Ranking 10 best 49ers wide receivers taken in NFL Draft
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: Terrell Owens
No. 89 Overall, 1996 NFL Draft
It’s crazy to think the 49ers drafted two of what could be considered the top five wide receivers of all time.
While no one will touch Jerry Rice’s all-time receiving record, and Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald just moved past him for second place behind Rice, seeing Terrell Owens at No. 3 on the all-time receiving yards record is certainly notable.
Granted, only 8,572 of Owens’ 15,934 receiving yards came in a Niners uniform. And Owens’ exit from the team in 2004 wasn’t pretty, nor were the controversies and headaches that ultimately led up to his departure.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact Owens was one of the most feared weapons during his career, which finally came to light in that famous 1999 playoff win over the Green Bay Packers… “The Catch II,” as it’s become known.
Owens’ relatively obscure collegiate career at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga helped drop his NFL Draft stock into the third round of the 1996 draft, which proved beneficial to San Francisco. The team still needed an heir apparent to Rice, and it was becoming clear J.J. Stokes couldn’t fill the void.
Fortunately, Owens did, even though the longstanding tenure with the 49ers never happened.
Still, he remains No. 2 on the franchise’s all-time list. And he remains a Niners great to this day.