Like Philip Rivers, Lance Alworth also wasn’t drafted by the team he ended up becoming a star for. In 1962, Alworth was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL and the Oakland Raiders of the AFL.
The Raiders then traded his rights to the Chargers. Alworth decided to stay with the Chargers and like the fate that ended up bringing Rivers to San Diego, it worked out well.
Alworth helped the Chargers win the AFL title in 1963 and may be the best player to ever play in the AFL. Some Chargers fans would place him at No. 1 on this list without hesitation, too.
He’s easily the best wide receiver in team history. Alworth hasn’t played for the team since 1970, but still holds or shares 14 team records., including receiving yards in a season, receiving touchdowns in a season and games with 200 or more yards receiving. He had five of those, tied for the most of any player in NFL history, a record he shares with Calvin Johnson.
Nicknamed “Bambi” for his speed and grace, Alworth was a player way ahead of his time. He finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys and won a Super Bowl with them. In 1978, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first Charger to ever earn that honor.
Not only was he the best receiver in Chargers history, but he’s also on the list of the best receivers to ever play the game. His career 18.9 yards per reception average ranks second in history among players with at least 500 receptions. During his AFL career, he caught at least one pass in every game he ever played in.
He finished his career, which lasted just 10 seasons, with over 10,000 yards through the air and 85 touchdowns.
A great man and a supremely talented player, Alworth is easily one of the best players to ever wear a Chargers uniform, which is why his No. 19 will never be worn again.