No. 3: Ronnie Lott
49ers Tenure: 1981 – 1990
Pro Bowl Selections: 10
A safety on this list?
You have to remember, Ronnie Lott started out his career with the 49ers as a cornerback. From 1981 to 1984 he played strictly right cornerback, and split time between cornerback and free safety in 1985 before making the permanent switch the following season.
And he was absolutely phenomenal during that stretch, making the Pro Bowl four years in a row and being named first-team All-Pro (as a rookie).
Lott is the franchise leader for interceptions with 51, and 45% of those came while at cornerback (which he only played a few seasons at!) It is worth wondering could have gotten more had he stayed at corner? Or was the switch beneficial to his interception track record? Either way, Lott was an awfully good cornerback. He also is No. 2 on the leaderboards in tackles at 721, recently passed by Patrick Willis.
It just wasn’t right to put a guy a No. 1 who is remembered as a safety.