Ladainian Tomlinson is one of the greatest Chargers ever. He transformed the running back position and is a player that the younger generation of fans absolutely adores.
There’s no debate that Tomlinson is one of the greatest tailbacks in NFL history, but is he in the conversation with Walter Payton and Jim Brown?
NFL.com’s Gil Brandt seems to think so. Tomlinson was slotted at the number five spot in his list of the NFL’s greatest running backs.
Although Brandt didn’t go into detail as to why he placed Tomlinson at this position, he did list Tomlinson’s career accomplishments.
San Diego Chargers, 2001-2009; N.Y. Jets, 2010-2011» One-time NFL MVP» Voted to Pro Bowl five times; First Team All-Pro three times» Led league in rushing twice, rushing touchdowns three times» Holds NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a season (28)» 13,684 career rushing yards, 145 career rushing touchdowns, 17 career receiving touchdowns» Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Those accolades speak for themselves. Tomlinson accomplished so much in his career and even though he was unable to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy, he brought life-long memories to Chargers fans.
Tomlinson headlined his own generation of backs like Barry Sanders and Walter Payton did in decades past. Ask a 20-something who their favorite running back is, the answer is probably LT.
When looking at the top ten of Brandt’s list, Tomlinson is probably in the right spot. Ahead of him is Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Walter Payton, and Jim Brown.
The players behind him are Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell, and Eric Dickerson.
Now, everyone is going to have their preference, but Tomlinson is definitely close to the top-five. He is fifth all time in career rushing yards (13684), second in career rushing TDs (145), and holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season with 31.
Brandt’s list has taken some heat for a few reasons. One being that Sanders landed at the number eight spot. Also, Ezekiel Elliot cracked the list after one season.
Even though some may take issue with some of the list, it is a really cool look at some of the greatest running backs ever.
What does your top-five running back list look like? Does Tomlinson make the cut?