SF 49ers: Top 6 wide receiver duos in franchise history

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice (80) Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice (80) Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports /
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Jerry Rice, John Taylor, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice (80) and wide receiver John Taylor (82) (Photo by Sylvia Allen/Getty Images) /

The SF 49ers have boasted some of the best wide receiver tandems in NFL history, and Niner Noise ranks out the top six.

When one thinks of the SF 49ers and their storied past, they often think of two key positions: quarterbacks and wide receivers.

The Niners have been graced with the best at each position, Joe Montana at quarterback and Jerry Rice at wide receiver. And some could make the argument San Francisco has had the two greatest wideouts in NFL history in their ranks at the same time, Rice and Terrell Owens, who just so happen to be first and second on the franchise’s all-time receiving yards list.

Duos are important in the NFL, both in today’s pass-heavy game and in years prior. The best tandems complement each other and allow for both to find their own kinds of successes.

Currently, the SF 49ers hope they have an up-and-coming tandem we’ll be able to write about in future years, wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Samuel, the 2019 second-round NFL Draft pick, has already earned praise as a multifaceted weapon in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, while the 2020 first-round pick, Aiyuk, is solidifying himself as a massive yards-after-the-catch weapon.

Perhaps in some time, let’s say four or five years, we’ll be looking at both Samuel and Aiyuk as massive impact players and names who can be considered among the best wideouts in Niners history.

For now, though, Aiyuk and Samuel still have a lot to prove and a long way to go before that discussion. Especially when looking back at the six best wide receiver duos San Francisco has had in its storied history.

To start off our list, we can go back into the not-so-distant past and recall the tandem of wideouts Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.