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San Fransisco 49ers: 50 All-Time Greatest Players

Kevin KraczkowskiCorrespondent IIISeptember 24, 2011

San Fransisco 49ers: 50 All-Time Greatest Players

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    The San Fransisco 49ers have five Super Bowl victories out of five appearances. 

    They were not always a great team.

    As a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, they posted a 38-14-2 record, which isn't too bad, but the Cleveland Browns won the championship every season.

    The 49ers and the Browns were the only teams to survive the AAFC, joining the NFL in 1950.

    In the 1950's, the 49ers were slightly-above-average, compiling a 63-54-3 record and losing in their only postseason game in 1957 to the Detroit Lions 31-27.

    The 1960's weren't as good, as the 49ers went 57-74-7, never making the postseason.

    The 1970's started out well, with the 49ers making the playoffs in the first three seasons, each time to be escorted out of the playoffs by the Dallas Cowboys.  After that, the next eight seasons were pretty bleak, with the team posting a composite 39-79 record.

    Following this was almost two decades of success, including 16 straight seasons of 10 or more victories.  From 1981-1998, the team was 207-72, with five Super Bowl victories and a 22-12 postseason record.

    In the last 12 seasons, we have seen the team fall from grace, posting a winning record only twice in that time.

    What follows is a list that takes into consideration every position player to ever lace up the cleats for the San Fransisco 49ers.

    This list was compiled using the "Approximate Value" statistic, as calculated at www.football-reference.com, and explained here: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?page_id=8061.

A Quick Note Before We Get Started

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    After compiling this list I noticed a dearth of current 49ers on the countdown.  The lowest approximate value is 61.  The next active players down the list follow:

    59 - Frank Gore

    34 - Vernon Davis

    31 - Justin Smith

    30 - Manny Lawson

    29 - Shawntae Spencer

    28 - Aubrayo Franklin, Isaac Sopoaga

    27 - Parys Haralson

    24 - Adam Snyder

    23 - Nate Clements, Alex Smith, Takeo Spikes

50. Patrick Willis (2007-Present, AV: 61)

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    The 49ers drafted Willis in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss.  In his senior season, he was awarded SEC Defensive Player of the Year, First Team all-SEC, and was a consensus All-American.

    He is in his fifth season with the 49ers, having played in the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons.

    He was thrown in the mix as a rookie, starting at right inside linebacker from day one.  He earned the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, leading the league in tackles with 137.  He also made the NFL All-Pro first team in three of his first four seasons, making the second team in 2008.

    Thus far, he has totalled 65 games played with 473 tackles, 135 assists, 15 sacks, four interceptions returned for 119 yards and two touchdowns, nine forced fumbles and three recovered.

49. John Thomas (1958-1967, AV: 63)

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    I couldn't find a picture of Thomas, so enjoy this cheerleader instead...

    Thomas was drafted in the 23rd round of the 1957 NFL Draft out of Pacific.

    In 10 seasons, he appeared in 122 49ers games at left tackle, left guard, and for one season, middle linebacker.

    He made his only Pro Bowl in 1966, also being named that season to the first team All-NFL squad.

48. Garrison Hearst (1997-2003, AV: 63)

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    The Phoenix Cardinals drafted Garrison Hearst in the first round (third overall) in the 1993 NFL Draft.  He would play three seasons with the Cards then one with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the 49ers in 1997.

    He rushed for 1,019 yards in that first season with four touchdowns.  In 1998, he really broke through, with 1,570 yards and 7 touchdowns, his 5.1 yards average per carry leading the NFL and being named an All-Pro starter.

    Hearst broke his ankle in the playoffs that season, and the corrective surgery eventually led to circulatory problems causing Avascular Necrosis, or bone death.

    He rehabbed for two years, playing again in 2001, gaining 1,256 yards and winning the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award.  It was his second such award, having earlier earned it in 1995.  He also was named to his second All-Pro team. 

    Hearst played two more seasons with San Fransisco then one with the Denver Broncos before hanging it up.  In 73 San Fransisco games, he had gained 5,535 yards on 1,189 carries, scoring 26 touchdowns.  He also caught 174 passes for 1,602 yards and seven touchdowns.

47. John Ayers (1977-1986, AV: 63)

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    John Ayers was drafted out of West Texas A & M by San Fransisco in the eighth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. 

