top of page
  • Writer's picture

All-Time Teams: San Francisco 49ers



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


San Francisco 49ers All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1946

Record: 599-506-16 (54.21 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 35-23

Super Bowls Won: 5 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994) (Lost in 2012 and 2019)

Pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships Won: 0

AAFC Championships Won: 0 (Lost in 1949)

Passing Leader: Joe Montana 2,929/4,600 | 35,124 Yds | 244 TD

Rushing Leader: Frank Gore 2,442 Att | 11,073 Yds | 64 TD

Receiving Leader: Jerry Rice 1,281 Rec | 19,247 Yds | 176 TD

Sack Leader: Cedrick Hardman 108 Sk

Interception Leader: Ronnie Lott 51 Int

Scoring Leader: Jerry Rice 1,130 Points

Winningest Coach: George Seifert 98-30


QB: Joe Montana (1979-1992)

Record: 100-39 | 63.7 Cmp% | 35,124 Yds | 244 TD | 123 Int | 1,595 Rush Yds | 20 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 1980, 1981, 1985, 1987 and 1989 (64.5%, 63.7%, 61.3%, 66.8%, 70.2%) | Led League in TD 1982 and 1987 (17, 31) | Led League in Yds/A 1989 (9.1) | Led League in Yds/G 1989 (270.8) | Led League in QB Rating 1987 and 1989 (102.1, 112.4) | 7x Pro-Bowl (81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, 90) | 3x All-Pro (87, 89, 90) | 1989 and 1990 MVP | 1986 Comeback Player of the Year | 1989 Offensive Player of the Year | 1989 Bert Bell | 1981, 1984, 1988 and 1989 Super Bowl Champion | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2000

Joe Montana was almost universally considered the GOAT before Tom Brady. He led the 49ers for 11 seasons, guiding them to nine 10 or more winning seasons and nine playoff appearances. Montana and the 49ers famously went 4-0 in the Super Bowl, winning in 1981, 1984, 1988 and 1989. He was one of the most clutch quarterbacks of all time and led the league in completion percentage five times, yards twice, yards per attempt once, yards per game once and quarterback rating twice as well. Montana was named the league MVP in both 1989 and 1990 and was also named the 1989 Offensive Player of the Year and the 1986 Comeback Player of the Year. He was voted to seven Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams on his way to being named to the Hall of Fame All-1980s Team. At retirement, Montana ranked third all-time in completions and fourth all-time in yards and touchdowns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. It's worth noting that Steve Young is also one of the best ever and arguably had a better peak to his career than Montana, at least on an individual level. Super Bowls are really the only thing separating the two as Young was also a seven-time Pro-Bowler, three-time All-Pro, two-time MVP and Hall of Fame inductee. Y.A. Tittle is another Hall of Famer for San Franciso and John Brodie is severely underrated.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Frankie Albert (1946-1952) | Record: 55-32-5 | 53.1 Cmp% | 10,795 Yds | 115 TD | 98 Int | 1,272 Rush Yds | 27 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 1948 (58.3%) | Led League in TD 1948 and 1949 (29, 27) | Led League in Yds/A 1946 (7.1) | Led League in QB Rating 1948 (102.9) | 1x Pro-Bowl (50) | 1949 AAFC Championship Appearance

  2. Y.A. Tittle (1951-1960) | Record: 45-31-2 | 55.9 Cmp% | 16,016 Yds | 108 TD | 134 Int | 637 Rush Yds | 23 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1957 (176) | Led League in Cmp% 1957 (63.1%) | Led League in TD 1955 (17) | 4x Pro-Bowl (53, 54, 57, 59) | 1x All-Pro (57) | Hall of Fame Class 1971

  3. John Brodie (1957-1973) | Record: 74-76-8 | 55 Cmp% | 31,548 Yds | 214 TD | 224 Int | 1,167 Rush Yds | 22 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1965, 1968 and 1970 (242, 234, 223) | Led League in Cmp% 1958 and 1965 (59.9%, 61.9%) | Led League in Yds 1965, 1968 and 1970 (3,112, 3,020, 2,941) | Led League in TD 1965 and 1970 (30, 24) | Led League in Yds/A 1961 (9.1) | Led League in Yds/G 1965, 19668 and 1970 (239.4, 215.7, 210.1) | Led League in QB Rating 1970 (93.8) | 2x Pro-Bowl (65, 70) | 1x All-Pro (70) | 1970 MVP

  4. Steve Young (1987-1999) | Record: 91-33 | 65.8 Cmp% | 29,907 Yds | 221 TD | 86 Int | 3,581 Rush Yds | 37 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp% 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 (66.7%, 70.3%, 66.9%, 67.7%, 67.7%) | Led League in TD 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1998 (25, 29, 35, 36) | Led League in Yds/A 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997 (9, 8.6, 8.7, 8.6, 8.5) | Led League in Yds/G 1995 and 1998 (290.9, 278) | Led League in QB Rating 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997 (101.8, 107, 101.5, 112.8, 97.2, 104.7) | 7x Pro-Bowl (92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98) | 3x All-Pro (92, 93, 94) | 1992 and 1994 MVP | 1992 Offensive Player of the Year | 1992 and 1994 Bert Bell | 1994 Super Bowl Champion | Hall of Fame Class 2005

