49ers Ultimate Draft winner: Jerry Rice, Joe Montana too talented to beat

49ers Ultimate Draft winner: Jerry Rice, Joe Montana too talented to beat

A winner had to be crowned, feelings had to be hurt. But how do you pick a victor between two teams full of all-time great 49ers? 

You set up a Zoom with four people who have too much time on their hands, of course. 

The 49ers Ultimate Draft featured eight Hall of Famers for Team Maiocco and seven for Team Papa. They also differed in eras.

While Papa's team featured a player who dated as far back as 1952, Maiocco's team was littered with single-bar helmet stars. Those players dominated their eras, but could they handle modern athleticism? Our experts say no. 

Here's how our roundtable chose the winner of the 49ers Ultimate Draft. 

Dalton Johnson: Papa 34, Maiocco 17

"Matt, you know the Niners, you're a great reporter, obviously you have knowledge. You know your beer, maybe you had too many right here. I'm sorry, but you're not John Lynch and in this case, you're not Greg Papa." 

Team Maiocco has an advantage with Bill Walsh as their head coach. Walsh always was one step ahead and could have schemed up some unstoppable plays for Steve Young and George Kittle. In the end, though, Papa's team is just too talented and athletic. 

With Joe Montana as his quarterback and both Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens as his options out wide, plus Roger Craig catching balls out of the backfield, this team is going to put up points.

Then on defense, Papa has Deion Sanders and Jimmy Johnson to lock up Dwight Clark and Billy Wilson, and Patrick Willis is the perfect linebacker to spy Young. And good luck trying to block a defensive line that includes Charles Haley, Bryant Young and Dana Stubblefield.

Oh yeah, and my team beats Team Schrock in our redraft. Papa, want to be co-owners?

Josh Schrock: Papa 42, Maiocco 10

"I think if we learned anything from this past year's 49ers, it's this is gonna be won in the trenches. And Papa's defense -- Bryant Young, Charles Haley, Patrick Willis, Dana Stubblefield are going to absolutely maul the likes of, God bless them, Forrest Blue, Howard Mudd, Bob St. Clair.

"I don't even really know how Maiocco's gonna move the ball except for them just feeding George Kittle. Deion Sanders and Jimmy Johnson can lock up Dwight Clark and Billy Wilson."

Bill Walsh is great, no doubt. But Maiocco really put his team at a talent disadvantage in this one, and there's only so much a great coach can do.

I'm fairly certain Bryant Young, Charles Haley and Patrick Willis would bench press Howard Mudd and Bob St. Clair. While those were great players in their era, Papa just has a different caliber of athlete. I really don't think this one should be all that close.

As I showed in the re-draft against Team Johnson, I have a better grasp of how to win these hypothetical matchups. Perhaps Maiocco would like to team up. But I get the final say on selections.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Grant Liffmann: Papa wins by 40, but Maiocco has a strategy

Grant first wanted to remind us that Matt Maiocco is smarter than us (thanks, Grant) and he believes the longtime 49ers insider has a plan. 

"If Matt Maiocco wants to lose a game, he has a strategy behind it. So I think Matt Maiocco loses the game, but he's playing for next year's draft pick." 

But what about the score, Grant? 

"Oh, Papa's gonna win by 40."

[RELATED: Rice, T.O. vs. Lott? Key matchups in 49ers Ultimate Draft]

Laura Britt: Maiocco wins (score doesn't matter)

Laura is staying loyal to her podcast co-host and believes that Maiocco's deep knowledge of the 49ers beats us all. 

"I have to pick Team Maiocco here. I believe Maiocco has been in the trenches with these teams for the past almost 30 years. He's seen a lot of players come in and out of the locker room, come in and out of this franchise, and that ol' George Kittle and Joe Staley, they'll get ya."

49ers Ultimate Redraft: Richard Sherman, Aldon Smith have names called

49ers Ultimate Redraft: Richard Sherman, Aldon Smith have names called

Editor’s note: The voice of the 49ers, Greg Papa, takes on NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco in the 49ers Ultimate Draft. They both chose a stacked squad full of legends from the past and your favorite players from today. Our team of experts will dissect and analyze the merits of each team until a winner is crowned.

By now, you've seen how 49ers insider Matt Maiocco and play-by-play man Greg Papa selected their teams in the 49ers Ultimate Draft. Both teams were allowed 11 spots on offense and defense, a kicker, a punter, a kick returner and a coach. Players had to either have played for the 49ers for at least five seasons or be on the current roster. Each team was allowed one wild-card selection who did not have to abide by the rules.

You saw how their draft panned out, and let's just say Papa better get his touchdown call ready because his team should be running up and down the field on Maiocco's.

As with all things hindsight is 20/20, so NBC Sports Bay Area's Josh Schrock and Dalton Johnson decided to do their own redraft. You'll notice the teams look a little different. We respect the years of knowledge both Maiocco and Papa have collected, but our teams skewed a bit younger since the caliber of athletes has changed a lot in the last 50 or 60 years. There also was some strategy and gamesmanship in the draft. After Dalton took Joe Montana with the first pick, Josh waited to select Steve Young until the final pick, knowing he couldn't be taken off the board.

Dalton also threw a wrench in things when he selected left tackle Trent Williams, who, while never having played a down for the 49ers, is on the current roster. We waited until later to select our coaches because as good as Bill Walsh is, he can't just coach anyone to a Super Bowl.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Let's get into it. Below are the rosters along with the pick that was used to select each member followed by the general manager defending his selections.

