San Francisco 49ers: Ranking the 5 best running backs of all time

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No. 5: Hugh McElhenny

“The King,” as McElhenny was known, was a proud member of the “Million Dollar Backfield” for the 49ers from 1952 to 1960.

Drafted by the 49ers in the first round of the 1952 NFL Draft, the Hall of Famer went on to become the 49ers’ seventh all-time leading rusher with 4,288 yards on 877 attempts over his nine seasons with the club for a superb 4.89 yards per carry average, one of the best in franchise history and second-best on this list.

The University of Washington product (where he earned All-American honors) unanimously won the Rookie of the Year award after an exhilarating first campaign in which he averaged a whopping 7.0 yards per carry, including an 89 yard touchdown run and in addition to a 94 yard punt-return touchdown.

His long stride and high knees were his trademark.

McElhenny left the 49ers in 1961 to join the expansion Minnesota Vikings.