The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Who Was The Biggest Steal? #3

At number three on the list of the greatest 49er draft picks of all time, comes one of the greatest players in NFL history at any position, and without a doubt the best wide receiver of all time.

Previously: Number 10 - Y.A. Tittle, Number 9 - Ronnie Lott, Number 8 - Terrell Owens, Number 7 - Dave Wilcox, Number 6 - Merton Hanks, Number 5 - Charles Haley, Number 4 - Guy McIntyre

Number 3:

1985 - Round - 1 - WR - Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State

With the 16th pick in the 1985 Draft, Bill Walsh and the 49ers selected a player that most teams didn't regard as worthy of a first round choice. Other than the Dallas Cowboys, selecting two spots later, there was little competition for the services of this unheralded wide-out from a tiny division 1AA school.

From a stellar 1985 rookie season, 13 Pro Bowls in 20 seasons, to Super Bowl XXIII MVP and a record 1,848 receiving yards in 1995 and beyond, there are a myriad of superlatives that could describe Joe Montana's favorite target. However, let's approach this by looking at Rice's legacy as he left the game: looking back on his indelible mark.

Rice retired as the leader in a number of statistics. His 1,549 receptions were 448 receptions ahead of the second place record held by Cris Carter. His 22,895 receiving yards were 7,961 yards ahead of the second place spot held by his Raiders teammate Tim Brown. His 197 touchdown receptions were 67 scores more than Carter's 130, and his 207 total touchdowns were 32 scores ahead of Emmitt Smith's second place spot of 175.

To get an idea of how massive his 22,895 receiving yards are, if Rice had not gained any other yards on rush attempts or kick returns, his 22,895 receiving yards would still rank him second place on the NFL's list all-purpose yard leaders (category based on combination of rushing, receiving, kick/punt return yards, and interception/fumble return yards).
Rice will always be remembered for his supreme work ethic and dedication to the game. In his 20 NFL seasons, Rice missed only 17 regular season games, with 14 of them occurring in a single year (the 1997 season when he tore his knee ligaments), and the other 3 occurring in the strike shortened season of 1987. His 303 games are by far the most ever played by an NFL wide receiver, and are only 51 games behind the NFL record. In addition to staying on the field, his work ethic showed in his dedication to running precise routes, with coach Dennis Green calling him "the best route runner I've ever seen".
In 1999, he was ranked number 2 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players of All Time. Only Jim Brown was ranked ahead of him, and Rice -- 35 places ahead of the next-highest-ranked player then active, Deion Sanders -- would play another five seasons.

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