Junious "Buck" Buchanan
(September 10, 1940 – July
16, 1992) was an American who played collegiate and Professional
as a defensive tackle
. He played for the
Kansas City Chiefs
American Football League
(AFL) and in the National
High school years
attended A. H. Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama, and was a standout in football and basketball.
attended Grambling State University and was a letterman in
football and an NAIA
inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He is one of four players coached by Eddie Robinson enshrined in
the Pro Football
Hall of Fame.
, the 6'7" 287 pound Buchanan
was the first player selected overall in the AFL Draft
by the Kansas
City Chiefs. 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. He came from a small historically
black university, a source that the NFL ignored and the AFL
cultivated. In fact, the New York Giants had drafted Buchanan in
the nineteenth round of the 1963 NFL Draft, the 265th player chosen
Others who had watched Buchanan in action were equally
enthusiastic. Buchanan had the physical size plus the athletic
instincts to be exceptionally successful at his job of foiling
opposing offenses. He was particularly effective at intimidating
the passer and in one season alone (1967 AFL season|1967) he batted
down 16 passes at or behind the line
. He was clocked at 4.9 in the 40-yard dash
and 10.2 in the 100-yard dash
at Grambling State and with that
speed he could range from sideline to sideline to make tackles
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
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
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
Super Bowl IV
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 after he was inducted to
the Pro Hall of Fame, he died from lung
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
at number 66. The Chiefs also
retired his uniform number 86.
once appeared on ABC's
Sportsman hosted by Grits
Gresham of Natchitoches, Louisiana.
The program featured Gresham taking
celebrities on big-game hunting
tournaments, or shooting contests in
exotic places around the world.
He was diagnosed with lung cancer a week before his Hall of Fame
induction and died in his Kansas City home on July 16, 1992 at the
age of 51.