4 former 49ers who need to be in Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Roger Craig, San Francisco 49ers
Roger Craig #33 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

49ers Player No. 1: Running Back Roger Craig

While Frank Gore is probably 90-percent a Hall of Famer, with each passing year, it seems the chances of another one of all-time Niners greats, running back Roger Craig, getting into the Hall of Fame diminish.

Yet the conversation doesn’t go away, which is a true testament to just how good Craig was.

In many ways, he helped revolutionize the position. During the 1980s, most running backs weren’t exactly utilized in the dual-threat way many of them are used in today’s pass-happy NFL. One saying out there was how “Craig was Marshall Faulk before Marshall Faulk.”

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OK, so Craig is buried deep down the all-time rush-yards list with 8,189, which places him at No. 44 overall in that category, whereas Faulk resides at No. 12 with 12,279 rush yards.

Yet let’s take into account a couple of other things here.

For starters, it’s impossible to overlook how big a dual-threat weapon Craig was. Twice during his career, he posted over 2,000 all-purpose yards, and that’s even an extreme rarity for any player today.

On top of that, Craig actually led the entire NFL in receptions in 1985 with 92, a year in which he netted over 1,000 yards through the air and another 1,000-plus yards on the ground.

Only three, Faulk and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, are currently part of the 1,000-1,000 club.

So, if that’s not Hall of Fame worthy, few other things should be.

Next. Ranking 49ers' 30 greatest players of all time. dark