Ten-best draft choices by the 49ers since 2000

Patrick Willis was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007. [Image Source: Flickr | fred10_2000]
Patrick Willis was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007. [Image Source: Flickr | fred10_2000]

Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, and Frank Gore were among those to make multiple Pro Bowls with San Francisco after being drafted by them.

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After looking at the Cardinals’ best choices in the draft since 2000 (they select first in the NFL Draft), we now move on to the 49ers. They will be selecting second in April’s draft. Bleacher Report’s most recent mock draft has them selecting DE/LB Josh Allen out of Kentucky.

San Francisco has drafted a good amount of quality players in the past nearly two decades. Many of those players were at their peak when playing for the 49ers. Here are their ten-best selections since 2000.

Note: Only their time with the 49ers was considered for this list. While players such as Alex Smith and Delanie Walker have made multiple Pro Bowls, they all came after leaving San Francisco. Where someone was drafted also played a role. If someone had close to equal value, but they were drafted in the third round rather than the first, they would get the edge on the list. DeForest Buckner and Mike McGlinchey are two players who could easily crack the list a few years from now. Some later-round players who found success with the 49ers but didn’t quite make the list include Eric Johnson (seventh round, 2001), Eric Heitmann (seventh round, 2002), Isaac Sopoaga (fourth round, 2004), Andy Lee (sixth round, 2004), Tarell Brown (fifth round, 2007), and Trent Brown (seventh round, 2015).


Frank Gore, RB - 3rd round, 65th overall (2005); time with 49ers: 2005-2014

The ten-year tenure of Gore with San Francisco consisted of his rushing for 11,073 yards while scoring 64 rushing and 11 receiving touchdowns. He made five Pro Bowls with the 49ers and rushed for 1,000 yards eight out of 10 seasons.


Patrick Willis, LB - 1st round, 11th overall (2007); time with 49ers: 2007-2014

His career wasn't that long (just eight years), but Willis sure had a productive and effective stay in the NFL. Each of his first seven seasons he made the Pro Bowl, and five times he was named First Team All-Pro. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year for the 2007 season.

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