The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
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16  reranks 11,375 votes 903 voters 25,889 views more info

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

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 the best defender in NFL history is. 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 ever.

Some of these exceptional NFL players include the legendary Dick Butkus, "Mean" Joe Green, 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 25 best NFL players in history, the top quarterbacks, and the greatest linebackers of all time
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 16 ReRanks
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    • Region
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 351
    Down 123

    the people's #1 1959

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  2. 2
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    1942

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  3. 3
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    1961

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  4. 4
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    1946

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  5. 5
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    Down 67

    1959

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  6. 6
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    1952

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  7. 7
    Up 194
    Down 74

    1958

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  8. 8
    Up 179
    Down 71

    1965

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  9. 9
    Up 169
    Down 80

    most listed 1963

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  10. 10
    Up 193
    Down 66

    1948

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  11. 11
    Up 244
    Down 109

    1975

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  12. 12
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    1938

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  13. 13
    Up 136
    Down 56

    1939

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  14. 14
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    1940

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  15. 15
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    1948

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  16. 16
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    1967

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  17. 17
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    1936

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  18. 18
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    1953

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  19. 19
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    1945

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  20. 20
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    1967

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  21. 21
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    1976

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  22. 22
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    1925

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  23. 23
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    1960

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  24. 24
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    1927

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  25. 25
    Up 106
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    1969

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  26. 26
    Up 89
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    1950

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  27. 27
    Up 70
    Down 58

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1937

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  28. 28
    Up 101
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    1978

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  29. 29
    Up 136
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    1978

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  30. 30
    Up 78
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    1942

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  31. 31
    Up 89
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    1937

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  32. 32
    Up 88
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    1973

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  33. 33
    Up 105
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    1971

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  34. 34
    Up 55
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    1926

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  35. 35
    Up 67
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    1947

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  36. 36
    Up 86
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    1972

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  37. 37
    Up 50
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    1940

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  38. 38
    Up 69
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    ranked low on reranks 1966

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  39. 39
    Up 58
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    1942

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  40. 40
    Up 50
    Down 28

    1945

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  41. 41
    Up 50
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    1958

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  42. 42
    Up 40
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    1925

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  43. 43
    Up 62
    Down 40

    ranked low on reranks & added by Al Sobrante 1955

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  44. 44
    Up 53
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    1939

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  45. 45
    Up 42
    Down 55

    1930

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  46. 46
    Up 50
    Down 61

    1940

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  47. 47
    Up 40
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    1932

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  48. 48
    Up 37
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    1940

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  49. 49
    Up 40
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761 1960

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  50. 50
    Up 42
    Down 49

    added by EthanWalker 1975

    open report item
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