    He played in 148 games for the 49ers, mostly at the left guard position, but in other positions as needed.

    Ayers died of liver cancer on 10-2-05.

46. Skip Vanderbundt (1969-1977, AV: 64)

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    Skip Vanderbundt was drafted out of Oregon State by San Fransisco in the third round of the 1968 NFL Draft.

    During his early career, he specialized as a right linebacker, moving to the left side later on.

    In 134 career 49ers games, Vanderbundt picked off 14 passes and returned them 165 yards for two touchdowns.  He also recovered seven fumbles, returned for 80 yards and one touchdown.

    He finished his career in 1978, spending his last season with the New Orleans Saints.

45. Gordie Soltau (1950-1958, AV: 64)

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    A wide receiver and place kicker, Soltau was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 1950 NFL Draft.  He was quickly traded to the Cleveland Browns, then traded again to the 49ers.

    Soltau made the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons beginning in 1952.  He was a first team All-NFL selection in 1952.

    During his nine seasons with San Fransisco, he led the team in scoring with 644 points, 25 touchdowns, and 70 field goals.

    Soltau was the 49ers first player representative, the 49ers delegate to the "Players Association," a predecessor of the NFLPA.

44. Frank Nunley (1967-1976, AV: 64)

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    Nunley, or "Fudgehammer," was drafted out of the University of Michigan with San Fransisco's third round choice in the 1967 NFL Draft.

    Nunley was very durable, playing in all but three games over his 10 San Fransisco seasons, totalling 137. 

    He intercepted four passes and recovered nine fumbles from his position at middle linebacker.  Nunley was also instrumental in anchoring Dick Nolan's "flex" defense.

    He retired following the 1976 season.

43. Guy McIntyre (1984-1993, AV: 65)

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    McIntyre was drafted in the third round of the 1984 NFL Draft by San Fransisco out of the University of Georgia.

    He played in 145 games at right and left guard for the 49ers.  Occasionally, he lined up as a fullback in Bill Walsh's "Elephant" formation to pave the way for the halfback.

    He appeared in five consecutive Pro Bowls starting in 1989, making second team All-NFL in 1992.

    McIntyre caught one career pass, a 17-yard touchdown.

    He finished his career with one Green Bay Packer season and two with the Philadelphia Eagles.

42. Cas Banaszek (1968-1977, AV: 66)

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    Banaszek, a right tackle, was drafted by San Fransisco in the first round of the 1967 NFL Draft.

    He played 120 games for the 49ers, starting 100.

    He retired after the 1977 season, having spent his entire career with San Fransisco.

41. Dana Stubblefield (1993-1997, 2001-2002, AV: 67)

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    Dana Stubblefield went to the University of Kansas, and was chosen by San Fransisco in the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft.

    A pass rushing specialist, Stubblefield logged 46.5 sacks for the 49ers over his seven seasons with the team.

    In 1993, he was selected as the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.  He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, and a first team All-Pro in 1997, when he won the AP's Defensive Player of the Year.

    He also compiled 252 tackles, 47 assists, eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

    He also played with the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders.

40. Fred Quillan (1978-1987, AV: 67)

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    Quillan is a center drafted by San Fransisco out of Oregon in the seventh round of the 1978 NFL Draft.

    Quillan provided a solid base for the 49ers offensive line, helping them to their first two Super Bowl victories.  He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1984 and 1985.

    He played in 143 games over 10 seasons for the 49ers, retiring after the 1987 season.

39. Merton Hanks (1991-1998, AV: 67)

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    Hanks was an All-Big 10 cornerback for the University of Iowa.  San Fransisco selected him in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL Draft.

    He made the Pro Bowl four times from 1994 through 1997, and was a first team All-NFL selection in 1995.

    Over 125 games with the 49ers, he intercepted 31 passes, returning them for 380 yards and two touchdowns.  He also forced three fumbles and recovered 10, returning two for touchdowns. 

    He would retire after spending the 1999 season as a Seattle Seahawk.

    He is now a senior manager and assistant director of operations for the NFL.

38. John Taylor (1987-1995, AV: 68)

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    Taylor was drafted in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft by San Fransisco out of Delaware State.

    Taylor has exceptionally large hands, measuring 11.2 inches wide, a record for any receiver coming through the NFL's scouting combine.

    He was an excellent punt returner for the 49ers, scoring two touchdowns on 44 returns for 556 yards in 1988 and being selected to his first Pro Bowl as a special teamer. 

