Sports

The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time 

Ranker NFL
Originally by
Updated January 16, 2020 45.5k votes 5.3k voters 127.4k views 98 items

List Rules Please 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.
list ordered by
1
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Quarterback from New Eagle

Age: 59

Teams: Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs

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#2 of 217 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #332 of 532 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer Withlisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

2
Jerry Rice is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Wide receiver from Crawford

Age: 53

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

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#1 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #1 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

3
Steve Young is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Quarterback from Salt Lake City

Age: 54

Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, BYU Cougars football, Los Angeles Express

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#8 of 217 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #24 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Everlisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

4
Ronnie Lott is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Cornerback and Safety from Albuquerque

Age: 56

Teams: USC Trojans football, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs

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#11 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #4 of 519 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

5
Frank Gore is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
6
Patrick Willis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Linebacker from Bruceton

Age: 30

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

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#114 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #38 of 174 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

7
Dwight Clark is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Dwight Clark Tight end and Wide receiver from Kinston

Age: 58

Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Clemson Tigers football

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#220 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #34 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

8
Roger Craig is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Running back and Fullback from Davenport

Age: 55

9
Charles Haley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Defensive end and Linebacker from Gladys

Age: 51

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#79 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #42 of 519 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

10
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Wide receiver from Alexander City

Age: 45

Teams: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Texas Revolution, + more

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#1,688 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #26 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Everlisted on The Best 'Dancing With The Stars' Contestants, Ranked

11
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Cornerback and Punt returner from Fort Myers

Age: 48

Teams: Florida State Seminoles baseball, Washington Redskins, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, + more

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#384 of 599 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #70 of 290 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

12
Joe Staley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Joe Staley Tackle from Rockford

Age: 31

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

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

13
Bryant Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Bryant Young Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Chicago Heights

Age: 43

14
John Taylor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
John Taylor Return specialist and Wide receiver from Pennsauken Township

Age: 53

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#81 of 347 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #251 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #37 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

15
NaVorro Bowman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
bigulcards added Linebacker from District Heights

Age: 27

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

16
Justin Smith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Defensive tackle from Jefferson City

Age: 36

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

17
Vernon Davis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Tight end from Washington

Age: 31

Teams: Washington Redskins

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#283 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #65 of 111 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time #41 of 41 The 41 Hottest Men in the NFL

18
Y. A. Tittle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Quarterback from Marshall

Age: 89

Teams: Baltimore Colts, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants

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#24 of 217 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #9 of 162 The Best LSU Football Players of All Time

19
Brent Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Tight end from Santa Clara

Age: 52

Teams: San Francisco 49ers

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#737 of 1,536 The Best Football Players Ever #5 of 24 The Best NFL Tight Ends of the '90s

20
Tom Rathman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
21
Merton Hanks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Cornerback and Safety from Dallas

Age: 47

22
Ricky Watters is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
willyboymcoy added Running back from Harrisburg

Age: 46

Teams: Seattle Seahawks

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#45 of 192 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time #69 of 347 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

23
Bill Walsh is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Tom Derr added

Age: Died at 76 (1931-2007)

Teams: San Jose State Spartans football

24
Randy Cross is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Offensive Lineman from New York City

Age: 61

25
Garrison Hearst is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time
Garrison Hearst Running back from Lincolnton

Age: 44

Teams: Arizona Cardinals, Georgia Bulldogs football team