  5. Jeff Garcia (1999-2003) | Record: 35-36 | 61.4 Cmp% | 16,408 Yds | 113 TD | 56 Int | 1,571 Rush Yds | 21 Rush TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (00, 01, 02)

  6. Alex Smith (2005-2012) | Record: 38-36-1 | 59.3 Cmp% | 14,280 Yds | 81 TD | 63 Int | 761 Rush Yds | 4 Rush TD

  7. Colin Kaepernick (2011-2016) | Record: 28-30 | 59.8 Cmp% | 12,271 Yds | 72 TD | 30 Int | 2,300 Rush Yds | 13 Rush TD | 2012 NFC Champion

  8. Jimmy Garoppolo (2017-Present) | Record: 31-14 | 67.7 Cmp% | 11,162 Yds | 66 TD | 38 Int | 182 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD | 2019 NFC Champion


RB: Joe Perry (1948-1960, 1963)

5.2 Yds/A | 8,689 Yds | 68 TD | 204 Rec | 1,505 Rec Yds | 11 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1949, 1953 and 1954 (783, 1,018, 1,049) | Led League in TD 1948, 1949 and 1953 (10, 8, 10) | Led League in Yds/A 1949 (6.8) | Led League in Yds/G 1949, 1953 and 1954 (71.2, 84.8, 87.4) | Led League in YScm 1953 and 1954 (1,209, 1,252) | Led League in RRTD 1953 (13) | 3x Pro-Bowl (52, 53, 54) | 2x All-Pro (53, 54) | 1954 MVP | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1969


First up at running back is Joe Perry. Perry was one of the first super stars in franchise history. He averaged an absurd 5.2 yards per attempt during his 14 seasons with the 49ers and led the league in yards and touchdowns three times a piece. Perry also led the league in yards per attempt once, yards per game three times, yards from scrimmage twice and combined rushing and receiving touchdowns once. He was named the 1954 league MVP and voted to three Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. Perry was also a member of the Hall of Fame All-1950s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.


RB: Frank Gore (2005-2013)

4.5 Yds/A | 11,073 Yds | 64 TD | 342 Rec | 2,883 Rec Yds | 11 Rec TD | 5x Pro-Bowl (06, 09, 11, 12, 13) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


This spot came down to Frank Gore, Hugh McElhenny and Roger Craig. I know many will clamor for Craig, but I'm going with Gore. Gore had over 1,000 yards in eight different seasons and over 10 touchdowns once. He even had over 2,100 yards from scrimmage in 2006. Gore was consistently one of the best backs in the league and was named to five Pro-Bowls and the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. He currently ranks third all-time in rushing yards and should one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Roger Craig should probably be a Hall of Famer as well. He was the first back to have over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season and was a key member of three Super Bowl winning teams. Hugh McElhenny is a Hall of Fame back for the 49ers as well.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Norm Standlee (1946-1952) | 4.5 Yds/A | 1,830 Yds | 18 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (50)

  2. Johnny Strzykalski (1946-1952) | 5.2 Yds/A | 3,415 Yds | 19 TD | 93 Rec | 1,218 Rec Yds | 12 TD | Led League in Yds/A 1947 and 1948 (6.3, 6.8) | 1x Pro-Bowl (50)

  3. Hugh McElhenny (1952-1960) | 4.9 Yds/A | 4,288 Yds | 35 TD | 195 Rec | 2,666 Rec Yds | 15 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 1952 (7) | 5x Pro-Bowl (52, 53, 56, 57, 58) | 2x All-Pro (52, 53) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1970

  4. J.D. Smith (1956-1964) | 4.3 Yds/A | 4,370 Yds | 37 TD | 121 Rec | 1,109 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (59, 62)

  5. Ken Willard (1965-1973) | 3.7 Yds/A | 5,930 Yds | 45 TD | 273 Rec | 2,156 Rec Yds | 16 Rec TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (65, 66, 68, 69)

  6. Delvin Williams (1974-1977) | 4.4 Yds/A | 2,966 Yds | 20 TD | 82 Rec | 841 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/Tch 1975 (6.6) | 1x Pro-Bowl (76)

  7. Wendell Tyler (1983-1986) | 5.0 Yds/A | 3,112 Yds | 17 TD | 82 Rec | 669 Rec Yds | 6 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (84)

  8. Roger Craig (1983-1990) | 4.2 Yds/A | 7,064 Yds | 50 TD | 508 Rec | 4,442 Rec Yds | 16 Rec TD | Led League in Rec 1985 (92) | Led League in YScm 1988 (2,036) | 4x Pro-Bowl (85, 87, 88, 89) | 1x All-Pro (88) | 1988 Offensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team

