It’s nearly impossible to narrow down a Mt. Rushmore-like monument to 49ers all-time greats to just four players.
And Niners fans are lucky to have watched more than just a handful of franchise greats during the team’s storied history dating back to 1946. If you wanted to come up with another Mt. Rushmore of nearly all-time greats, you could. No one would argue with you.
Here are a few who barely miss the cut.
San Francisco 49ers
Cornerback Jimmy Johnson
Playing his entire 16-year career with San Francisco, Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson still stands as the franchise’s best pure cornerback in history.
Johnson was a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, logging 47 interceptions over 200 starts.
Defensive Tackle Leo Nomellini
Many experts on 49ers history would easily rank Hall of Fame defensive tackle Leo Nomellini as the first “great” the franchise ever had.
He made 10 Pro Bowls over his storied career, eventually leading the way to a Pro Football Hall of Fame selection in 1969.
Running Back Frank Gore
Sure, running back Frank Gore is still churning out yards at 34 years old — something almost unheard of for a tailback of his age.
But it’s his 11,073 rushing yards in San Francisco that earn him consideration here.
Gore is the franchise’s all-time leader in this category, and he’ll certainly earn a spot in Canton when he becomes eligible.
Defensive Tackle Bryant Young
Another player who spent his entire career with the Niners, defensive tackle Bryant Young could be considered one of the top-two best defensive players in franchise history. No one would argue with that.
Young’s impressive resume included only four Pro Bowl nods, but he was the epitome of a pocket-wrecking force capable of registering 89.5 sacks over his legendary career in San Francisco.