A couple of weeks ago, Matt Maiocco got into a brief twitter debate about who were the best players in 49ers history to only play on the 49ers. There is often discussion about the all-time greats that have played for the 49ers, but more often than not it focuses on guys who did not spend their entire careers with the franchise. Guys like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Ronnie Lott, Y.A. Tittle and many others were awesome, but all played elsewhere at some point in their careers.
MM put together a list of his top ten 49ers that played their entire career with the franchise. Hall of Fame induction was given extra weight and current 49ers were not included. He has Hall of Fame defensive lineman Leo Nomellini at the top of the list, followed by cornerback Jimmy Johnson and offensive lineman Bob St. Clair.
Bryant Young is fifth and the first non-Hall of Famer on the list. BY is up for induction in 2013, but faces a bit of an uphill climb. He had a very strong career with the 49ers and is beloved by the local media, but his national profile could prove a little bit limited. He has solid stats, but not the mind-blowing stuff that overcomes the lack of a national profile. For now I'm just curious if he makes it past the semi-finalist stage.
As you look at MM's top ten, where would you start to post guys like Frank Gore and Patrick Willis, assuming they were to finish their careers as lifetime 49ers? Matt has punter/kicker Tommy Davis as an honorable mention, which could get Andy Lee in the discussion. Of course, Davis is the number two punter AND number two in field goals made. He also has a horrible field goal percentage (47.1%) so maybe Lee could supplant him.
How would you rank retired 49ers and current 49ers on this kind of list?