Greatest all-time San Francisco 49ers
How do the San Francisco 49ers’ greatest players of all-time rank? Let our Top 30 of the franchise’s best help you decide.
Put simply, the San Francisco 49ers are one of the greatest franchises in NFL history. Their five Super Bowl wins, and countless Hall of Famers make that very clear. Suffice it to say, there have been some amazing players to don the red and gold over the years.
But how do all of those players stack up when compared against each other? Which ones truly stood out above the pack as the greatest to ever play for the 49ers? Well, that’s why we’re here–to determine the top 30 players in team history.
Now obviously this is based on my opinion, factoring stats, awards, rings and overall impact into the equation. There may be several names on this list you don’t recognize, and that’s because many of the men mentioned haven’t played in decades. That’s what happens when you take a look at a team that’s been playing since 1946.
Either way, it’s a great list. Plenty of Hall of Famers, plenty of record holders, and plenty of guys who simply went out on Sundays and gave this franchise everything they had.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Top 30 San Francisco 49ers players of all time.
Greatest 49ers of all time: No. 30 – NaVarro Bowman
Career Stats with 49ers: 798 tackles, 14 sacks, nine forced fumbles, six fumbles recovered, five interceptions, one touchdown, 30 passes defended
While not as noteworthy as some of the 49ers’ other superstar linebackers over the year, NaVarro Bowman was a superstar in his own right. He played much of his career in Patrick Willis‘ shadow, but made his own unique mark on the franchise following Willis’ retirement.
Even before then, Bowman wasn’t shy about making his presence felt. Despite being a third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Penn State product quickly caught on as a difference-maker at linebacker for the 49ers. He racked up 49 tackles as a rookie despite serving in a backup role, and then took over as a full-time starter as a sophomore.
The rest, as they say, is history. Between 2011 and 2017 (his final year with the 49ers), Bowman was named to three Pro Bowls and earned First-Team All-Pro honors four times. In 2015, arguably his best season, he was among the NFL’s best overall defenders while tallying a league-high 154 tackles.
Bowman unfortunately ended his career with a 10-game stint as an Oakland Raider, but will always be remembered for his dominant eight years on the right side of the Bay.