San Francisco 49ers Greatest Defensive Tacklers In History

The San Francisco 49ers are an American football professional franchise based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Historically, the 49ers defensive line has been of middling quality. It’s had its share of genius, but not quite enough to make the list completely impervious.

Here is a list of the top 5 San Francisco 49ers Best Defensive Tacklers Of All-Time

1. Leo Nomellini

Not only was Leo Nomellini unquestionably the best defensive lineman of the 1950s, he was also awarded the best defensive tackle of all time in 1969 as a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary All-Time Team.

To begin, he excelled on both offense and defense, receiving accolades on both sides of the ball and gaining a reputation for extreme durability.

2. Justin Smith

In 2009, Smith was named to the Pro Bowl. Since then, he has been a first-team All-Pro in 2011, and he has been selected to the All-Pro team in each of the next four years.

He now holds the seventh-highest total of sacks in franchise history, with 43.5, and ranks 14th in total tackles with 299.

3. Bryant Young

After Tommy Hart and Cedrick Hardman, Young ranks third on the team’s sacks list. In total, he’s won the Len Eschmont Award eight times in his career. Young now has the most career sacks in the NFL.

For the record, Young has the fourth most sacks for a defensive tackle in NFL history with 89.5.

4. Fred Dean

He was selected the UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, despite playing just 11 games for the 49ers. Dean was the NFL’s first true pass-rush specialist due to his speed and technique.

5. Dana Stubblefield

Dana Stubblefield, a first-round draft pick in 1993, was named Defensive Rookie of the Year for his performance that season. Stubblefield made the All-Rookie team after recording 10.5 sacks and 64 tackles in his rookie season.

This was Stubblefield’s best span, with eight sacks and 40 solo tackles per season. He was also extremely hard to run against.


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