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5.7k voters

The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time

Updated May 21, 2020 46.9k votes 5.7k voters 133.5k views99 items

List RulesPlease vote on the players based only on their time with the 49ers

A list of the best San Francisco 49ers of all time. The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most successful and popular NFL teams during the Super Bowl era. The team has gone to six Super Bowls, winning five of them. The San Francisco teams of the past four decades have had some of the best players in football history. These players are widely considered the best players at their position and are easily the greatest 49ers ever. Every conversation about the greatest 49ers begins with Joe Montana. Drafted in the third round in 1979, Montana was an integral player in the 49ers dynasty of the 1980s and 1990s. The team won four Super Bowls with Montana as its quarterback, confirming his status as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Next in line was another superstar quarterback: Steve Young. A worthy successor, Young was an NFL MVP and led the 49ers to the Super Bowl title after the 1994.

You can't talk about the greatest 49ers players of all time without mentioning the best wide receiver ever. Jerry Rice had the most storied career of any receiver in NFL history. Rice holds nearly every receiving record in NFL history and is by far and away the best 49ers receiver of all time.

The 49ers defense has featured the iconic Ronnie Lott and more recently, superstar linebacker Patrick Willis.

This is the list of the best San Francisco 49ers of all time. If you see someone missing from this list, feel free to add him. Vote or rerank this list according to who you think is the greatest San Francisco 49ers player of all time.
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  • 1
    2,671
    315

    Jerry Rice

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceCrawford, Mississippi, United States of America

    Age57

    TeamsMississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers

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    #3 of 15 The Worst NFL Trades Ever Made#4 of 58 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 2
    2,657
    314

    Joe Montana

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceNew Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age64

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs

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    #23 of 80 The Best NFL Player Nicknames#267 of 344 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

  • 3
    1,755
    206

    Ronnie Lott

    Cornerback, Safety

    BirthplaceAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

    Age61

    TeamsUSC Trojans football, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs

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    #24 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever#9 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

  • 4
    1,844
    243

    Steve Young

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSalt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

    Age58

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    #2 of 107 College & Professional Athletes Who Were Raised Mormon#10 of 120 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time

  • 5
    1,388
    321

    Frank Gore

    Running back

    BirthplaceCoconut Grove, Miami, Florida, United States of America

    Age32

    TeamsBuffalo Bills

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    #18 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time#29 of 62 Who Is the Best Running Back in the NFL Right Now?

  • 6
    1,018
    165

    Dwight Clark

    Tight end, Wide receiver

    BirthplaceKinston, North Carolina, United States of America

    Age63

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers, Clemson Tigers football

  • 7
    1,304
    330

    Patrick Willis

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceBruceton, Tennessee, United States of America

    Age35

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

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    #10 of 26 NFL Players Whose Careers Ended Too Soon#10 of 143 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

  • 8
    1,118
    266

    Roger Craig

    Running back, Fullback

    BirthplaceDavenport, Iowa, United States of America

    Age60

  • 9
    754
    156

    Joe Staley

    Tackle

    BirthplaceRockford, Michigan

    Age36

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

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    #11 of 61 The Best NFL Players From Michigan#18 of 22 Every Player Injured During The 2019-20 NFL Season (So Far)

  • 10
    565
    87

    Tom Rathman

    Fullback

    BirthplaceGrand Island, Nebraska

    Age57

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    #17 of 69 The Best Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Players of All Time#25 of 26 The Best NFL Running Backs of the 80s

  • 11
    919
    235

    Charles Haley

    Defensive end, Linebacker

    BirthplaceGladys, Virginia, Virginia

    Age56

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    #20 of 154 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time#13 of 96 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

  • 12
    735
    158

    NaVorro Bowman

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceDistrict Heights, Maryland

    Age32

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 13
    749
    31

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    AgeDec. at 76 (1931-2007)

    TeamsSan Jose State Spartans football

  • 14
    706
    151

    John Taylor

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

    BirthplacePennsauken Township, New Jersey

    Age58

    More 

    #90 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame#20 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '90s

  • 15
    1,149
    331

    Terrell Owens

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceAlexander City, Alabama, USA

    Age46

    TeamsBuffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Texas Revolution

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    #335 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time#18 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 16
    660
    153

    Bryant Young

    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    BirthplaceChicago Heights, Illinois

    Age48

  • 17
    913
    223

    Deion Sanders

    Cornerback, Punt returner

    BirthplaceFort Myers, Florida, United States of America

    Age53

    TeamsFlorida State Seminoles baseball, Washington Redskins, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons

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    #901 of 1,316 The Best Athletes Of All Time#132 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time

  • 18
    507
    115

    Brent Jones

    Tight end

    BirthplaceSanta Clara, California

    Age57

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 19
    684
    205

    Vernon Davis

    Tight end

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., USA

    Age36

    TeamsWashington Redskins

  • 20
    650
    193

    Justin Smith

    Defensive tackle

    BirthplaceJefferson City, Missouri

    Age40

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 21
    485
    118

    Ricky Watters

    Running back

    BirthplaceHarrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age51

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks

  • 22
    485
    135

    Y. A. Tittle

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceMarshall, Texas, United States of America

    Age93

    TeamsBaltimore Colts, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants

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    #14 of 146 The Best LSU Football Players of All Time#11 of 73 The Best Quarterbacks to Never Win a Super Bowl

  • 23
    421
    102

    Garrison Hearst

    Running back

    BirthplaceLincolnton, Georgia

    Age49

    TeamsArizona Cardinals, Georgia Bulldogs football team

  • 24
    438
    111

    Ken Norton, Jr.

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceJacksonville, Illinois, United States of America

    Age54

  • 25
    462
    130

    Merton Hanks

    Cornerback, Safety

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas

    Age52