No. 10: J.J. Stokes
No. 10 Overall, 1995 NFL Draft
It seems somewhat counterproductive to list wide receiver J.J. Stokes on an all-time list for best wide receivers the 49ers ever drafted, especially considering he’ll often make it onto lists for all-time disappointments, too.
Stokes is a polarizing addition, sure. For starters, he was supposed to be the eventual replacement for another wide receiver on this list in the mid-1990s, but nothing of the sort ever happened.
Still, between 1995 and 2002, Stokes’ tenure with San Francisco still netted some solid production, including two years (1997 and 1998) in which he produced more than 700 receiving yards. And in 1998, he managed a career-best eight touchdowns, too. One also has to consider he had five seasons with at least 500 yards and still ranks 12 highest on the franchise’s all-time list for both receptions (327) and receiving yards (4,139).
Those numbers aren’t awful when considering some of the other names on this list.
True, Stokes had difficulty holding onto the ball, and he never came close to the kind of impact player for which the Niners were hoping when they made him the No. 10 overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft.
Still, his net impact can’t be overlooked, and he deserves to be included on this list.