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My favorite 49ers wide receivers

By roheblius Fanbase staff
Published Dec 17, 2008
Articles140    Photos1005    Videos263    Discussions1723
Hometown: Gilroy, CA
Date joined: Oct 15, 2008
This is my inclusion to the open call to write a list on Fanbase.

I've already written about my favorite 49ers running backs and now it's time to write about my favorite wide receivers.

(You can take a look at the running backs list here:

Though I have memories dating back to 1981, I only started watching games in 1983 so this list starts with that season. Sorry R.C. Owens.

5. Mike Wilson
Though there was a late push to get JJ Stokes on this list, I had to go reach back and put Wilson on here. Wilson was on four Super Bowl winning teams and while he was never a go to guy and his best year was in 1988 when he had 33 catches, he was a dependable target for Joe Montana. He was thought of highly enough by Bil Walsh, that when Walsh went to Stanford for his second stint as head coach, he tabbed Wilson as his receivers coach.

4. John Taylor
Best known for one of the most famous moments in Super Bowl history, Taylor was more than just the receiver who caught Joe Montana's touchdown pass to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. Taylor was also the perfect number two receiver on the other side of Jerry Rice and one of the best punt returners in his day. In 1989, he had 60 catches for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns with a lethal 18.0 yards per catch.

3. Dwight Clark
Before Jerry Rice, Joe Montana's go to receiver was Dwight Clark. Most famous for "The Catch", which helped the 49ers get over the hump in the 1981 championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, Clark doesn't really get his due as one of the better receivers of the early 80s. He had three years where he caught at least 70 balls and would've had a fourth if not for the strike shortened season of 1982 in which they only played 9 games (he was on target for at least 90 catches that year and that was before gaudy wide receiver statistics were the norm). He was highly productive as Montana's second receiver after Jerry Rice came aboard, netting at least 700 yards in two out of the last three seasons of his career before injuries caused him to retire. He worked in the front office with the team after his career was over.

2. Terrell Owens
Some 49ers fans don't really even want to remember his years with the team because of the way he left, but I've always been fond of him as a player. There's a real misnomer about Owens' career because of how he likes to tell his story. If you asked a NFL fan today, which quarterback Owens had the most success with, people would probably say Tony Romo or Donovan McNabb because of his his new found stardom on America's team and awesome Super Bowl performance with the Eagles playing with a healing broken leg in a loss. But Terrell Owens has never played better in his career than in his prime years as a member of the 49ers with that "rat" Jeff Garcia throwing him the football. In 2002, Owens only played 14 out of the 16 regular season games. Yet he still caught 100 balls for 1300 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2000, he also only played 14 games and still caught 97 balls. Since leaving the 49ers, his best year as far as catches are concerened was 2006, when he caught 85 balls. Best year ever as far as touchdowns are concerned? 2001 when he caught 16 with the 49ers. That Jeff Garcia was such a bad of a player and held Terrell back so much, that he only had the best seasons of his career with Jeff throwing him the ball.

1. Jerry Rice
This one was easy. The numbers are gaudy. The three Super Bowl victories and one Super Bowl MVP stand out. He holds all the records. The fact that I don't really have to write much about him says it all. There's nothing left to say.

Photo of Dwight Clark added by dmackdaddy -
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Dec 17, 2008
Eric wrote:
Hopefully this series will run through every position on the team. I'd be excited to see where Klaus Wilmsmeyer finishes on the list of punters!
Dec 17, 2008
rohebliusFanbase staffwrote:
I'll have to look at Barry Helton's and Max Runager's numbers before I can say where Klaus finishes. But I think it's easy to say that Andy Lee is the best punter we've ever had.
Dec 17, 2008
flyinfshFounding Memberwrote:
Let me tell you, I am glad you left JJ of the list. That guy was the worst route runner for a starting WR I have ever seen. I ran crisper routes when I played WR in high school. Poor guy never lived up to his #10 pick status. I would easily put Arnaz Battle and Freddie Solomon above him despite their career stats being slightly lower. But that's just me.
What's also funny is that you could put Roger Craig as #3 or #4 since that's where he is on the career reception list. He lined up at WR some didn't he. =P
I agree about Andy Lee, he is a beast and was our team MVP last season in my opinion.
Dec 17, 2008
Eric wrote:
I don't disagree with you, flyinfsh, but I grew up a UCLA fan, so it's impossible for me to dislike JJ Stokes. There are three signings/picks from my childhood that made me decide my favorite teams were destined for periods of greatness, and he was one of them (Bonds and Webber were the others).

My predictions didn't exactly work out.
Dec 17, 2008
rohebliusFanbase staffwrote:
The year that Rice went down, Stokes played well. At that point, you had to believe that he and Owens were the future. But he wasn't any good as a third guy. He didn't have any speed.

Battle and Freddie would've been on my top ten list. Because Clark, Rice, Taylor, and Owens were so good, it didn't allow many other guys to start, so there aren't too many other guys who put up good numbers with them.

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