Buck Buchanan
refer to caption
Buchanan playing with the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV
No. 86
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:(1940-09-10)September 10, 1940
Gainesville, Alabama, U.S.
Died:July 16, 1992(1992-07-16) (aged 51)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Height:6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight:270 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school:Parker
(Birmingham, Alabama)
College:Grambling State
NFL draft:1963 / Round: 19 / Pick: 265
AFL draft:1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Fumble recoveries:3
Player stats at PFR

Junious "Buck" Buchanan (September 10, 1940 – July 16, 1992) was an American professional football player who was a defensive tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football League (AFL) and in the National Football League (NFL).[1][2] Buchanan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Buchanan was massive for his era, standing at 6'7", and weighing 270 lbs. His height gave him a big advantage against lineman in the trenches.

High school years

Buchanan attended A. H. Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama, and was a standout in football and basketball.

College years

Buchanan attended Grambling College in Louisiana and was a letterman in football and an NAIA All-America selection. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He is one of four Grambling State players, Willie Brown, Willie Davis, and Charlie Joiner coached by Eddie Robinson enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[2]

Professional career

The 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 287 lb (130 kg) Buchanan was selected in both the NFL and AFL drafts in 1963. The New York Giants took him 265th overall in the 19th round of the 1963 NFL draft, while he was the first overall selection in the AFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.[1][3] Eddie Robinson, his coach at Grambling State, where he had been an NAIA All-American in 1962, called him "the finest lineman I have seen." Buchanan was the first black number one draft choice in Professional Football.

Others who had watched Buchanan in action were equally enthusiastic. Buchanan had the physical size and athletic instincts to be exceptionally successful. He was particularly effective at intimidating the passer and in 1967 batted down 16 passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. He was clocked at 4.9 in the 40-yard dash and 10.2 in the 100-yard dash at Grambling State, allowing him to range from sideline to sideline to make tackles.

Buchanan (left) and fellow Football Hall of Famer Curley Culp stop a Vikings running play during Super Bowl IV

In spite of the weekly pounding he took on the line of scrimmage, Buchanan was extremely durable. He played in 182 career games that included a string of 166 straight. After dabbling briefly at defensive end as a rookie, Buchanan settled down to his permanent job as the Chiefs' defensive right tackle. He was named to his first AFL All-Star Game after his second season and played in six AFL All-Star games and two AFC-NFC Pro Bowls.

He teamed with Curley Culp, Aaron Brown and Jerry Mays to establish a dominant front four for the Chiefs, culminating in their victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, when they allowed Viking runners only 67 yards rushing in 19 carries and 172 net passing yards, Buchanan in particular dominating the opposing center, Mick Tingelhoff, a 5-time AP first-team All-Pro selection up to that 1969 season, as handily as the left guard, Jim Vellone.

He was selected to the second-team of the AFL All-Time Team, and was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Two years later, he died from lung cancer at the age of 51.

In 1999, he was ranked number 67 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, right behind his former Chiefs teammate Bobby Bell. The Chiefs also retired his uniform number 86.

Personal life

Buchanan was diagnosed with lung cancer a week before his Hall of Fame induction and died at age 51 in his Kansas City home on July 16, 1992.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Cancer claims hall of famer Buck Buchanan". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Florida. Associated Press. July 17, 1992. p. 1C.
  2. ^ a b Tucker, Doug (July 17, 1992). "Former Chiefs' standout Buck Buchanon is dead". Nevada Daily Mail. Missouri. Associated Press. p. 8.
  3. ^ "Dallas picks tackle in AFL's pro draft, 274-lb. Buchanan". Palm Beach Post. Florida. Associated Press. December 2, 1962. p. 33.
  4. ^ "Hall of Famer Buchanan Dies". Chicago Tribune. July 17, 1992.