Gil Brandt: Ronnie Lott the 5th-best safety of all-time

Jul 5, 2017 at 12:16 PM--

What do safeties Emlen Tunnell (New York Giants), Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh Steelers), Ken Houston (Houston Oilers), and Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens) have in common? According to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, they were all better than legendary San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott.

On Wednesday, Brandt ranked his greatest safeties in football history and Lott, whom many consider the best ever, shockingly, came in at number five on the list.

Lott played for the 49ers from 1981 until 1990 and was a four-time Super Bowl champion during that time. He is just one of five players who were on all of the 49ers' first four Super Bowl teams (Joe Montana, Keena Turner, Eric Wright, and Mike Wilson are the others).

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Lott went on to finish his career with the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets. He was voted to 10 Pro Bowls and was a six-time First-team All-Pro. Over his career, the hard-hitting safety compiled 1,146 tackles, 63 interceptions, 8.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, and had five defensive touchdowns during regular season play. In 20 career postseason games, Lott recorded nine interceptions, 89 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two touchdowns.

Lott was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, which was also his first year of eligibility.

The list by Brandt also includes current 49ers general manager John Lynch, who sits at number 17 within the ranking. Brandt has previously worked as an NFL scout for the 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. He was also a longtime executive with the Dallas Cowboys.

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