5. LaDainian Tomlinson, 2001
Arguably the greatest offensive player in franchise history (unless you prefer Philip Rivers), LaDainian Tomlinson was more than a home run when the Chargers selected him with the fifth overall pick in 2001. Nowadays it is a football travesty if a team takes a running back that early but the game was much different back then and getting one of the best running backs of all time is definitely a win.
Tomlinson had the best running back season in NFL history for the Chargers in 2006 and if he and Philip Rivers could have just stayed healthy the year later then the Chargers might have a Super Bowl ring to their name. Tomlinson is a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, one-time MVP and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A lot of modern Chargers fans are fans because of LT and his dominance in the mid-2000s. That was the most successful run in franchise history and LT is a massive reason why.
4. Junior Seau, 1990
Undoubtedly the greatest defensive player in franchise history and arguably the best player in franchise history period, Junior Seau was one of very few good draft picks by the Chargers in what was a really dry period draft-wise in the 90s.
Seau's resume speaks for itself. A Pro Football Hall of Famer, Seau was named to 12 Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams. He was the best linebacker in the NFL in the 1990s and if he played on a bigger-market team or had more success he would the credit he deserves from mainstream fans.
While Seau is one of the best players in franchise history, him being taken with the fifth overall pick does keep him from ranking in the top three.