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5.6k voters

The Best San Francisco 49ers of All Time

Updated May 21, 2020 49.9k votes 5.6k voters 131.3k 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
    Joe Montana
    2,857
    334

    Joe Montana

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceNew Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age64

    TeamsNotre Dame Fighting Irish football, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs

  • 2
    Jerry Rice
    2,863
    335

    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
    Ronnie Lott
    1,891
    223

    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

    More Ronnie Lott 

    #9 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History#2 of 104 The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time

  • 4
    Steve Young
    1,982
    260

    Steve Young

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSalt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

    Age58

    TeamsTampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, BYU Cougars football, Los Angeles Express

    More Steve Young 

    #33 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#10 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time

  • 5
    Frank Gore
    1,485
    342

    Frank Gore

    Running back

    BirthplaceMiami, Florida

    Age37

    TeamsBuffalo Bills

  • 6
    Dwight Clark
    1,090
    172

    Dwight Clark

    Tight end, Wide receiver

    BirthplaceKinston, North Carolina, United States of America

    Age63

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers, Clemson Tigers football

    More 

    #21 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '70s#28 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

  • 7
    Joe Staley
    800
    160

    Joe Staley

    Tackle

    BirthplaceRockford, Michigan

    Age36

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

    More 

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

  • 8
    Patrick Willis
    1,388
    358

    Patrick Willis

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceBruceton, Tennessee, United States of America

    Age35

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 9
    Roger Craig
    1,190
    293

    Roger Craig

    Running back, Fullback

    BirthplaceDavenport, Iowa, United States of America

    Age60

  • 10
    NaVorro Bowman
    789
    167

    NaVorro Bowman

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceDistrict Heights, Maryland

    Age32

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 11
    John Taylor
    755
    160

    John Taylor

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

    BirthplacePennsauken Township, New Jersey

    Age58

  • 12
    Tom Rathman
    592
    92

    Tom Rathman

    Fullback

    BirthplaceGrand Island, Nebraska

    Age57

    More Tom Rathman 

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

  • 13
    Charles Haley
    987
    254

    Charles Haley

    Defensive end, Linebacker

    BirthplaceGladys, Virginia, Virginia

    Age56

    More Charles Haley 

    #20 of 154 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time#14 of 96 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

  • 14
    Bill Walsh
    785
    32

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    AgeDied at 76 (1931-2007)

    TeamsSan Jose State Spartans football

  • 15
    Terrell Owens
    1,225
    354

    Terrell Owens

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceAlexander City, Alabama, United States of America

    Age46

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

  • 16
    Bryant Young
    701
    162

    Bryant Young

    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    BirthplaceChicago Heights, Illinois

    Age48

  • 17
    Deion Sanders
    979
    234

    Deion Sanders

    Cornerback, Punt returner

    BirthplaceFort Myers, Florida, USA

    Age53

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

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  • 18
    Brent Jones
    540
    124

    Brent Jones

    Tight end

    BirthplaceSanta Clara, California

    Age57

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 19
    Vernon Davis
    718
    220

    Vernon Davis

    Tight end

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C.

    Age36

    TeamsWashington Redskins

  • 20
    Justin Smith
    694
    214

    Justin Smith

    Defensive tackle

    BirthplaceJefferson City, Missouri

    Age40

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers

  • 21
    Ricky Watters
    513
    127

    Ricky Watters

    Running back

    BirthplaceHarrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age51

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks

    More Ricky Watters 

    #58 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time#85 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 22
    Garrison Hearst
    442
    110

    Garrison Hearst

    Running back

    BirthplaceLincolnton, Georgia

    Age49

    TeamsArizona Cardinals, Georgia Bulldogs football team

    More 

    #5 of 44 The Best University of Georgia Football Players of All Time#22 of 36 The Best NFL Running Backs of the 90s

  • 23
    Y. A. Tittle
    507
    148

    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#10 of 73 The Best Quarterbacks to Never Win a Super Bowl

  • 24
    Ken Norton, Jr.
    459
    120

    Ken Norton, Jr.

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceJacksonville, Illinois, United States of America

    Age54

  • 25
    Dana Stubblefield
    439
    117

    Dana Stubblefield

    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    BirthplaceCleves, Ohio, United States of America

    Age49

    TeamsSan Francisco 49ers