The all-time 49ers-only Top 10 list

The all-time 49ers-only Top 10 list
February 10, 2012, 6:50 pm
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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)