  9. Tom Rathman (1986-1993) | 3.7 Yds/A | 1,902 Yds | 26 TD | 294 Rec | 2,490 Rec Yds | 8 Rec TD

  10. Rickey Watters (1992-1994) | 4.3 Yds/A | 2,840 Yds | 25 TD | 140 Rec | 8 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (92, 93, 94)

  11. Garrison Hearst (1997-2003) | 4.7 Yds/A | 5,535 Yds | 26 TD | 174 Rec | 1,604 Rec Yds | 7 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/A 1998 (5.1) | 2x Pro-Bowl (98, 01) | 2001 Comeback Player of the Year

  12. Fred Beasley (1998-2005) | 3.3 Yds/A | 610 Yds | 8 TD | 133 Rec | 1,017 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (03)

  13. Kyle Juszczyk (2017-Present) | 3.6 Yds/A | 154 Yds | 3 TD | 132 Rec | 1,376 Rec Yds | 8 Rec TD | 5x Pro-Bowl (17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

WR: Jerry Rice (1985-2000)

1,281 Rec | 19,247 Yds | 176 TD | Led League in Rec 1990 and 1996 (100, 108) | Led League in Yds 1986, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994 and 1995 (1,570, 1,483, 1,502, 1,503, 1,499, 1,848) | Led League in TD 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1993 (15, 22, 17, 13, 14, 15) | Led League in Yds/G 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1994 and 1995 (98.1, 89.8, 93.9, 93.9, 93.7, 115.5) | Led League in Yds/Tch 1990, 1993 and 1995 (14.7, 15.6, 14.8) | Led League in RRTD 1987 and 1993 (23, 16) | 12x Pro-Bowl (86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98) | 10x All-Pro (86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96) | 1987 and 1993 Offensive Player of the Year | 1987 Bert Bell | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2010

Jerry Rice is the GOAT of wide receivers and maybe the GOAT regardless of position. Rice spent 16 seasons in San Francisco, leading the league in receptions twice, yards six times, touchdowns six times, yards per game six times, yards per touch three times and combined rushing and receiving touchdowns twice as well. With the 49ers, Rice had 12 1,000-yard seasons and nine seasons of at least 10 touchdowns. His 1987 seasons is maybe the best ever by a receiver, as he posted 22 touchdowns in just 12 games, a record that stood until 2007 and took 16 games to break. He also posted the most receiving yards in a single season in 1995 with 1,848, which wasn't broken until 2012. Rice currently ranks first all-time in receptions by over 100, first in yards by over 5,000 and first in touchdowns by over 41. It's safe to say his records may never be broken. Rice was named to 12 Pro-Bowls, 10 All-Pro Teams, both the Hall of Fame All-1980s and All-1990s Teams and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.


WR: Terrell Owens (1996-2003)

592 Rec | 8,572 Yds | 81 TD | Led League in TD 2001 and 2002 (16, 13) | Led League in Yds/G 2000 (103.6) | Led League in Yds/Tch 2002 (12.9) | 4x Pro-Bowl (00, 01, 02, 03) | 3x All-Pro (00, 01, 02) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2018


Terrell Owens is another all-time great wide receiver for the 49ers. Owens had five 1,000-yard seasons and four times went over 10 touchdowns with the 49ers. He led the league in touchdowns in both 2001 and 2002 and led the league in yards per game in 2000 and yards per touch in 2002. Owens currently ranks eighth in receptions and third in yards and touchdowns in NFL history. He was named to four Pro-Bowls, three All-Pro Teams, the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team and inducted into the Hall of fame in 2018.


WR: Billy Wilson (1951-1960)

407 Rec | 5,902 Yds | 49 TD | Led League in Rec 1954, 1956 and 1957 (60, 60, 52) | Led League in TD 1953 (10) | Led League in Yds/G 1957 (68.8) | 6x Pro-Bowl (54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59) | 1x All-Pro (57)


This spot was one of the hardest decisions for me to make. A case can be made for Billy Wilson, Gene Washington, Dwight Clark and even the completely forgotten Alyn Beals. I'm going with Billy Wilson. Wilson gets the edge due to his slightly longer time spent being one of the best receivers in the league in comparison to shorter peaks amongst the other three mentioned above. Wilson led the league in receptions three times, touchdowns once and yards per game once as well. He had seven seasons of at least 500 yards and four seasons over 800 and this was during 12 game seasons. Wilson was named to six straight Pro-Bowls from 1954-1959 and the All-Pro Team in 1957. I had never heard of Alyn Beals before researching for this article, but he led the AAFC in receiving touchdowns in all four years of its existence, having at least 10 touchdowns in all four of them. Not sure why he doesn't get more recognition from Hall of Fame voters. Gene Washington and Dwight Clark have better totals than Wilson, but they played in 14 and 16 game seasons respectively, so Wilson was better on a per game basis. That being said, I could fully understand Clark or Washington being preferred by some in this spot.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Alyn Beals (1946-1951) | 211 Rec | 2,951 Yds | 49 TD | Led League in Rec 1946 (40) | Led League in TD 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1949 (10, 10, 14, 12) | Led League in RRTD 1946 and 1949 (10, 12) | 3x All-Pro (46, 48, 49)

