Junior Seau: Ranking the Linebacker's Best Football Moments

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 3, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 18:  Junior Seau #55 of the New England Patriots looks on from the bench in the second half against the Tennessee Titans on October 18, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Considering Junior Seau had one of the most storied careers in NFL history, it's hard to narrow down his greatest moments.

But I'm going to try. 

At the very least, it's a great way to honor a man who deserves endless tributes and will live in our memories forever.

Here we go. 


4. Seau is Drafted

After a brilliant college career with the USC Trojans, Junior Seau entered the 1990 NFL draft.

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 21:  Junior Seau #55 of the University of Southern California Trojans rushes the quarterback of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the NCAA game on October 21, 1989 in South Bend, Indiana The Notre Dame won 28-24.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers selected him No. 5 overall, behind Hall-of-Famer Cortez Kennedy and ahead of players like Emmitt Smith and Renaldo Turnbull.

It only took Seau, who started 15 of 16 games during his rookie season, one year to make his first of 12 Pro Bowls and 10 All-Pro teams, but it took him even less time to establish himself as the face of San Diego's defense and franchise. 

Even at pick No. 5, it's safe to say the Chargers got themselves a steal in that draft with the Tasmanian Devil. 


3. Defensive Player of the Year

In 1992, just his third season in the NFL, Seau was an absolute monster. 

He recorded over 100 tackles, racked up 4.5 sacks and even picked off two passes as he was named the UPI AFC Defensive Player of the Year and NEA NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 17:  Linebacker Junior Seau #55 of the San Diego Chargers stands on the field during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 17, 2002 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won in overtime 20-1
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

During that season, Seau led the Chargers to an 11-5 record and an AFC West championship. 


2. NFL 1990s All-Decade Team

Seau isn't yet eligible for the Hall of Fame because he enjoyed defying Father Time and played for so long, but he still has a pretty impressive honor from the Hall.

In 2000, Seau was named to the First-Team NFL Hall of Fame All-90s Team, an honor that put him next to other greats such as Kevin Greene and Derrick Thomas. 

From the Hall:

The heart and soul of the Chargers defense, Seau was named to a Pro Bowl nine straight times during the 1990s. He helped lead the Chargers to an AFC championship and an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX. He also was named first-team All-Pro eight times in his career including seven seasons in the ‘90s.


1. 1994 Season

1992 saw Seau win the Defensive Player of the Year award, but in 1994, he took in one step further when he won the AFC Player of the Year award.

All he did was rack up 124 solo tackles and 5.5 sacks.

But as much as Seau enjoyed pulling in individual awards, he was the type of guy who was all about the team. That's why 1994 was so special.

Seau led the Chargers to an 11-5 record during the regular season and then to victories over Miami and Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

The Chargers eventually fell to the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX, but it was their first appearance in the big game since 1965.