    In 1989, he made his second Pro Bowl, this time as a wide receiver, catching 60 passes for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    Taylor was an excellent wingman for Jerry Rice, either as a decoy or an alternate threat.

    He totalled 43 touchdowns on 347 catches for 5,598 yards during his career, retiring as a player in 1995.

37. Roland Lakes (1961-1970, AV: 68)

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    Lakes was drafted out of Wichita State University by the 49ers in the second round of the 1961 NFL Draft.  He also was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the ninth round of the AFL Draft.  Fortunately for San Fransisco, he chose to go with the elder organization.

    From 1961 through 1970, Lakes appeared in all 140 San Fransisco games.  He was a constant and consistent force from the right defensive tackle position.

    He played 1971 for the New York Giants before retiring.

36. Derrick Deese (1994-2003, AV: 68)

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    Deese played for the University of Southern California Trojans in college.  He signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 1994.

    Deese started out as a right guard, but over time was able to fill in at several offensive line positions.  His last several seasons were as a left tackle.

    He played in 136 games for San Fransisco over 10 seasons, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2004 season before retiring.

35. Abe Woodson (1958-1964, AV: 70)

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    The 49ers selected Abe Woodson with their second round pick in the 1957 NFL Draft.

    Woodson was a kick returner and a cornerback.  He brought back 166 kickoffs over seven seasons with San Fransisco for a total of 4,873 yards and five touchdowns.  His average 28.7 kick return average is third all-time. 

    He also intercepted 15 passes and recovered 15 fumbles.

    He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl five times, from 1959 through 1963, and was also a first team All-Pro selection in 1959 and 1960.

    He finished out his career with two seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He is currently lives in Las Vegas, where he serves as a prison minister in connection with the Church of Christ.

34. Cedrick Hardman (1970-1979, AV: 70)

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    Hardman, a right defensive end out of North Texas, was selected with San Fransisco's first round draft choice in the 1970 NFL Draft.

    He totaled 106½ career sacks over his ten 49ers seasons, and is the all-time (unofficial) San Fransisco "sack king."

    Hardman was twice selected to the Pro Bowl team, in 1971 and 1975. 

    He played two seasons for the Oakland Raiders before defecting to the USFL in 1983 to serve as a player/coach for the Oakland Invaders.

33. Ken Willard (1965-1973, AV: 71)

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    Ken Willard was a 16-letter winning athlete in high school, and was twice drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. 

    The 49ers selected him out of the University of North Carolina with the second pick of the 1965 NFL Draft.  He is also credited with the longest home run in Tar Heel history, a 525-footer.

    Willard was a bruising option out of the backfield for San Fransisco, making the Pro Bowl in four of his first five NFL seasons.

    In 1968, Willard scored seven touchdowns on 227 carries for 967 yards.  He played one season for the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 1974.

    He totalled 1,582 rushed for 5,930 yards and 45 touchdowns for the 49ers.  He also caught 273 passes for 2,156 yards and 16 touchdowns.

32. Dwight Clark (1979-1987, AV: 72)

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    Clark was drafted in the 10th round of the 1979 NFL Draft by San Fransisco out of Clemson.

    Clark would play nine seasons for San Fransisco as their starting wide receiver, and was a first team All-Pro selection in 1982.  He also made the Pro Bowl in 1981 and 1982.

    Clark led the league in receptions in the strike shortened 1982 season, with 60 catches for 913 yards and five touchdowns.

    He retired following the 1987 season with 506 catches for 6,750 yards and 48 touchdowns.

31. Tommy Hart (1968-1977, AV: 73)

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    Tommy Hart was selected in the 10th round of the 1968 NFL Draft out of Morris Brown college by the 49ers.

    Hart was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1976, and twice recorded 16 sacks in a season.

    He played with San Fransisco for 10 seasons before joining the Chicago Bears and later the New Orleans Saints.

30. Jeff Garcia (1999-2003, AV: 74)

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    Garcia was signed as an undrafted free agent out of San Jose State in 1999.

    He made his NFL Debut with San Fransisco as a 29-year old rookie, and made the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons, from 2000 through 2002.

    During his Pro Bowl reign, Garcia averaged 3,720 yards and 28 touchdowns against 11 interceptions with a 62.7 completion percentage.