  2. Gordie Soltau (1950-1958) | 249 Rec | 3,487 Yds | 25 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (51, 52, 53) | 1x All-Pro (52)

  3. Dave Parks (1964-1967) | 208 Rec | 3,334 Yds | 27 TD | Led League in Rec 1965 (80) | Led League in Yds 1965 (1,344) | Led League in TD 1965 (12) | Led League in Yds/G 1965 (96) | 3x Pro-Bowl (64, 65, 66) | 1x All-Pro (65)

  4. Clifton McNeil (1968-1969) | 88 Rec | 1,249 Yds | 10 TD | Led League in Rec 1968 (71) | 1x Pro-Bowl (68) | 1x All-Pro (68)

  5. Gene Washington (1969-1977) | 371 Rec | 6,664 Yds | 59 TD | Led League in Yds 1970 (1,100) | Led League in Yds/Rec 1974 (21.2) | Led League in TD 1972 (12) | Led League in Yds/G 1970 (84.6) | 4x Pro-Bowl (69, 70, 71, 72) | 3x All-Pro (69, 70, 72)

  6. Freddie Solomon (1978-1985) | 310 Rec | 4,873 Yds | 43 TD

  7. Dwight Clark (1979-1987) | 506 Rec | 6,750 Yds | 48 TD | Led League in Rec 1982 (60) | Led League in Yds/Tch 1982 (15.2) | 2x Pro-Bowl (81, 82) | 1x All-Pro (82)

  8. John Taylor (1987-1995) | 347 Rec | 5,598 Yds | 43 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (88, 89) | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team

  9. Deebo Samuel (2019-Present) | 167 Rec | 2,598 Yds | 10 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 2021 (18.2) | 1x Pro-Bowl (21) | 1x All-Pro (21)


TE: Vernon Davis (2006-2015)

441 Rec | 5,540 Yds | 55 TD | Led League in TD 2009 (13) | 2x Pro-Bowl (09, 13)


Vernon Davis gets the nod at tight end for the All-Time 49ers. Davis spent 10 seasons with the 49ers and had at least 500 yards in six of them. He also had over 10 touchdowns in two seasons, including leading the league in 2009 with 13. Davis was named to the Pro-Bowl in both 2009 and 2013. Brent Jones is a very close second here and was voted to four Pro-Bowls, but Vernon Davis was slightly more productive, so he gets the spot.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Monty Stickles (1960-1967) | 207 Rec | 2,993 Yds | 14 TD

  2. Ted Kwalick (1969-1974) | 164 Rec | 2,555 Yds | 23 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (71, 72, 73) | 1x All-Pro (72)

  3. Brent Jones (1987-1997) | 417 Rec | 5,195 Yds | 33 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (92, 93, 94, 95)

  4. George Kittle (2017-Present) | 335 Rec | 4,489 Yds | 20 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (18, 19, 21) | 1x All-Pro (19)


OT: Bob St. Clair (1953-1963)

Started 117 of 119 Games | 5x Pro-Bowl (56, 58, 59, 60, 61) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1990


First up on the offensive line is Bob St. Clair. He started just under 120 games in San Franciso, including starting every game in seven seasons. St. Clair was voted to five Pro-Bowls, the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.


OT: Joe Staley (2007-2019)

Started 181 of 181 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Joe Staley will man down the other offensive tackle position. Staley spent 13 seasons in San Francisco, starting every game in eight seasons. He was named to six Pro-Bowls and voted to the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. He has an outside shot to make the Hall of Fame one day once he becomes eligible.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Len Rohde (1960-1974) | Started 179 of 208 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (70)

  2. Walt Rock (1963-1967) | Started 56 of 63 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (65)

  3. Cas Banaszek (1968-1977) | Started 112 of 120 Games

  4. Keith Fahnhorst (1974-1987) | Started 160 of 193 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (84) | 1x All-Pro (84)

  5. Bubba Paris (1983-1990) | Started 97 of 117 Games

  6. Steve Wallace (1986-1996) | Started 127 of 166 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (92)

  7. Harris Barton (1987-1996) | Started 134 of 138 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (93) | 2x All-Pro (92, 93)

  8. Derrick Deese (1994-2003) | Started 116 of 136 Games


OG: Guy McIntyre (1984-1993)

Started 97 of 145 Games | 5x Pro-Bowl (89, 90, 91, 92, 93)

Guy McIntyre gets the first starting spot at offensive guard. He started every game in four seasons and won three Super Bowls. He was also named to five straight Pro-Bowls from 1989-1993.


