The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
Ultimate List
16  reranks 9,985 votes 781 voters 19,791 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 Sad Kids at Disneyland, Best Baroque Composers, LeBron James Tattoos, Chris Evans Tattoos and Steve O Tattoos
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 16 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 312
    Down 99

    the people's #1
    Lawrence Taylor

    1959 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 253
    Down 71
    1961 More
    99
  3. 3
    Up 265
    Down 69
    1942 More
    99
  4. 4
    Up 256
    Down 67
    1946 More
    98
  5. 5
    Up 201
    Down 60
    1959 More
    96
  6. 6
    Up 239
    Down 58
    1952 More
    95
  7. 7
    Up 176
    Down 56
    1948 More
    91
  8. 8
    Up 158
    Down 65
    1965 More
    90
  9. 9
    Up 149
    Down 71

    most listed
    Bruce Smith

    1963 More
    90
  10. 10
    Up 170
    Down 69
    1958 More
    90
  11. 11
    Up 213
    Down 97
    1975 More
    89
  12. 12
    Up 149
    Down 36
    1938 More
    88
  13. 13
    Up 115
    Down 59

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Merlin Olsen

    1940 More
    85
  14. 14
    Up 120
    Down 50
    1939 More
    85
  15. 15
    Up 138
    Down 58
    1948 More
    85
  16. 16
    Up 126
    Down 34
    1936 More
    82
  17. 17
    Up 134
    Down 44
    1967 More
    82
  18. 18
    Up 116
    Down 48
    1953 More
    81
  19. 19
    Up 116
    Down 42
    1945 More
    81
  20. 20
    Up 103
    Down 43
    1925 More
    78
  21. 21
    Up 152
    Down 87
    1967 More
    78
  22. 22
    Up 93
    Down 52
    1960 More
    77
  23. 23
    Up 117
    Down 47
    1976 More
    76
  24. 24
    Up 82
    Down 39
    1927 More
    76
  25. 25
    Up 95
    Down 57
    1969 More
    75
  26. 26
    Up 79
    Down 43
    1950 More
    72
  27. 27
    Up 64
    Down 51
    1937 More
    68
  28. 28
    Up 89
    Down 60
    1978 More
    65
  29. 29
    Up 124
    Down 64
    1978 More
    65
  30. 30
    Up 84
    Down 34
    1937 More
    64
  31. 31
    Up 71
    Down 47
    1942 More
    63
  32. 32
    Up 54
    Down 46
    1926 More
    62
  33. 33
    Up 79
    Down 37
    1973 More
    61
  34. 34
    Up 63
    Down 46
    1947 More
    61
  35. 35
    Up 89
    Down 66
    1971 More
    59
  36. 36
    Up 46
    Down 41
    1940 More
    58
  37. 37
    Up 77
    Down 72
    1972 More
    58
  38. 38
    Up 64
    Down 39
    1966 More
    58
  39. 39
    Up 53
    Down 50
    1942 More
    56
  40. 40
    Up 40
    Down 46
    1925 More
    55
  41. 41
    Up 58
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Lester Hayes

    1955 More
    55
    added by: Al Sobrante
  42. 42
    Up 48
    Down 63
    1958 More
    55
  43. 43
    Up 50
    Down 51
    1939 More
    54
  44. 44
    Up 41
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks
    Willie Lanier

    1945 More
    54
  45. 45
    Up 47
    Down 54
    1940 More
    52
  46. 46
    Up 37
    Down 48
    1930 More
    52
  47. 47
    Up 37
    Down 47
    1932 More
    50
  48. 48
    Up 34
    Down 48
    1940 More
    50
  49. 49
    Up 32
    Down 9

    ranked low on reranks
    Howie Long

    1960 More
    49
    added by: marcooch761
  50. 50
    Up 28
    Down 43

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Larry Grantham

    1938 More
    49
  51. 100 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 99

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists