In a slightly less than shocking outcome, Jesse Sapolu has absolutely run away with the center vote. I had thought about just naming him the center, but there were still some other talented options at least worth considering. Now that we've got the center, we'll work our way through the line, starting with the guards. After this first vote is wrapped up, I'll reopen the polls with the remaining nominees.
Guy McIntyre (1984-1993): McIntyre joined Sapolu in the 80s and early 90s to form a whole mountain of protection. McIntyre spent a little time at right guard, but made his bones as a left guard. He won three Super Bowls, while earning five trips to the Pro Bowl. Since retiring, McIntyre has helped out in training camps and currently serves as the Player Development Director for the 49ers.
Randy Cross (1976-1988): Cross spent a good chunk of his career at center, but his best years were at right guard. Cross won three Super Bowls and earned three Pro Bowl appearances and six All-Pro selections. Since retiring, Cross has worked as an analyst for NFL and college games.
John Ayers (1977-1986): Ayers continues the theme of outstanding offensive lineman in the 80s. The offensive line was just as important to the West Coast offense as Joe Montana. Ayers never made it to the Pro Bowl but that could be due in part to being overshadowed by the likes of Cross and McIntyre. Sapolu, Cross and Ayers made for an impressive G-C-G.
Bruno Banducci (1946-1954): After being drafted by the Eagles, Banducci made his way to San Francisco in 1946, where he'd eventually earn a trip to the Pro Bowl and two All-Pro selections. Aside from his outstanding guard play, I also have to include him because he actually had a punt return AND a kick return in 1947. Not sure why that's important, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Woody Peoples (1968-1977): Offensive linemen play a physically grueling position and Peoples was a consistent force at right guard. Peoples played 76 consecutive games without being injured at one point and earned two trips to the Pro Bowl, excelling as a pulling guard.
Who should be our All-Time #1 Guard?
Guy McIntyre (95 votes)
Randy Cross (62 votes)
John Ayers (2 votes)
Bruno Banducci (3 votes)
Woody Peoples (3 votes)
165 total votes