OG: Randy Cross (1976-1988)

Started 180 of 185 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (81, 82, 84)

The other offensive guard spot goes to Randy Cross. Cross spent 13 seasons with the 49ers from 1976-1988, starting every game in eight seasons. He spent time as both a center and guard for the 49ers and was a key member on the line for the organizations first three Super Bowl winning teams. He was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1981, 1982 and 1984.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Visco Grgich (1946-1952) | Started 50 of 78 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (50)

  2. Bruno Banducci (1946-1954) | Started 80 of 103 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (54) | 2x All-Pro (47, 54) | Hall of Fame All-1940s Team

  3. Ted Connolly (1954-1962) | Started 62 of 81 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (61)

  4. John Thomas (1958-1967) | Started 112 of 122 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (66) | 1x All-Pro (66)

  5. Howard Mudd (1964-1069) | Started 56 of 75 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (66, 67, 68) | 1x All-Pro (68) | Hall of Fame All-1960s Team

  6. Woody Peoples (1968-1977) | Started 107 of 121 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (72, 73)

  7. John Ayers (1977-1986) | Started 133 of 148 Games

  8. Ray Brown (1996-2001) | Started 95 of 95 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (01)

  9. Kevin Gogan (1997-1998) | Started 32 of 32 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (97, 98)

  10. Mike Iupati (2010-2014) | Started 75 of 75 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (12, 13, 14) | 1x All-Pro (12)

  11. Laken Tomlinson (2017-Present) | Started 80 of 80 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (21)

C: Forrest Blue (1968-1974)

Started 82 of 96 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (71, 72, 73, 74) | 3x All-Pro (71, 72, 73)


Forrest Blue gets the nod at center for the 49ers. He didn't spend as many years in San Franciso as some others, but he was arguably one of the best centers in the league for all seven years with the team. It's this dominance that I believe gives him the edge over Bruce Bosley and Jesse Sapolu. Blue started every game in six seasons and was voted to four straight Pro-Bowls from 1971-1974 and three straight All-Pro Teams from 1971-1973.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bill Johnson (1948-1956) | Started 87 of 95 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (52, 53)

  2. Bruce Bosley (1956-1968) | Started 147 of 163 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (60, 65, 66, 67)

  3. Fred Quillan (1978-1987) | Started 129 of 143 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (84, 85)

  4. Jesse Sapolu (1983-1997) | Started 154 of 182 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (93, 94)

  5. Jeremy Newberry (1999-2005) | Started 90 of 90 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (01, 02)

  6. Eric Heitmann (2002-2009) | Started 114 of 119 Games


DE: Justin Smith (2008-2014)

1 Int | 10 FF | 5 FR | 43.5 Sk | 414 Tackles | 64 TFL | 5x Pro-Bowl (09, 10, 11, 12, 13) | 1x All-Pro (11)


Justin Smith is first up on the defensive side of the ball. Smith spent seven seasons in San Francisco, racking up over 40 sacks and 400 tackles. He's been a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame a few years and may one day get the call. Smith was named to five straight Pro-Bowls from 2009-2013 and the All-Pro Team in 2011.


DE: Cedrick Hardman (1970-1979)

7 FR | 108 Sk | Led League in Sk 1971 (18) | 2x Pro-Bowl (71, 75)


Cedrick Hardman seems to be forgotten in NFL History. He's the franchise leader in sacks with 108 and even led the league in sacks in 1971 with 18. Hardman had at least 10 sacks in six different seasons and was named to the Pro-Bowl in both 1971 and 1975. Fred Dean was great with the 49ers as well and is a starter on the All-Time Chargers Team.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Ed Henke (1951-1960) | 12 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (52)

  2. Tommy Hart (1968-1977) | 2 Int | 8 FR | 72.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (76)

  3. Dwaine Board (1979-1988) | 10 FR | 61 Sk

  4. Ray McDonald (2007-2014) | 1 Int | 5 FF | 3 FR | 19.5 Sk | 156 Tackles | 32 TFL

  5. Fred Dean (1981-1985) | 2 FR | 40 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (81, 83) | 1x All-Pro (81) | Hall of Fame Class 2008

  6. Pierce Holt (1988-1992) | 2 FF | 4 FR | 29.5 Sk | 213 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (92)


DT: Leo Nomellini (1950-1963)

13 FR | 13.5 Sk | 10x Pro-Bowl (50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61) | 6x All-Pro (51, 52, 53, 54, 57, 59) | Hall of Fame Class 1969


Leo Nomellini is one of the greatest defensive tackles in NFL history. He had 13.5 sacks after 1960, but we don't have sack or tackle totals for his first 10 seasons. Nomellini was named to 10 different Pro-Bowls and six All-Pro Teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.


