If there is one thing that the San Diego Chargers have done well in the draft, it’s selecting running backs.
Over the course of their long history as a franchise, in both the American Football League and the National Football League, the Bolts have done a great job having an eye for talent at this position. Many of the backs that they have drafted have had solid seasons, gone to Pro Bowls, been named to All-Pro teams, and one in particular won a Most Valuable Player Award on route to Canton in a few seasons.
So with that said, here are some of the best picks at running back in Chargers history.
Dickie Post – First up, we travel back to the year 1967. The San Diego Chargers selected Richard Marvin “Dickie” Post in the 4th round of the 1967 NFL Draft. What followed from that selection was a very solid career for Mr. Post. The San Pedro, Ca. native played four years for the Chargers and led the league in rushing yards in 1969 with 873 yards on 182 carries. Post also scored six touchdowns and averaged 62.4 yards per game.
Natrone Means – We now shift gears to a more modern era, and to an integral piece of the 1994 AFC Champion Chargers club: Natrone Means. Means, a native of Harrisburg, North Carolina was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1993 NFL Draft, and had his best seasons as a member of the Chargers. This included a stellar campaign in 1994, the last time the Bolts made it to the Super Bowl, in which Means rushed for 1,350 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. His 343 carries brought him to his one and only Pro Bowl appearance.
Marion Butts – This man just missed out on the Charger Super Bowl run, but Marion Butts had a solid career in San Diego. A two-time Pro Bowler, Butts brought his game to a high level in his five seasons with the club. He rushed for 4,297 yards in those five seasons, including a career-high 1,225 in 1990. That season, Butts led the league in yards per game with 87.5, and scored eight touchdowns.
Darren Sproles – A fan favorite who is still sorely missed by the Chargers, Darren Sproles brought himself into the limelight with his dazzling performance as a Kansas St. Wildcat against Oklahoma in the infamous 2003 Big XII Championship Game in Kansas City. But after that game, Sproles showed that size truly does not matter. The 5’6” 181 lbs. back from Waterloo, Iowa showed off his skills as a running back and on special teams in his five seasons with the Bolts. Who could ever forget his touchdown against the Colts in the 2009 Wild Card Round? This triple-threat running back certainly warrants himself a spot in this category.
Michael Turner – The understudy to the final running back on this list may have seen his best years in Atlanta, but Michael Turner was a more-than-capable backup running back during his tenure in America’s Finest City. The Northern Illinois graduate ran for 1,257 yards as a Charger including 502 yards in 2006 on merely 80 carries. That is a staggering 6.3 yards per attempt. Perhaps it was then that Charger fans realized what Turner could be capable of, and is certainly one that got away from A.J. Smith & Co.
LaDainian Tomlinson – Who else could finish out this compilation? The 2006 NFL MVP; Offensive Player of the Year; 1st Team All-2000s member; five-time Pro Bowler; three-time First-Team All-Pro; fifth all-time in rushing yards; second all-time in rushing touchdowns; the record-holder for total touchdowns in a season; fifth all-time in yards for scrimmage. No matter where you look in the record books, LaDainian Tomlinson is an all-time great and is the best running back that the Chargers have ever selected in the Draft. And it is not remotely close.
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