5 49ers that deserve stronger Hall of Fame consideration

One of the premier NFL franchises has its share of enshrinees in Canton, Ohio. Which San Francisco 49ers players also belong in the Hall of Fame?
Oct 5, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) enters
Oct 5, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) enters / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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1. RB Roger Craig

There have been six players to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl. The most recent was Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts, who reached the end zone three times in the Super Bowl LVII loss to the Chiefs.

Three of the six players did it with the San Francisco 49ers. Jerry Rice (XXIV and XXIX) actually did it twice. Ricky Watters turned the trick in with Rice in Super Bowl XXIX.

The first to do it predated Rice and Watters in San Francisco. Roger Craig joined the team as a second-round draft choice in 1983 and in his second season, ran for one score and caught a pair of TD passes from Joe Montana in San Francisco’s 38-16 victory over the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

The hard-charging running back was also the first player in NFL annals to total at least 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. That was 1985, when he earned the first of four Pro Bowl invitations. That includes 1988, when he was named All-Pro and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. In just his eight seasons with the 49ers (he finished his career with the Raiders, then Vikings), Craig totaled 11,506 yards from scrimmage and 66 touchdowns.

Mike Holmgren (via Clark Judge of Talk of Game Two) certainly feels that the versatile performer deserves a bust in Canton, Ohio. “I would just say that in all my years (in the NFL), and I was 17 years as a head coach and 25 years in the league that, when I think about it, he was the best back I ever coached. He was the best guy I’ve ever had, and I had Shaun Alexander (in Seattle).”

Craig was one of 12 Seniors Committee Semifinalists for the Hall of Fame Class of 2024 but didn’t make the final three. When will his time come?

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