Bill Walsh created one of the most overlooked and underrated championship defenses in NFL history
What may be considered the defining moment in the ascension of the early 1980s Bill Walsh-led 49ers is the construction of an underrated and often overlooked defense.
Between 1979 and 1980, 13 of the 49ers’ 21 draft picks were on the defensive side of the ball. While this yielded some instrumental players, such as linebacker Keena Turner, Walsh was also keen to pick up veterans that played key areas of need.
The 1981 NFL Draft of is where the defense got the identity it would have for the next decade. That’s when Walsh drafted Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and Pro Bowlers Eric Wright and Carlton Williamson to be his defensive backfield of the future.