    He would later play for the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Detroit Lions, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    For San Fransisco, he compiled an 88.3 quarterback rating, throwing for 16,408 yards with a 61.4 completion percentage.  He threw 113 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.  He went 35-36 for San Fransisco.

29. Keena Turner (1980-1990, AV: 76)

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    Keena Turner, a linebacker out of Purdue, was drafted by the 49ers in the second round of the 1980 NFL Draft.

    He manned the right outside linebacker position for Bill Walsh's 3-4 defense for 11 seasons, appearing in 153 games.  He made the Pro Bowl roster in 1984.

    Turner compiled 11 interceptions and fumble recoveries, one returned for a touchdown.  He also collected 19.5 sacks.

    Turner retired after the 1990 season.  Currently he serves as the Vice President of Football Affairs for the 49ers.

28. Michael Carter (1984-1992, AV: 77)

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    Michael Carter was an Olympic shot putter and a nose tackle for Southern Methodist University.

    Carter is known in track and field circles for setting the American national high school record of 81 feet 3½ inches in the 12 pound shot put.

    He was selected by the 49ers with their fifth round draft choice in the 1984 NFL Draft.

    A three-time Pro Bowler, he was also an All-NFL first team selection in 1987.  He played 121 games over nine seasons for San Fransisco, registering 22.5 sacks. 

27. Brent Jones (1987-1997, AV: 82)

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    Brent Jones played baseball and football in college for Santa Clara University.  The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him with their fifth round draft choice in 1986.  He was shortly after involved in a car wreck and did not play for Pittsburgh, who ended up trading him to the 49ers prior to the 1987 season.

    A tight end, Jones made the Pro Bowl roster in four consecutive seasons from 1992 through 1995.  In 143 games, he caught 417 passes for 5,195 yards and 33 touchdowns.

    He retired after the 1997 NFL season.

    Jones worked as an analyst for CBS from 1998 through 2004, and currently has political aspirations on a slot in the House of Representatives.

26. Gene A. Washington (1969-1977, AV: 83)

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    Gene Washington, a split end out of Stanford University, was selected in the first round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the 49ers.

    For nine seasons, Washington was a primary target at wide receiver, missing only one game during that time.  In 1970, he led the league with 1,100 receiving yards.

    He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and a first team All-Pro in 1969, 1970, and 1972.  He totalled 59 touchdowns on 371 catches for 6,664 yards in 124 games for San Fransisco.

    He played for the Detroit Lions for one season before retiring in 1979.

25. Joe Perry (1948-1960, 1963, AV: 83)

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    Joe Perry played for Compton College and signed on with the 49ers when they were still an AAFC franchise in 1948.

    He led the AAFC with 783 yards and 8 touchdowns in 1949.  He also led the NFL in rushing in 1953 and 1954, making first team All-NFL in both seasons.  He was a three-time Pro Bowler.

    He played 13 seasons at fullback with San Fransisco before defecting to the Indianapolis Colts for two seasons.  He came back to the 49ers for one final season in 1963 before retiring.

    In 156 games for San Fransisco, Perry rushed 1,667 times for 8,689 yards and 68 touchdowns, also catching 204 passes for 1,505 yards and 11 touchdowns.

    He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 1969.

24. Steve Wallace (1986-1996, AV: 85)

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    Steve Wallace was drafted out of Auburn with San Fransisco's fourth round draft choice in the 1986 NFL Draft.

    Wallace was primarily a left tackle, although he was sometimes called on to play on the right side.

    He totalled 166 games for the 49ers, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1992.

    Wallace left San Fransisco after the 1996 season, he went on to play with the Kansas City Chiefs for one season.

23. Jesse Sapolu (1983-1997, AV: 85)

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    Sapolu played left guard and center for the 49ers for 13 seasons after being drafted in the 11th round out of Hawaii in the 1983 NFL Draft.

    He missed almost three seasons with an injury early in the 1984 campaign, returning to the playing field in 1987.

    He played 183 games with the 49ers, earning four Super Bowl rings and two Pro Bowl selections, in 1993 and 1994.

    Sapolu retired from playing in 1997.  He is currently the offensive line coach for the Edison High School Chargers in Huntington Beach, Ca.

22. Bruce Bosley (1956-1968, AV: 86)

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    Bruce Bosley was selected out of West Virginia in the second round of the 1956 NFL Draft. 

