Drafted in the second round of the 1983 NFL draft from University of Nebraska,
where he once held the record for longest run from scrimmage (94 yards, set
during a 1981 game against Florida State University).
In his rookie year, he scored a combined 12 touchdowns rushing and receiving,
as the 49ers reached the NFC Championship game that year. Craig
became well known in his rookie year for his distinctive high-knee running technique.
On January 20, 1985, in Super Bowl XIX, Craig
rushed for 58 yards, caught seven passes for 77 yards, and became the first
player ever to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl during the 49ers' 38–16
victory over the Miami Dolphins.
The following season Roger Craig
became the first player in NFL history to run and receive for at least 1,000
yards in the same season. He ran for 1,050 yards on 214 carries and led the
NFL with 92 catches for 1,016 yards. He scored a team high 15 touchdowns.
In 1988, Craig was named NFL
Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He ran for a career high
1,502 yards and caught an additional 76 passes for 534 yards. A memorable game
occurred in week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams. He scored three rushing touchdowns
and ran a career high 191 yards. He went on to assist the 49ers to Super Bowl
XXIII by amassing 262 combined rushing and receiving yards and two touchdowns
in their two playoff games. In the 49ers' 20-16 win over Cincinnati in that
Super Bowl, he rushed for 71 yards and caught eight passes for 101 yards.
In the 1989 season, the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl for the second year
in a row, aided by Craig's 1,527
combined rushing/receiving yards and seven touchdowns in the season, along with
his 240 combined rushing/receiving yards and two touchdowns in their two playoff
games. In San Francisco's 55-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV,
Craig rushed for 69 yards, caught five passes for 34 yards, and scored a touchdown.
The San Francisco 49ers were 14–2 in the following regular season on
their quest to become the first team to win three consecutive Super Bowls. In
the NFC Championship Game (his last as a 49er), Craig
fumbled late in the fourth quarter while his team was trying to hold on to a
13-12 lead over the New York Giants. The Giants recovered the ball and scored
on a last-second field goal, winning the game 15–13.
Craig played one season with
the Los Angeles Raiders and two with the Minnesota Vikings before he retired
after the 1993 season. Craig appeared
in the NFL Playoffs every year of his career, and made the Pro Bowl four times