DT: Bryant Young (1994-2007)

12 FF | 7 FR | 89.5 Sk | 627 Tackles | 93 TFL | 4x Pro-Bowl (96, 99, 01, 02) | 1x All-Pro (96) | 1999 Comeback Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2022


Bryant Young racked up just under 90 sacks during his 14 years in San Francisco and twice had over 11 sacks. Young was named to four Pro-Bowls, one All-Pro Team and the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. He was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022. Michael Carter and Dana Stubblefield were both great with the 49ers as well. Stubblefield was the defensive player of the year in 1997 and Carter is the only athlete to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl ring in the same season. He took silver in the shot put at the 1984 Olympics.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Al Carapella (1951-1955) | 3 Int | 1 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (54)

  2. Bob Toneff (1952-1958) | 2 Int | 6 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (55) | 1x All-Pro (55)

  3. Charlie Kruegar (1959-1973) | 1 Int | 7 FR | 54 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (60, 64)

  4. Roland Lakes (1961-1970) | 9 FR | 45 Sk

  5. Cleveland Elam (1975-1978) | 4 FR | 34.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (76, 77) | 1x All-Pro (77)

  6. Michael Carter (1984-1992) | 1 Int | 22.5 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (85, 87, 88) | 1x All-Pro (87)

  7. Dana Stubblefield (1993-1997, 2001-2002) | 2 Int | 7 FF | 2 FR | 46.5 Sk | 301 Tackles | 16 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (94, 95, 97) | 1x All-Pro (97) | 1993 Defensive Rookie of the Year | 1997 Defensive Player of the Year

  8. DeForest Buckner (2016-2019) | 3 FF | 7 FR | 28.5 Sk | 263 Tackles | 38 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (18)


LB: Dave Wilcox (1964-1974)

14 Int | 12 FR | 36.5 Sk | 7x Pro-Bowl (66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73) | 2x All-Pro (71, 72) | Hall of Fame Class 2000


First up at linebacker is Dave Wilcox. Wilcox spent 11 seasons in San Francisco, intercepting 14 passes and racking up over 35 sacks. He was the leader on the defense for over a decade and was named to seven Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.


LB: Patrick Willis (2007-2014)

8 Int | 16 FF | 5 FR | 20.5 Sk | 950 Tackles | 60 TFL | Led League in Tackles 2007 and 2009 (174, 152) | Led League in Solo Tackles 2007 and 2009 (136, 114) | 7x Pro-Bowl (07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13) | 5x All-Pro (07, 09, 10, 11, 12) | 2007 Defensive Rookie of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team

Patrick Willis should already be in the Hall of Fame and hopefully this year is his year. The only thing that voters have against him is that he "only" played eight seasons in the league, but he was arguably the best linebacker for all eight of those years. He racked up just under 1,000 tackles and led the league in tackles in both 2007 and 2009. Willis was named to seven straight Pro-Bowls from 2007-2013 and five different All-Pro Teams. He was also named to the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. Willis is more than deserving of a Hall of Fame bust.

LB: Charles Haley (1986-1991, 1998-1999)

1 Int | 14 FF | 7 FR | 66.5 Sk | 331 Tackles | 3x Pro-Bowl (88, 90, 91) | 1x All-Pro (90) | Hall of Fame Class 2015


The final spot at linebacker goes to Charles Haley. Haley played outside linebacker for the 49ers from 1986-1991 and again from 1998-1999. He racked up over 60 sacks during those eight seasons and four times had over 10 sacks. Haley was named to three Pro-Bowls, one All-Pro Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015. Next up at this spot would easily be NaVorro Bowman, who was quietly voted to four different All-Pro Teams.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Hardy Brown (1951-1955) | 8 Int | 5 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (52)

  2. Matt Hazeltine (1955-1968) | 12 Int | 16 FR | 38 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (62, 64)

  3. Frank Nunley (1967-1976) | 14 Int | 9 FR | 9 Sk

  4. Skip Vanderbundt (1969-1977) | 14 Int | 7 FR | 8 Sk

  5. Willie Harper (1973-1983) | 3 Int | 5 FR | 11.5 Sk

  6. Keena Turner (1980-1990) | 11 Int | 8 FR | 22.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (84)

  7. Mike Walter (1984-1993) | 2 Int | 7 FR | 8 Sk

  8. Lee Woodall (1994-1999) | 5 Int | 6 FF | 3 FR | 9 Sk | 360 Tackles | 6 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (95, 97)

  9. Ken Norton Jr (1994-2000) | 4 Int | 6 FF | 7 FR | 5.5 Sk | 693 Tackles | 16 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (95, 96) | 1x All-Pro (95)

  10. Julian Peterson (2000-2005) | 5 Int | 7 FF | 4 FR | 21.5 Sk | 402 Tackles | 35 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (02, 03) | 1x All-Pro (03)

  11. Derek Smith (2001-2007) | 3 Int | 3 FF | 8 FR | 9 Sk | 709 Tackles | 46 TFL

  12. Ahmad Brooks (2009-2016) | 3 Int | 11 FF | 3 FR | 51.5 Sk | 335 Tackles | 71 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (13)

  13. NaVorro Bowman (2010-2017) | 4 Int | 9 FF | 5 FR | 12.5 Sk | 671 Tackles | 43 TFL | Led League in Tackles 2015 (154) | Led League in Solo Tackles 2015 (116) | 3x Pro-Bowl (12, 13, 15) | 4x All-Pro (11, 12, 13, 15)

  14. Aldon Smith (2011-2014) | 1 Int | 6 FF | 2 FR | 44 Sk | 152 Tackles | 46 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (12) | 1x All-Pro (12)


CB: Jimmy Johnson (1961-1976)

