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49ers All-Time Defensive Tackle #1


Editor's Note Midnight: Alright I'm a moron.  Somehow I ended up on a single track thinking Bryant Young at defensive tackle and completely forgot about Leo Nomellini.  I'm going to redo this and figure out a better way to handle this position.  I originally had Bryant Young as an automatic entry, but as spenczar so astutely pointed out, that was a mistake on my part.  So I'm going to make some changes to this and get it back up shortly.

A while back we had a vote on whether to go with the 3-4 or the 4-3 for the defense on our all-time team.  Now that the polls have closed, it was close enough to lead to an executive decision.  I've decided to go 4-4 to combine the best of both worlds.  Yes this would technically lead to a 12-man defense, but I don't think it's all that big a deal.  So, the defensive line will consist of two defensive tackles and two defensive ends, which leads to today's selection.

I had initially thought about opening up a poll including Leon Nomellini and Bryant Young among others.  However, as has been pointed out below, Nomellini has been recognized by the NFL as an all-time defensive tackle.  Nomellini was the first 49er draft choice after they entered the NFL.  While statistics are not available, the awards piled up for Nomellini.  Aside from his outstanding offensive line play, he was a 4-time All-NFL defensive tackle and went to 10 Pro Bowls.  Add in being named to the NFL's All Time Team at defensive tackle, and there's not a whole lot more you can ask of the man.

What makes his play even more amazing is the fact that he played offense and defense and went 14 years (1950-1963) without missing a game.  As they state at his Hall of fame website:

The choice of Nomellini proved to be a superb one. At 6-3 and 260, "The Lion” had everything needed to be an all-time pro great – size, speed, agility, aggressiveness, dedication to the game, superb conditioning and the willingness to go the full 60 minutes of any game.

And a piece of information that is clearly more important than anything else: In the offseason Nomellini was a professional wrestler winning multiple titles in the NWA and AWA.  I think that's a sufficient cap to an all-around amazing career.  We'll be back with a poll for the #2 defensive tackle later in the week.