When doing a top-5 of NFL wide receivers, you have to put Jerry Rice at the top, if you don’t do it for the San Francisco 49ers, there’s something wrong. Very wrong.
But who would you put underneath Rice? That’s where things get subjective. There’s no denying Rice was the best receiver to put on a 49ers uniform, and an NFL uniform at large. Behind him though is where it gets dicey.
Whenever I look at team-wider receivers I’m just as much about historical significance as I am about statistics. Jerry Rice again leads in all of that. Behind him, well, this is my list of top-5 49ers wide receivers.
1: Jerry Rice
2: Terrell Owens
3: Dwight Clark
4: Freddie Solomon
5: John Taylor
Terrell Owens obviously put up great stats and was responsible for getting the monkey off the 49ers back with the wild finish against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs (AKA: The Catch II). It’s a shame things had to end the way they did with the roster purge of 2004, but with Dennis Erickson coaching, everyone was tired of everything.
Dwight Clark needs no introduction. While everyone may be thinking of The Catch, that play wasn’t just a one-off, highlight for the wide receiver; Dwight Clark could play and was a serviceable wide receiver for Joe Montana beyond getting them to the Super Bowl. He was a great wide receiver for the 49ers, while his production will never be near the rest, historically Clark is the most important.
Freddie Solomon is the man. This is getting a bit before my time, but the guy could do it all. Again, his 5,846 yards is a bit low, but when you factor in the rushing yards and just how he threw people off or provide a decoy for other wide receivers.
John Taylor? Super Bowl XXIII. Enough said. That very catch took him off punt return duties and made him one of the best wide receivers in the league—and he still wasn’t even the best wide receiver on his own team!
So behind Jerry Rice who are your top four wide receivers?