No. 9: 49ers quarterback Steve DeBerg — 1977-1980
After being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 10th Round of the 1977 NFL Draft, quarterback Steve DeBerg was waived by the Cowboys before the season began and signed to the 49ers practice squad.
During his tenure with San Francisco, DeBerg finished with a 7-28 record as a starter. He did, however, lead the NFL in attempts in 1979 with 578 but, in doing so, also threw 21 interceptions.
In the 1979 NFL Draft, head coach Bill Walsh selected Notre Dame’s Joe Montana in Round 3. Montana quickly became the starter the following year, ultimately pushing DeBerg to backup duties where he was later traded to the Denver Broncos in 1981.
At least DeBerg had the honor of mentoring Montana during the early phase of his pro career, meaning the former’s impact on the dynasty years of the 1980s can’t be understated.
But as an actual on-field presence, DeBerg wasn’t good.