The 49ers are well represented in the latest list of Pro Football Hall of Fame candidates.
Eleven former 49ers, highlighted by Patrick Willis and Bryant Young, are included in the 122 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022, announced on Wednesday. Willis did not make the list of 15 finalists in his first two years of eligibility. Young was named as a finalist for the 2020 class, but ultimately did not make the cut.
Here’s the list of former 49ers in full:
QB Jeff Garcia
RB Ricky Watters
TE Brent Jones
OL Jesse Sapolu
WR Anquan Boldin
DL Bryant Young & Justin Smith
LB Patrick Willis & Takeo Spikes
DB Merton Hanks & Tim McDonald
The list of 122 will be whittled down to 15 finalists, from which the five players will be elected.
The only thing that might keep Willis, 36, out of the Hall is his short career, which lasted just eight seasons due to a nagging toe injury. When Willis did play, however, he was consistently spectacular, making the All-Pro team every year from 2007-2012 (five times on the first team). He’s a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team and lead the league in tackles in 2007 and 2009.
Young, 49, played his entire 14-year-career in San Francisco, was a four-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler and was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. He was also a member of the 1994 Super Bowl winning team.
Here’s the full list of candidates:
QUARTERBACKS – Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Garcia, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair
RUNNING BACKS – Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (FB), Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers (FB), Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf (also WR/PR/KR), Lorenzo Neal (FB), Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker (also KR), Ricky Watters, Brian Westbrook
WIDE RECEIVERS – Anquan Boldin, Troy Brown (also PR/KR), Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Devin Hester (also PR/KR), *Torry Holt, Joe Horn, Andre Johnson, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Andre Rison, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, Hines Ward, *Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker
TIGHT ENDS – Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Brent Jones, Heath Miller, Wesley Walls
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (T), Kevin Glover (C/G), Jordan Gross (T), Olin Kreutz (C), Jake Long (T), Nick Mangold (C), Logan Mankins (G), Jesse Sapolu (C/G), Jeff Saturday (C), Chris Snee (G), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN – John Abraham (DE also LB), *Jared Allen (DE), La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Robert Mathis (DE), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), Simeon Rice (DE), *Richard Seymour (DT), Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Greg Townsend (DE/LB/DT/NT), Justin Tuck (DE), Vince Wilfork (DT/NT), Kevin Williams (DT), Bryant Young (DT)
DEFENSIVE BACKS – Eric Allen (CB), *Ronde Barber (CB/S), Dre Bly (DB), *LeRoy Butler (S), Nick Collins (S), Antonio Cromartie (CB), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Tim McDonald (S), Allen Rossum (DB), Asante Samuel (CB), Bob Sanders (S), Charles Tillman (CB), Troy Vincent (CB), Adrian Wilson (S), Darren Woodson (S)
PUNTERS/KICKERS – Gary Anderson (K), Jeff Feagles (P), John Kasay (K), Sean Landeta (P), Ryan Longwell (K), Reggie Roby (P), Matt Turk (P)
SPECIAL TEAMS – Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Mel Gray (PR/KR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB), Steve Tasker (ST also WR)