49ers NFL Draft history: Ranking 10 best late-round picks
By Peter Panacy
No. 5: 49ers Center Fred Quillan
Round 7, No. 175 Overall in the 1978 NFL Draft
Longevity and consistency are two key reasons why the 49ers’ late-round offensive lineman, the late Fred Quillan, ranks just one spot above George Kittle on this list.
Quillan, a seventh-round selection out of Oregon in the 1978 NFL Draft, was one of the key pieces head coach Bill Walsh elected to retain when he took over duties a year later. And while the early dynasty years under Walsh had plenty of other big-name players to focus on, it’s important to remember just how crucial Quillan was to ensuring the Niners offensive line was so effective during the 1980s.
In total, Quillan spent 10 years with San Francisco, playing in 143 games while starting 129 of them, also making the Pro Bowl twice after earning two Super Bowl rings.
Unfortunately, Quillan’s efforts along the O-line were largely overshadowed by other members, including another player on this list who bumped over to center to replace him.