The all-time 49ers-only Top 10 list

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The all-time 49ers-only Top 10 list

The question came in via Twitter last week around the time the Hall of Fame voting was the topic of conversation among 49ers fans:Who do you think is the best player to ever play his whole career in a 49er uniform? (@Kevnkate)It's a great topic. And it's one that, obviously, precludes the great 49ers who played for other franchises, such as Joe Montana (Chiefs), Jerry Rice (Raiders, Seahawks), Ronnie Lott (Raiders, Jets), Steve Young (Buccaneers), Roger Craig (Raiders, Vikings), Joe "The Jet" Perry (Colts), Hugh McElhenny (Vikings, Giants, Lions) and Y.A. Tittle (Giants).
It's impossible to compare players from different eras because the game has changed so much. But in cobbling together the list, particular weight is given to ex-49ers enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Current players were not considered.So here is my highly debatable ranking of the top 49ers to play their entire careers with the 49ers:Who is in your 49ers-Only Top 10?
1. DT Leo Nomellini: He was the 49ers' first draft choice after joining the NFL, and he played every game for 14 seasons. He earned 10 trips to the Pro Bowl, and was a six-time first-team All-Pro -- two years on offense and four years on defense. He was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer, inducted in 1969.2. CB Jimmy Johnson: Recognized as one of the best man coverage corners of his time, opposing quarterbacks were reluctant to throw his way. Still, he recorded 47 interceptions in his career. He was named All-Pro four consecutive seasons from 1969 through 1972. He played in three Pro Bowls and missed two others because of injuries. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.3. T Bob St. Clair: The San Francisco native was named first- or second-team All-NFL nine times in his career and was selected to play in five Pro Bowls. He had uncommon size and speed during the time in which he played. And, yes, it's true that he still eats raw meat. In 1956, he blocked 10 field goals, and once lost five teeth while blocking a punt. Injuries cut short his career. He played 11 seasons, ending in 1963. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.4. LB Dave Wilcox: Twenty-six years after his career concluded, Wilcox was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 through the Seniors Committee. Nicknamed "The Intimidator" because of his fierce style of play, Wilcox was named to the All-NFL first- or second-team eight times in his career. He chosen to play in seven Pro Bowls.5. DT Bryant Young: The first word that jumps to mind when thinking about Young is "class." He played 14 seasons for the 49ers, and always acted in a truly professional manner through the good and the bad seasons. He started every game he appeared throughout his career, beginning with the Super Bowl-winning year of 1994. Next year, he'll join a class of first-time eligible Hall of Famers that includes Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan. It'll be difficult. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro once in his career. Since 1982, when it became an official NFL statistic, Young leads the 49ers with 89.5 sacks. He is currently defensive line coach at the University of Florida. 6. WR Dwight Clark: He did a lot more than come down with "The Catch." He had five consecutive seasons from 1980 to '84 with 840 or more yards receiving. That streak ended in 1985, a season in which he caught a career-high 10 touchdown passes.7. TE Brent Jones: He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times in his 11-year career and was a staple of the league's best offense from the late 1980s through most of the 1990s. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fifth round of the 1986 draft, but he only played regular-season games with the 49ers.8. WR John Taylor: He twice eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving and he was named to two Pro Bowl teams despite playing his career in Jerry Rice's shadow. Of course, he had one of the big catches in team history with a 10-yard reception from Joe Montana in the closing minute to win Super Bowl XXIII against the Cincinnati Bengals.9. GC Randy Cross: He started 180 games for the 49ers at center and guard from 1976 through 1988. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times in his career, and excelled on three Super Bowl lines.10. QB John Brodie: His stats do not translate very well to today's game, in which there's a premium on completion percentage, touchdowninterception margin and passer rating. But for longevity, Brodie can't be topped. He entered the league with the 49ers in 1957 and he was with the team through the 1973 season. His 17 seasons with the 49ers is a club record.Honorable mention
T Harris Barton (1987-96)
DT Michael Carter (1984-92)
PK Tommy Davis (1959-69)
T Keith Fahnhorst (1974-87)
C Bill Johnson (1948-56)
DT Charlie Krueger (1959-73)
LB Frank Nunley (1967-76)
C Fred Quillan (1978-87)
T Len Rohde (1960-74)
G Jesse Sapolu (1983-97)
WRK Gordy Soltau (1950-58)
CB Bruce Taylor (1970-77)
LB Keena Turner (1980-90)
WR Billy Wilson (1951-60)
CB Eric Wright (1981-90)

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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