And so we move on to our last defensive position, the second cornerback. Jimmy Johnson appears to have won a tight battle with Eric Wright for the #1 cornerback position. Some people took issue with no Deion Sanders, but as I said, I felt like having the Gary Plummer rule (4 years for eligibility) was a necessity. We could always do a one-off list of the single greatest seasons in 49ers history. We're wrapping up the all-time team, so that might be a fun list to put together next. Don't worry about nominating anybody at this point, but eventually I'll post some initial nominees and let folks throw out their suggestions as well. Our old-time 49er fans will have plenty of good suggestions I'd imagine.
Kermit Alexander (1963-1969): Alexander spent seven seasons with the 49ers amassing an impressive 36 interceptions, a rate of just over 5 per season. As impressive is that he came out of college as a running back and was the outstanding offensive player at the Hula Bowl. Mix in some quality kick and punt return stats and you've got one heck of a player. Also, I just noticed he recovered 23 fumbles in his career. Nothing on Johnson for that, but Alexander is the franchise leader there by a safe margin.
Lowell Wagner (1949-1953): Wagner was with the team in its last year in the All-America Football Conference and then the first four years in the NFL. Although the team struggled a bit early on, Wagner was a highlight, snagging 31 interceptions in just five full seasons with the team.
Eric Wright (1981-1990): No vote would be complete without Wright. While not a ball hawk like some of these other guys (7 of his 18 career INTs came in a single season), Wright was a very solid corner who is on the short list of 4-time Super Bowl winners.
Don Griffin (1986-1993): I'll be honest, I don't remember a whole heck of a lot about Griffin. He is 9th on the 49ers INT list and was the successor to Eric Wright at right CB, and a fitting successor he ended up being. Eric Davis (our other option here) was solid, but 2/3 of his interceptions came after his 49er days.