    In his rookie season, he was the starting left defensive end, playing in 12 games.  He moved to offense in 1957, and was the teams starting left guard until 1961, when he became the starting center. 

    Bosley was selected to play in the Pro Bowl following the 1960 and 1965 through 1967 seasons.

    Bosley pursued many passions after retiring from the NFL, including home builder and designer, president of the NFL alumni association, and a member of several San Fransisco committees.

21. Billy Wilson (1951-1960, AV: 88)

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    San Fransisco spent a 22nd round selection on Wilson in the 1950 NFL Draft out of San Jose State.

    Wilson made the Pro Bowl in six-consecutive seasons, from 1954 through 1959 as a flanker/end.  He was also a member of the 1957 All-NFL first team.

    He led the league in receptions three times, and in touchdowns on one occasion.

    Wilson retired in 1960 after 100 games with the 49ers, having gained 5,902 yards on 407 receptions and 49 touchdowns.

    After hanging up his uniform, Wilson spent 30 seasons working with the 49ers as an assistant coach and a scout.

20. Y. A. Tittle (1951-1960, AV: 89)

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    Y.A. Tittle was drafted in the first round of the 1948 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, but elected instead to sign with the AAFC's Baltimore Colts.  He played with them for two seasons while in the AAFC, then in their first and only season in the NFL.  When the Colts folded, Tittle joined the 49ers.

    He played in 112 games over 10 seasons with San Fransisco, posting a 45-31-2 record as a starter. 

    As a 49er, Tittle was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, in 1953, 1954, 1957 and 1959.  He was a member of the All-NFL first team in 1957.

    Tittle completed 55.9 percent of his passes for 16,016 yards, 108 touchdowns and 134 interceptions.  His San Fransisco passer rating was 70.0.

    Tittle played the head coach from Chicago in the movie, "Any Given Sunday."

19. Terrell Owens (1996-2003, AV: 94)

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    Terrell Owens was drafted out of Tennessee Chattanooga in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft and played for the 49ers for his first eight NFL seasons.

    A Pro Bowl selection from 2000-2003, Owens was also an All-NFL first teamer from 2000-2002.  He is consistently amongst the league leaders in receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, celebration penalties, and fines.

    Owens also ended up playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Buffalo Bills.

    In 121 games for the 49ers, T.O. caught 592 passes for 8,572 yards and 81 touchdowns.

18. Hugh McElhenny (1952-1960, AV: 94)

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    Hugh McElhenny, a halfback, was drafted out of Washington with San Fransisco's first round choice in the 1952 NFL Draft.

    In his nine seasons with San Fransisco, he was a five-time Pro Bowler, making the All-NFL first team in 1952 and 1953.  He also won Rookie of the Year honors in 1952, when he had an average of seven yards-per-carry.

    Nicknamed "The King," McElhenny was known for his explosive, elusive running style.  In 97 games for San Fransisco, he gained 4,288 yards and 35 touchdowns on 877 carries.  He also caught 195 passes for 2,666 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    He would go on to play for the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Giants, and the Detroit Lions.

     He was selected to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.

17. Matt Hazeltine (1955-1968, AV: 97)

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    Matt Hazeltine, a linebacker, was selected in the fourth round of the 1955 NFL Draft by the 49ers.

    He manned the right linebacker position for 176 games with the 49ers, occasionally shifting to the left side position as needed. 

    Over his career, he intercepted 12 passes, returning one for a touchdown.  He also recovered 16 fumbles, returning two for scores.  He was selected as a Pro Bowler in 1962 and 1964.

    He played one final season with the New York Giants before retiring.

    Hazeltine succumbed to Lou Gehrig's disease on January 13, 1987.

16. Harris Barton (1987-1996, AV: 97)

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    Harris Barton, a right tackle, was chosen with the 49ers first round draft choice in the 1987 NFL Draft out of North Carolina.

    He appeared in 138 games over 10 seasons with San Fransisco, twice being selected to the All-NFL first team in 1992 and 1993.  He also played in the 1993 Pro Bowl.

    Barton retired after the 1996 season.

15. Len Rohde (1960-1974, AV: 98)

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    San Fransisco selected Rohde with their fifth round draft choice in the 1960 NFL Draft out of Utah State.

    Rohde started at left tackle for 15 seasons for the 49ers, playing in 208 consecutive games.  He was seleced to play in the Pro Bowl for his efforts following the 1970 season.

