The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

49k votes 4.3k voters 90k views 177 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Defensive players based on their on-field achievements

This list of the greatest defenders in NFL history is here to decide definitively who is the best defender in NFL history. These are beasts of men who played for some of the best sports franchises ever and were (or are) among the best NFL players of all time. These NFL legends are all here, in one place, so you can vote on the best NFL defender to ever play football.

Some of these exceptional NFL players include the legendary Dick Butkus, "Mean" Joe Greene, and hard hitter-turned-coach Mike Singletary. Whatever it is that you factor into the skills of the best NFL defenders (speed, aggression, determination, stamina), these NFL players are the best at what they do from a defensive player standpoint.

What makes a great NFL defender? Who are the best NFL defenders of all time? Who is the top NFL defender in history? You decide! Vote for the NFL players you think make the biggest impact as defensive players and vote them up to the top of this list of the greatest defenders in NFL history. If you don't see your favorite NFL defender on this top NFL defenders list, make sure to add him so others can revel in his athletic glory. So who are the best defensive players in NFL history? Vote!

Check out more lists like the best NFL players in history, the top quarterbacks, and the greatest linebackers of all time
List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 28 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,634
    - 434

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,165
    - 350

    most listed

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,236
    - 402


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,047
    - 382


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  5. 5
    + 962
    - 301


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  6. 6
    + 901
    - 361


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,132
    - 463


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 756
    - 273


    ;
  9. 9
    + 723
    - 214


    ;
  10. 10
    + 664
    - 297


    ;
  11. 11
    + 665
    - 311


    ;
  12. 12
    + 869
    - 323


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  13. 13
    + 650
    - 286


    Linebacker

    ;
  14. 14
    + 484
    - 179


    Cornerback

    ;
  15. 15
    + 682
    - 212


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  16. 16
    + 537
    - 216


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 469
    - 267


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  18. 18
    + 427
    - 225


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  19. 19
    + 369
    - 275

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  20. 20
    + 392
    - 244


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  21. 21
    + 432
    - 214


    Linebacker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 516
    - 213


    Free Safety

    ;
  23. 23
    + 408
    - 200


    Linebacker

    ;
  24. 24
    + 395
    - 188


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  25. 25
    + 332
    - 208


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 440
    - 222


    Defensive end

    ;
  27. 27
    + 292
    - 194

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  28. 28
    + 456
    - 240


    Linebacker

    ;
  29. 29
    + 256
    - 190

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 327
    - 147

    ranked low on reranks
    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 219
    - 201

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  32. 32
    + 417
    - 106

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  33. 33
    + 372
    - 222


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  34. 34
    + 564
    - 137

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  35. 35
    + 296
    - 156


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  36. 36
    + 276
    - 129

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  37. 37
    + 285
    - 142

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  38. 38
    + 201
    - 179

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end, Defensive lineman

    ;
  39. 39
    + 245
    - 168


    ;
  40. 40
    + 263
    - 96

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ;
  41. 41
    + 158
    - 156


    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 284
    - 120

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  43. 43
    + 171
    - 171


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 158
    - 187

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 196
    - 135

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  46. 46
    + 153
    - 170

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  47. 47
    + 101
    - 36

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  48. 48
    + 190
    - 115

    ranked low on reranks & added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  49. 49
    + 131
    - 160

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  50. 50
    + 158
    - 121


    Linebacker

    ;
178 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >