San Francisco 49ers: Ranking top 10 offensive lineman in franchise history

Joe Staley #74 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Staley #74 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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With Joe Staley now retired, Niner Noise ranks out the 49ers’ all-time best offensive linemen in franchise history.

The San Francisco 49ers bid farewell to one of the franchise’s all-time best and most favorite players, left tackle Joe Staley, entering the 2020 season. The former first-round NFL Draft pick from 2007 was a mainstay for the franchise for years and deserves all the accolades and praise showered upon him as a Niners forever great.

It’s only a shame San Francisco wasn’t able to get Staley a Super Bowl ring during his tenure.

The big-name players and playmakers, especially quarterbacks and wide receivers, typically get all the love. And yet it’s so easy to forget one of the most crucial position groups in football: the offensive line.

Thankfully, the Niners have been graced with a number of tremendous offensive linemen over their 71-year franchise history, Staley just being the last in a long and distinguished line.

Without strong offensive linemen, the Niners wouldn’t have been quite the same as they were in the 1980s, 1990s and for varying parts of the 2010s when San Francisco’s O-line was among the best in the NFL.

So let’s take a look back at the 10 best 49ers offensive linemen in franchise history and rank them from pretty darn good to the best.

Our rating criteria is pretty simple, and here’s what Niner Noise will use for its evaluation:

  • Tenure with the 49ers (the longer, the better)
  • Durability
  • Reputation
  • Accolades (Super Bowls, Pro Bowls and All-Pro selections)

There are more than just 10 great Niners O-linemen though, so let’s kick things off with our honorable mention list.