2. Ben Leber
It is a bit more challenging to find a successor for Junior Seau considering there are multiple linebackers on the field and it is not like one person is replacing him like you could say at the quarterback or running back position.
However, we do know that the entire reason why the Chargers were open to trading Seau is that he was on the downswing of his career. They did not get a great return for Seau, just a late-round pick, and it was more of a case of a relationship running its tide.
So why did we deem Ben Leber as Seau’s replacement? It might seem particularly strange considering that Leber started every game he appeared in during his rookie season, which was Seau’s last year with the team.
It is because Leber was a young backer at the time with a lot of potential that was looked upon as someone who could soften the blow of losing Seau. Seau was not a massive difference-maker at this point in his career but it still was a loss, with the addition in the situation being an increased focus on a young linebacker as the leader of the unit.
Leber never had a better year with the Chargers than his rookie season with Seau, when he recorded five sacks. However, he did carve out a lengthy NFL career, playing for the Minnesota Vikings for another five seasons after a four-year stint in San Diego and the St. Louis Rams to close out his career.
Nobody was going to replace Junior Seau. Nobody. With Leber being the youngest guy with the most potential at the time, he gets the tag of being the successor.
Reminiscing on Draft night. One of my favorite pictures with a man that changed my life, Junior Seau. The most influential man I’ve ever met. Football is more than football. #chargers #buddy #headlock pic.twitter.com/1lsLKOV0nd
— Ben Leber (@nacholeber) April 28, 2018