The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

49k votes 4.3k voters 91k 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
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,636
    - 435

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,167
    - 351

    most listed

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,237
    - 404


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,048
    - 383


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  5. 5
    + 963
    - 302


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  6. 6
    + 901
    - 363


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,134
    - 464


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 758
    - 274


    ;
  9. 9
    + 723
    - 215


    ;
  10. 10
    + 665
    - 298


    ;
  11. 11
    + 665
    - 313


    ;
  12. 12
    + 871
    - 324


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  13. 13
    + 651
    - 287


    Linebacker

    ;
  14. 14
    + 485
    - 180


    Cornerback

    ;
  15. 15
    + 683
    - 214


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  16. 16
    + 539
    - 217


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 468
    - 270


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  18. 18
    + 427
    - 227


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  19. 19
    + 369
    - 277

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  20. 20
    + 392
    - 246


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  21. 21
    + 434
    - 215


    Linebacker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 518
    - 214


    Free Safety

    ;
  23. 23
    + 408
    - 201


    Linebacker

    ;
  24. 24
    + 395
    - 189


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  25. 25
    + 332
    - 209


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 441
    - 223


    Defensive end

    ;
  27. 27
    + 292
    - 195


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  28. 28
    + 457
    - 241


    Linebacker

    ;
  29. 29
    + 256
    - 191

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 328
    - 148

    ranked low on reranks
    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 219
    - 202

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  32. 32
    + 419
    - 107

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  33. 33
    + 372
    - 223


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  34. 34
    + 565
    - 138

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  35. 35
    + 297
    - 158


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  36. 36
    + 277
    - 130

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  37. 37
    + 286
    - 143

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  38. 38
    + 201
    - 181

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 245
    - 169


    ;
  40. 40
    + 264
    - 97

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ;
  41. 41
    + 158
    - 157


    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 285
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  43. 43
    + 171
    - 172


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 158
    - 188

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 196
    - 136

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  46. 46
    + 153
    - 171

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  47. 47
    + 191
    - 116

    ranked low on reranks & added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  48. 48
    + 101
    - 37

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  49. 49
    + 131
    - 161

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  50. 50
    + 158
    - 122


    Linebacker

    ;
178 +

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