Team Schrock

Coach Bill Walsh (38)


QB Steve Young (51)
RB Frank Gore (18)
RB Garrison Hearst (19)
WR Jerry Rice (2)
WR Michael Crabtree (27)

TE George Kittle (10)
LT Joe Staley (14)
LG Jesse Sapolu (22)

C Forrest Blue (35)
RG Guy McIntyre (31)
RT Mike McGlinchey (50)


DL Bryant Young (6)
DL Justin Smith (7)
DL Aldon Smith (23)
DL Charlie Krueger (42)

LB NaVorro Bowman (11)
LB Ahmad Brooks (26)
LB Bill Romanowski (39)
CB Jimmy Johnson (30)
CB Richard Sherman (34)
S Ronnie Lott (3)
S Merton Hanks (15)

Special Teams

K Phil Dawson (43)
P Tommy Davis (47)
KS Abe Woodson (46)

So you might look at my roster and think, "Wow, this guy's pretty good. Who is he, the next Sashi Brown?" Maybe. Things got a little wonky at linebacker when I selected Romanowski late, but I wanted my team to have a little bit of an edge. Sometimes you just need someone who wants to knock the chocolate out of people.

Sherman was an easy pick for my second corner and McGlinchey was a no-brainer at right tackle. I have no doubt that Keith Fahnhorst and Kermit Alexander could play, but Sherman is coming off a season in which he regained his Pro Bowl form and McGlinchey looks to be the answer at right tackle for a decade. It wasn't really tough.

Getting Garrison Hearst, who ran for over 5,500 yards while with the 49ers despite missing two whole seasons was a huge boon to my offense. Pairing him with Gore should give us a potent ground attack. The Crabtree pick wasn't my best moment, but with Rice and Kittle already in the fold, I just wanted someone who could at least make Dalton's defense think. Should I have drafted J.J. Stokes or Billy Wilson? Meh.

As for my defensive line, Young and the Smiths will absolutely wreak havoc on Dalton's offensive line, which, apart from Williams, doesn't scare me. Aldon Smith was an easy wild-card pick. He had 44 sacks and 81 quarterback hits in 50 games with the 49ers, and we know he works well with Justin Smith. Welcome aboard, Aldon. -- JS

[RELATED: Russ-to-Browns would have left 49ers without NFC West equal]


Coach George Seifert (52)


QB Joe Montana (1)
RB Roger Craig (12)
RB Joe Perry (49)
WR Terrell Owens (5)
WR Dwight Clark (21)
TE Vernon Davis (24)
LT Trent Williams (16)
LG Mike Iupati (25)
C Randy Cross (33)
RG Howard Mudd (40)
RT Robert St. Clair (29)


DL Charles Haley (9)
DL Dana Stubblefield (13)
DL Leo Nomellini (28)
EDGE Cedrick Hardman (36)
LB Patrick Willis (4)
LB Ken Norton Jr. (20)
LB Dave Wilcox (37)
CB Deion Sanders (8)

CB Eric Wright (17)
S Dashon Goldson (44)
S Dwight Hicks (45)

Special Teams

K Ray Wersching (48)
P Andy Lee (41)
KS John Taylor (32)

Rule No. 1: Always read the fine print. That's exactly what I did with my Williams pick. The rules state that a player has to have played for the 49ers for at least five years -- there also is a wild card where the five-years rules doesn't apply -- or be on the current roster. Bingo, give me the seven-time Pro Bowler to protect Joe Montana.

Let's look at all my offensive weapons first. Montana can sling the pill to Terrell Owens, Dwight Clark, John Taylor, Vernon Davis or Roger Craig, who had over 4,900 receiving yards out of the backfield. He was the first player who gained over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season, paving the way for Marshall Faulk and Christian McCaffrey.

Davis somehow wasn't selected in Maiocco and Papa's draft, which I'm still wrapping my head around. He leads all tight ends in franchise history in receiving yards at 5,640, which also ranks sixth among all positions for San Francisco. His 55 touchdowns for the 49ers are fourth all time.

Iupati was new to our draft, too, and I couldn't be happier pairing him with Williams. The former first-round draft pick was an All-Pro in 2012, making three straight Pro Bowls in San Francisco from 2012 to 2014.

Another new name was Ken Norton Jr. to pair with linebackers Patrick Willis and Dave Wilcox. Norton played his final seven seasons in San Francisco where he was an All-Pro in 1995 and twice made the Pro Bowl.

Loopholes Win Championships. That's a saying, right? It is now. -- DJ

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2020 NFL Draft rankings: Where 49ers, Raiders rookie classes stand

2020 NFL Draft rankings: Where 49ers, Raiders rookie classes stand

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books, and with virtually (pun intended) no real technical mistakes under unprecedented circumstances. 

The Cincinnati Bengals started us off by milking the clock when we all knew Joe Burrow was going back to Ohio for months now. The Green Bay Packers surprised everyone, and Tank for Tua worked out perfectly for the Miami Dolphins. 

The 49ers and Raiders made some surprises as well with their two first-round draft picks, and both addressed their needs. Did they hit home runs or swing and miss? Was it a slam dunk or a bricked 3-pointer? 

There was plenty to like about both the 49ers and Raiders' draft hauls this year. Some teams did better, though, and many worse. 

Here's where the two teams' draft classes rank against the rest of the NFL.