    He retired in 1974 after having played his entire career with San Fransisco. 

14. Roger Craig (1983-1990, AV: 100)

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    Drafted in 1983 by San Fransisco in the second round out of Nebraska, Craig played his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers.

    In 1985, Craig became the first player to ever rush and receive over 1,000 yards in a single season.  He also led the NFL with 92 receptions, helping him to his first Pro Bowl selection.

    He also made the Pro Bowl cut from 1987 through 1989, winning the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award and making first team All-NFL.

    In 121 games for San Fransisco, Craig rushed 1,686 times for 7,064 yards and 50 touchdowns.  He also caught 508 passes for 4,442 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    Craig later played for the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings.  He was a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist as recently as 2010.

13. Keith Fahnhorst (1974-1987, AV: 101)

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    Keith Fahnhorst appeared in 193 games for San Fransisco over 14 seasons at right tackle.

    He was drafted out of Minnesota in the second round of the 1974 NFL Draft.

    In 1984, Fahnhorst was selected to his first and only Pro Bowl, also making the All-NFL First team in the process.

    He retired following the 1987 season with two Super Bowl rings.

12. Bob St. Clair (1953-1963, AV: 102)

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    Another right tackle, St. Clair, or, "The Geek," was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

    He was selected in the third round of the 1953 NFL Draft out of Tulsa.

    He played with San Fransisco for 11 seasons, appearing in 119 games.  He made the Pro Bowl five times, in 1956 and from 1958 through 1961.

    St. Clair was the tallest NFL player of his generation, measuring 6' 9".

11. Randy Cross (1976-1988, AV: 102)

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    Randy Cross played 185 games for San Fransisco at center and at right guard.

    He was chosen by the 49ers in the second round of the 1976 NFL Draft.  He played in college for the Bruins of UCLA.

    Cross was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, in 1981, 1982, and 1984.

    After retiring following the 1988 season, Cross went into broadcasting.

10. Dave Wilcox (1964-1974, AV: 112)

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    Dave Wilcox was a linebacker out of Boise State and Oregon.  The 49ers selected him with the third round pick of the 1964 NFL Draft.  He was also drafted by the Houston Oilers in the AFL Draft that year.

    After signing with San Fransisco, Wilcox was immediately slotted into the starting lineup at left linebacker. 

    Nicknamed "The Intimidator," Wilcox played in seven Pro Bowls over his 11 season career, twice being named to the All-NFL first team, in 1971 and 1972.  He only missed one game over that time.

    After 153 games, Wilcox retired.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

9. Charlie Krueger (1959-1973, AV: 117)

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    Charlie Krueger was selected out of Texas A&M with San Fransisco's first round pick in the 1959 NFL Draft.

    He went on to play 198 games for the 49ers at various positions across the defensive line, but mostly at left defensive tackle.

    His career spanned 15 seasons, and he played in the Pro Bowl in 1960 and in 1964.

    Krueger is tied for third in league history with three safeties scored.

8. Bryant Young (1994-2007, AV: 119)

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    The 49ers drafted Young in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame.

    Young played defensive line for the 49ers, mostly at left defensive tackle.  Over 14 seasons with San Fransisco, Young collected 89.5 sacks.

    He played in four Pro Bowls and made the All-NFL First team in 1996.  In 208 career games, he forced 12 fumbles, recovering seven, and recorded 512 tackles during his career.

    He is currently the defensive line coach for the University of Florida.

7. Ronnie Lott (1981-1990, AV: 126)

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    Ronnie Lott was selected out of USC in the first round of the 1981 draft.  He is most well-known for his crushing hits on opposing players.

    In 10 San Fransisco seasons, Lott played in 129 games, intercepting 51 passes and returning five for touchdowns.  He also recorded 721 tackles.

    Lott appeared in the Pro Bowl in every season with the 49ers except for 1985.  He was also on the All-NFL first team five times during his San Fransisco career.

    He later played two seasons each with the Los Angeles Raiders and the New York Jets, retiring after the 1994 season. 

    Lott was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 2000.

6. John Brodie (1957-1973, AV: 128)

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    John Brodie was selected out of Stanford with the third pick in the 1957 draft by San Fransisco.  He would play 17 seasons for the 49ers at quarterback.