47 Int | 7 FR | 5x Pro-Bowl (69, 70, 71, 72, 74) | 4x All-Pro (69, 70, 71, 72) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1994


Jimmy Johnson is first up at cornerback. Not to be confused with the great Cowboys coach, Johnson is second all-time in interceptions amongst 49ers and had multiple interceptions in 13 different seasons. He was voted to five Pro-Bowls, four All-Pro Teams and the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. Johnson was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

CB: Kermit Alexander (1963-1969)

36 Int | 23 FR | Led League in FR 1964 and 1965 (5, 8) | 1x Pro-Bowl (68)


This spot might surprise you. Normally people would go with Eric Wright here. Wright was great, don't get me wrong, but Kermit Alexander intercepted 36 passes in just seven seasons. I can't look passed that because Wright was a member of four Super Bowl winning teams. Alexander had at least three interceptions in all seven seasons, had at least five picks in four seasons and picked off a career high nine passes in 1968. He also led the league in fumble recoveries twice and was voted to his lone Pro-Bowl in 1968. Abe Woodson was a five-time Pro-Bowler and two time All-Pro, but that was primarily as a returner.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Lowell Wagner (1949-1955) | 31 Int | 5 FR

  2. Abe Woodson (1958-1964) | 15 Int | 15 FR | 5x Pro-Bowl (59, 60, 61, 62, 63) | 2x All-Pro (59, 60)

  3. Jerry Mertens (1958-1965) | 8 Int | 2 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (58)

  4. Bruce Taylor (1970-1977) | 18 Int | 10 FR | 0.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (71) | 1970 Defensive Rookie of the Year

  5. Eric Wright (1981-1990) | 18 Int | 5 FR | 2x Pro-Bowl (84, 85) | 1x All-Pro (85)

  6. Don Griffin (1986-1993) | 22 Int | 9 FR | 2 Sk | 338 Tackles

  7. Eric Davis (1990-1995) | 12 Int | 6 FF | 6 FR | 1 Sk | 286 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (95) | 1x All-Pro (95)

  8. Deion Sanders (1994) | 6 Int | 1 FR | 36 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (94) | 1x All-Pro (94) | 1994 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2011


S: Ronnie Lott (1981-1990)

51 Int | 8 FF | 12 FR | 5.5 Sk | 721 Tackles | Led League in Int 1986 (10) | Led League in Tackles 1982 (68) | 9x Pro-Bowl (81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90) | 5x All-Pro (81, 86, 87, 89, 90) | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2000


Ronnie Lott is the GOAT at safety in my opinion. He's one of the hardest hitters in NFL history and also picked off a franchise record 51 passes. Lott famously chopped off his pinky finger in the middle of a game in order to finish out the game and avoid missing eight weeks in a cast. He led the league in interceptions in 1986 and in tackles in 1982. He was truly a do it all defensive back. Lott was named to nine Pro-Bowls, five All-Pro Teams and both the Hall of Fame All-1980s and All-1990s Teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.


S: Merton Hanks (1991-1998)

31 Int | 3 FF | 10 FR | 1 Sk | 474 Tackles | 4x Pro-Bowl (94, 95, 96, 97) | 1x All-Pro (95)

The 49ers have a few other great safeties. I'm going with Merton Hanks. Hanks spent eight seasons with the 49ers and intercepted over 30 passes. He had at least four picks in five seasons and was named to four straight Pro-Bowls from 1994-1997 and the All-Pro Team in 1995. Tim McDonald and Dwight Hicks were great with the 49ers as well.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jim Cason (1948-1954) | 25 Int | 4 FR | 2x Pro-Bowl (51, 54) | Led League in Int 1949 (9)

  2. Dicky Moegle (1955-1959) | 20 Int | 3 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (55)

  3. Dave Baker (1959-1961) | 21 Int | 3 FR | 1 Sk | Led League in Int 1960 (10) | 1x Pro-Bowl (59)

  4. Eddie Dove (1959-1963) | 8 Int | 6 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (61)

  5. Mel Phillips (1966-1977) | 12 Int | 7 FR | 2 Sk

  6. Dwight Hicks (1979-1985) | 30 Int | 14 FR | 1.5 Sk | 4x Pro-Bowl (81, 82, 83, 84)

  7. Carlton Williamson (1981-1987) | 17 Int | 3 FR | 1 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (84)

  8. Tim McDonald (1993-1999) | 20 Int | 4 FF | 9 FR | 7 Sk | 545 Tackles | 3x Pro-Bowl (93, 94, 95)

  9. Dashon Goldson (2007-2012) | 14 Int | 6 FF | 4 FR | 3 Sk | 346 Tackles | 5 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (11, 12) | 1x All-Pro (12)

  10. Eric Reid (2013-2017) | 10 Int | 2 FF | 3 FR | 1 Sk | 318 Tackles | 4 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (13)


K: Ray Wersching (1977-1987)

