49ers’ All-Time Receiving Leaders (Yardage)
The San Francisco 49ers have a winning tradition, and have won 5 of 5 Super Bowl appearances. Much of that has been built on Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense, with guys like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice and Steve Young leading the way. So it should be no surprise that the Niners’ all-time receiving leaders read like a Who’s Who in the NFL. Here is the team’s Top 10 in that category:
Jerry Rice (19,247)—Jerry Rice is the NFL’s all-time leading receiver with over 22,000 yards, a mark that might possibly never be broken. Rice racked up 19,247 of those yards with the 49ers, who he played for from 1985 to 2000, catching passes from Montana and Young and even Jeff Garcia. He made the Pro Bowl 13 times, including 11 times as first-team All Pro, and led the NFL in receiving yards six times during his brilliant career. Rice’s best season was 1995, when he caught 122 passes for 1848 yards (both career highs), with 15 touchdowns. Rice even ran the ball five times for 36 yards and one more TD that season. In addition, the 1848 yards is an NFL single-season record.
Terrell Owens (8572)—It’s likely that Terrell Owens (T.O. as he’s known) would lead many other franchises in this category, but not on a team that had Jerry Rice. Owens played in San Francisco from 1996 to 2003 and ranks second in Niners’ history with 8572 receiving yards. Owens’ best season in San Francisco was 2000, one of three seasons in the Bay area in which he made first team All Pro. That year, Owens played in just 14 games but caught 97 passes for a career high 1451 yards, an average of 103.6 yards per game.
Dwight Clark (6750)—Dwight Clark is best known for that fingertip catch he made to win an NFC Championship game against Dallas in the ‘80’s. But Clark played nine seasons in the NFL, all with San Francisco, and had a nice career, ranking third in 49ers’ history with 6750 receiving yards. Clark had a career best 1105 receiving yards in 1981, but perhaps his best season was 1982, the strike-shortened year, when Clark caught an NFL-best 60 passes for 913 yards and 5 touchdowns. In a full season, that would equate to 107 catches for 1623 yards, so it’s no surprise that Clark was a first-team All Pro that year.
Gene Washington (6664)—Gene Washington played in San Francisco most of his career, from 1969 to 1977 and ranks fourth in team history with 6664 receiving yards. He made the Pro Bowl, including three times as first team All Pro, in his first four NFL seasons. Washington’s best season was 1970, when he caught 53 passes for 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns (all career highs).
Billy Wilson (5902)—Billy Wilson played his entire career in San Francisco, from 1951 to 1960, and ranks fifth in franchise history with 5902 receiving yards. Wilson made the Pro Bowl six straight years from 1954 to 1959, and was first team All Pro in 1957. Wilson’s best season was 1956, with career highs in receptions (60) and yards (889) with 5 touchdown catches.
John Taylor (5598)—John Taylor was the “other” receiver for several years along with Jerry Rice, but he had a great career himself, playing for the Niners, his only team, from 1987 to 1995. Taylor ranks sixth in team history with 5598 receiving yards, and had his best season, one of two Pro Bowl years, in 1989. That season, he caught 60 passes for a career high 1077 yards with 10 TDs (also career best).
Brent Jones (5195)—Tight end Brent Jones played his entire career in San Francisco, from 1987 to 1997, and ranks seventh in 49ers’ history with 5195 receiving yards. He made the Pro Bowl four straight seasons, from 1992 to 1995. Jones had his best season in 1993, when he caught a career high 68 passes for 735 yards and 3 scores, but he also had a career best 747 receiving yards in 1990.
Freddie Solomon (4873)—Freddie Solomon began his career in Miami but really blossomed with the Niners, playing in the Bay area from 1978 to 1985. Solomon ranks eighth in team history with 4873 receiving yards, and his best season was 1981, when he had career highs in receptions (59) and yards (969) with 8 touchdowns, adding 9 rushing carries for another 43 yards as well.
Roger Craig (4442)—Roger Craig practically revolutionized the running back position, since he was a double threat in Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense as a runner and receiver. Craig played in San Francisco most of his career, from 1983 to 1990, and ranks ninth in Niners’ history with 4442 receiving yards to go along with 7064 rushing yards. In 1985, Craig made the Pro Bowl for one of four times, and in addition to 1050 yards rushing, caught 92 passes for 1016 yards and 6 receiving TDs, all three of those numbers being career highs. The 92 receptions were also an NFL best that season, a remarkable feat for a running back.
J.J. Stokes (4139)—J.J. Stokes played most of his career in San Francisco, from 1995 to 2002, and ranks tenth in franchise history with 4139 receiving yards. Stokes had his best season in 1998, with career highs in receptions (63), receiving yards (770) and touchdowns (8).