    In 1965 Brodie was chosen to play in his first Pro Bowl by going 7-5-1 and throwing for over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.  1970 marked his best season, when he again played in the Pro Bowl and was also an All-NFL first team selection.  Brodie led the league that season with a 93.8 passer rating, posting a 10-3-1 record.

    Over 201 games with the 49ers, Brodie compiled a passer rating of 72.3.  He threw for a total of 31,548 yards with a 55 percent completion rate.  He threw 214 touchdowns and 224 interceptions.

    He also rushed for 1,167 yards and 22 scores.

5. Joe Montana (1979-1992, AV: 146)

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    Joe Montana played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in college.  The 49ers drafted him in 1979 with their third round pick.

    I hesitate to put Montana this low, because in my heart, I believe he is one of the five best quarterbacks of all time...however I've stuck to the numbers until now.

    Montana registered a passer rating over 100 during three different seasons, twice leading the league.  His career mark of 92.3 is eighth all-time.  He is a seven-time Pro Bowler for San Fransisco and a three-time first team All-NFL selectee.

    Joe also has won three Super Bowl MVP's, two AP NFL MVP awards, and one Comeback Player of the Year Award.

    He was so awesome, he had at least four nicknames: "Joe Cool," "Golden Joe," "The Golden Great" and "Comeback Joe."

    Montana posted a career 100-39 record with the Niners, completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 35,124 yards, 244 touchdowns and 123 interceptions.  He played with the Kansas City Chiefs for two seasons to finish his career after the 1994 season.

    He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility.

4. Jimmy Johnson (1961-1976, AV: 149)

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    Jimmy Johnson was selected out of UCLA with San Fransisco's first round pick in the 1961 NFL Draft.

     In 213 games over 16 seasons with San Fransisco, Johnson ruled the defensive backfield, playing in any position and intercepting 47 passes over his career.  He also caught 40 passes for 690 yards and four touchdowns.

    He was a five-time Pro Bowler and an All-NFL first team member from 1969 through 1972.

    Johnson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

3. Leo Nomellini (1950-1963, AV: 153)

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    Nomellini, or "The Lion," was San Fransisco's first ever NFL Draft choice selected in the 1950 NFL Draft out of Minnesota.

    Nomellini started and excelled at both the offensive and defensive line positions, making the Pro Bowl ten times, eight times on defense and twice on offense.  He was also a six-time first team All-NFL player, making the cut from 1951 through 1954, and in 1957 and 1959.

    He retired after the 1963 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969.

2. Steve Young (1987-1999, AV: 158)

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    Steve Young, the grandson of Brigham Young, was a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, making the class of 2005.

    He played college ball at BYU, and started his professional playing career with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL.  When the USFL didn't pan out, Young was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft.

    He played two seasons in Tampa Bay, compiling a 3-16 record as a starter.  Considered a bust, he was traded to the 49ers.

    In San Fransisco, Young led the league in passing six-times, in touchdowns thrown four-times, was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection from 1992 through 1998, and the first team All-NFL quarterback from 1992 through 1994.  In 1994, he was also the AP NFL MVP and the Super Bowl MVP.

    He compiled a 91-33 record over 150 games for the 49ers, passing for 29,907 yards with a 65.8 percent completion rate.  He threw 221 touchdowns and 86 interceptions.  He also rushed 608 times for 3,581 yards and 37 touchdowns.

    Young would go into broadcasting, and is currently on the Monday Night Football crew as a pre and post game analyst.

1. Jerry Rice (1985-2000, AV: 215)

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    Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver in the history of the world.

    Out of Mississippi Valley State, Rice was drafted by San Fransisco with their first pick in the 1985 NFL Draft.  There were 15 players selected before him.

    He led the league in receptions twice, four times eclipsing the 100-mark.  He also led the league in receiving yardage on six occasions, including 1995, when he set the all-time record with 1,848 receiving yards.

    For San Fransisco, Rice was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, and a first team All-NFL wide receiver on ten occasions.  He was the AP NFL MVP in 1987, the Super Bowl MVP in 1988, and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1993. 

    After 238 games over 16 seasons with the 49ers, Rice went on to play for the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks, retiring after the 2004 season.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 2010.

    Over his career with San Fransisco, he caught 1,281 passes for 19,247 yards with 176 touchdowns, which would all be records even if he hadn't played for five seasons after leaving the 49ers.

    I repeat,

    Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver in the history of the world.

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