72.8 FG% | 53 Long | 979 Points | Led League in Points 1984 (131)


Ray Wersching gets the nod at kicker. He spent 11 seasons in San Francisco, making over 70% of his field goal attempts. His 979 points are second only to Jerry Rice, and he led the league in points in 1984.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Tommy Davis (1959-1969) | 47.1 FG% | 53 Long | 738 Points | Led League in FGM 1960 (19) | Led League in Long 1964 and 1965 (53, 53) | 2x Pro-Bowl (62, 63)

  2. Mike Cofer (1988-1993) | 67 FG% | 56 Long | 673 Points | Led League in Points 1989 (136) | Led League in Long 1990 (56) | 1x All-Pro (89)

P: Andy Lee (2004-2014)

43,468 Punt Yds | 82 Long | 46.2 Yds/Punt | Led League in Yds 2005 and 2007 (4,447, 4,968) | Led League in Long 2004 and 2008 (81, 82) | Led League in Yds/Punt 2011 (50.9) | 3x Pro-Bowl (07, 09, 11) | 3x All-Pro (07, 11, 12)


Andy Lee has a case for the Hall of Fame, although the fact that he was a punter may be enough to keep him out. Lee averaged over 46 yards per punt from 2004-2014 and led the league in punt yards twice, longest punt twice and yards per punt in 2011 with a crazy 50.9 yards per punt. Lee was also named to three Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Tommy Davis (1959-1969) | 22,833 Punt Yds | 82 Long | 44.7 Yds/Punt | Led League in Long 1959, 1960 and 1962 (71, 74, 82) | Led League in Yds/Punt 1962 (45.6) | 2x Pro-Bowl (62, 63)

  2. Tom Wittum (1973-1977) | 15,494 Punt Yds | 68 Long | 40.8 Yds/Punt | 2x Pro-Bowl (73, 74)


Returner: Abe Woodson (1958-1964)

949 Punt Rt Yds | 2 Punt Rt TD | 9.0 Yds/Punt Rt | 4,873 Kick Rt Yds | 5 Kick Rt TD | 29.4 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Punt Rt Yds 1960 (174) | Led League in Punt Rt TD 1962 (1) | Led League in Punt Rt Long 1960 and 1962 (48, 85) | Led League in Kick Rt Yds 1962 (1,157) | Led League in Kick Rt TD 1959, 1961 and 1963 (1, 1, 3) | Led League in Kick Rt Long 1959 and 1963 (105, 103) | Led League in Yds/Kick Rt 1962 and 1963 (31.3, 32.2) | 5x Pro-Bowl (59, 60, 61, 62, 63) | 2x All-Pro (59, 60)


Abe Woodson is hands down one of the greatest returners ever. He gets forgotten because special teams are too often overlooked. Woodson racked up over 6,000 total return yards and seven return touchdowns. He led the league in punt return yards once, punt return touchdowns once, longest punt return twice, kick return yards once, kick return touchdowns three times, kick return long twice and yards per kick return twice as well. Woodson was named to five Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Dexter Carter (1990-1996) | 1,213 Punt Rt Yds | 2 Punt Rt TD | 10.4 Yds/Punt Rt | 4,707 Kick Rt Yds | 2 Kick Rt TD | 21.7 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Punt Rt TD 1995 (1) | Led League in Kick Rt TD 1991 (1)

Head Coach: Bill Walsh (1979-1988)

Regular Season: 92-59-1 | 60.9 W-L% | Playoffs: 10-4 | 1981, 1984 and 1988 Super Bowl Champion | 1981 Coach of the Year | Hall of Fame Class 1993


Bill Walsh is of course the choice at head coach. He guided the 49ers for 10 seasons, posting seven winning seasons, seven playoff appearances and three Super Bowl championships. Walsh was also named the 1981 Coach of the year and inducted into the Hal of Fame in 1993. It's worth noting that George Seifert is the most overlooked coach in history. Seifert won at least 10 games in every season, made the playoffs in seven and won two Super Bowls. People like to claim it was Walsh's team, and I get that to an extent, but it takes a lot more than the previous coach being great to have a career like Seiferts. He's a Hall of Famer in my book.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Buck Shaw (1946-1954) | Regular Season: 71-39-4 | 64.5 W-L% | Playoffs: 1-1 | 1949 AAFC Championship Appearance

  2. Dick Nolan (1968-1975) | Regular Season: 54-53-5 | 50.5 W-L% | Playoffs: 2-3

  3. George Seifert (1989-1996) | Regular Season: 98-30 | 76.6 W-L% | Playoffs: 10-5 | 1989 and 1994 Super Bowl Champion

  4. Steve Mariucci (1997-2002) | Regular Season: 57-39 | 59.4 W-L% | Playoffs: 3-4

  5. Jim Harbaugh (2011-2014) | Regular Season: 44-19-1 | 69.5 W-L% | Playoffs: 5-3 | 2012 NFC Champion | 2011 Coach of the Year

  6. Kyle Shanahan (2017-Present) | Regular Season: 39-42 | 48.1 W-L% | Playoffs: 4-2 | 2019 NFC Champion

Comments


Rookie Guide Banner Ad Network.jpg
bottom of page