NFL Draft successes and busts 10-year evaluation: 5th overall success

Over the next couple weeks, we'll evaluate the best and worst top 10 picks in a 10-year span from 1999-2008. We capped this at 2008 because it's unfair to judge first- or second-year players. Today, the pick five success.

Pick: Five overall
The player:
LaDainian Tomlinson | 2001 | San Diego Chargers

Much like Richard Seymour did, Tomlinson helped define his position last decade. For a time, there was more explosive weapon on offense than Tomlinson.

The Chargers had the top overall pick in the 2001, but traded it to Atlanta, which took Michael Vick. Although Vick was a sensation and returned to form last season, Tomlinson was great for seven years. He was a pretty easy pick for No. 5 overall success. He holds the NFL record for touchdowns in a season, most rushing touchdowns in a season and most points scored in a season. All of his records aren't seasonal, however, Tomlinson has more games of two and three or more touchdowns.

Like many running backs, Tomlinson fell fast and quick to mediocrity. But he's still rushed for 13,404 yards in his career and 14 touchdowns. Tomlinson has also been a top receiving option for a back with 582 receptions for 4,323 yards. Tomlinson was a superstar, no doubt about it.


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