since 1972 failed to win entry, although some earned enshrinement from a second nomination. Several Chiefs have earned their place in the Hall thanks to the senior committee process, including Hank Stram, Emmitt Thomas and Curley Culp.

The Dallas Texans drafted Robinson with their first-round selection of the 1960 AFL draft. The Detroit Lions selected Robinson with the No. 3 overall pick of the NFL draft that year, but the LSU star opted for the AFL. The Texans relocated to Kansas City in 1963 and became the Chiefs.

Robinson twice earned All-SEC honors with LSU and won a national championship as part of the Tigers' undefeated 1958 team.

The 79-year-old Delhi, La., native returned to this home state in retirement and in 1980 founded the Johnny Robinson's Boys Home for troubled youths in Monroe, La. He remains a long-time supporter of causes for children.