Lot of fans showing their age or lack of knowledge in this thread.
Here's what the team should REALLY look like:
QB: Steve Young
-If you look past the whole "clutch" hype, Young was the better QB, and it's not even debatable. When you're picking your QB, you're looking for the top guy to run a great offense, not some legend of, "hey, he mentioned John Candy in the stands and led a game winning SB drive." You have to GET to the SB first. Young was held back from more rings by flawed 49ers teams in the 90s.
RB: Garrison Hearst
-1998 Hearst was the best back the team has ever had, and it's not particularly close. Sure, Craig and Watters were good (Watters was the best receiver), Tyler was great if you overlook the fumbles...Gore was great in 2006, and fell off in a huge way after that. Hearst was a slasher with power and elusiveness, a dangerous pass catcher, and excellent in blitz pickup.
FB: Fred Beasley
-If you're looking for someone to run the iso play, he's the only choice at FB here.
WR: Jerry Rice
WR: Terrell Owens
-John Taylor, Freddie Solomon, and Gene Washington were all great players and would be fine choices, but prime-Owens could only be stopped by happy-footed weasels at QB (*cough* Garcia *cough*).
TE: Vernon Davis
-It's his blocking that really makes the difference. Brent Jones was brilliant in the seams, tough in traffic, and was great after the catch, but he was generally a poor blocker. Davis is the best blocking TE in football and as good a downfield threat as you will find at the position.
LT: Derrick Deese
-There aren't really any good choices here. Steve Wallace wasn't great - converted guard and that showed, at times. Bubba Paris had weight problems and was inconsistent. Joe Staley is overrated as all get out and very beatable. Deese in the early 00s put together some really nice seasons, although he was far from dominant.
LG: Guy McIntyre
-Have to keep my right side of the offensive line in tact at all costs, even though McIntyre was better at right guard where he had more options pulling. Spectacular athlete...could slide out and play quasi-left tackle picking up edge rushers. Combined it with great power for his size.
C: Jeremy Newberry
-Powerful center with nastiness. Jesse Sapolu was NOT a very good offensive lineman, despite the nostalgic Hawaiian affirmative action he always gets among 49er fans. He was a scrapper who did what Bobb McKittrick asked of him, which is why he lasted.
RG: Randy Cross
-Teamed with Fahnhorst to form an absolutely devastating right side of the 49ers' line in the early-to-mid 80s. They would literally cave in opposing defensive lines in-line with crushing blocks. Tremendous technician. He was likely roided up, but that's the era. Much better in-line than on pulls, despite the BS reputation as a "pulling guard" he developed, since the 49er lines became known for being undersized.
RT: Keith Fahnhorst
-Converted tight end with tremendous power. Also a better pass blocker than the overrated Harris Barton. Barton was very beatable in pass protection and not a great run blocker, either. Always gave great effort, but he wasn't in Fahnhorst's class.
NT: Michael Carter
-As good a nose tackle as there's ever been. Dominant vs. the run as well as a freakish athlete who could have played 3-technique if he wanted to and posted double digit sacks every year.
RE: Kevan f*gan
-The best run playing defensive lineman in NFL history. Absolutely unblockable one-on-one. Not only would stonewall the lineman, he'd often literally throw him to the ground. If you wanted any chance of doing anything against him, you had to double team him. Not in a BS, "oh, X is double teamed all the time" thing where the fans are just talking out of their a--. I mean, really, truly...you had to actually put two men on him. Career cut short by back problems (only reason 49ers got him in the 4th round to begin with). He was obviously on steroids. I mean, he just SCREAMS it. It's like pro wrestler-obvious.
LE: Justin Smith
-He normally plays on the right side where f*gan used to play, but I can't take Pierce Holt over him. Holt was good, but overrated. He was nowhere near f*gan's class, yet he got more hype because he was a better pass rusher. Holt wasn't great vs. the run. Smith, on the other hand, is so quick and active against the run that he never provides a real target to block. I think he could play on the left side.
ILB: Novorro Bowman
-He's been playing at a higher level than Willis for a while now.
ILB: Matt Millen
-Give me the physical, tough, between the tackles run defender, please. Millen could actually defeat offensive line blockers in his day.
OLB: Keena Turner
-Shut down the outside run at the point going against the TE. Incredibly strong for his size...could even give offensive tackles like Gary Zimmerman trouble at the point. Also quite fast and athletic and great in pursuit. Could also blitz and make plays in coverage.
OLB: Charles Haley
-DeMarcus Ware is a poor man's Haley. Haley was an athletic freak. He was "next level." Sack totals don't do him justice.
(If I were going 4-3, Fred Dean would be at one end spot, Carter and f*gan would be the DTs, and Haley would be at the other end. The LBs would be Turner, Bowman, and I'd probably put in Willis to play the "will" spot).
CB - Eric Wright
-Best cover guy to play for the 49ers since 1980.
CB - Deion Sanders
-Yeah, that even includes Deion. Deion was somewhat overhyped, though still good.
SS - Jeff Fuller
-A complete SS who was as good as it gets in the box. Textbook tackler, big hitter, fluid, smooth, and athletic enough to cover. He even played emergency 4th corner on the 1984 team after Lott came out of the game against the Oilers (and did better than Lott). Tim McDonald, though excellent in the box, was a liability in coverage.
FS - Merton Hanks
-Excellent smarts and ball skills and a much bigger hitter than people give/gave him credit for. Not a fan of Lott's all-or-nothing hitting. He missed too many tackles for my taste and never had great cover ability, though he did have excellent hands and instincts.
K - Joe Nedney
-Kicking is all about era. 80% used to be practically untouchable. Now it's a poor percentage.
P- Andy Lee
-Not even close.
[ Edited by 49ersScoutHistorian on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:35 PM ]