No. 1: Leo Nomellini
49ers Tenure: 1950 – 1963
Pro Bowl Selections: 10
Undoubtedly the most decorated defensive linemen in 49ers franchise history, Leo “The Lion” Nomellini is the one of only two on this to be inducted to the Hall of Fame as a Niner.
Let’s check the accolades real quick for Nomellini:
- 6-time All-Pro selections
- 10-time Pro Bowler
- Member of the 1950s All-Decade Team
- Member of the 50th anniversary All-Time Team
- NFL’s All-Time defensive tackle
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He was the very first draft pick of the 49ers organization, selected No. 11 overall in 1950. Nomellini was remarkable for a number of reasons. First, he played both offense and defense, earning awards on both sides of the ball, and was known for his extreme durability — he played in every single game of his career.
Second, only once over an 11-year stretch, from 1950 to 1961, was he not named to either a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team. Third, his rookie season came at age 26 after Nomellini served in the Marines. Age 26! And he still managed to make 10 Pro Bowls.
It’s hard to argue the guy voted as the NFL’s all-time defensive tackle isn’t worthy of No. 1 on this list.
It is quite the notable list for the 49ers when it comes to all-time defensive linemen. With the trio in place now, these rankings are bound to be reorganized.