The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

48,403 votes 4,260 voters 89,778 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
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,600
    - 431

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,148
    - 342

    most listed

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,217
    - 397


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,034
    - 374


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  5. 5
    + 948
    - 297


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  6. 6
    + 890
    - 354


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,117
    - 454


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 744
    - 270


    ;
  9. 9
    + 714
    - 212


    ;
  10. 10
    + 654
    - 294


    ;
  11. 11
    + 658
    - 308


    ;
  12. 12
    + 860
    - 319


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  13. 13
    + 644
    - 282


    Linebacker

    ;
  14. 14
    + 477
    - 176


    Cornerback

    ;
  15. 15
    + 669
    - 209


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  16. 16
    + 530
    - 215


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 465
    - 265


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  18. 18
    + 424
    - 223


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  19. 19
    + 365
    - 274

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  20. 20
    + 389
    - 241


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  21. 21
    + 425
    - 211


    Linebacker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 509
    - 213


    Free Safety

    ;
  23. 23
    + 404
    - 197


    Linebacker

    ;
  24. 24
    + 391
    - 186


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  25. 25
    + 328
    - 204


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 432
    - 219


    Defensive end

    ;
  27. 27
    + 290
    - 192

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  28. 28
    + 448
    - 238


    Linebacker

    ;
  29. 29
    + 255
    - 188

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 322
    - 147


    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 410
    - 104

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  32. 32
    + 217
    - 200

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  33. 33
    + 368
    - 220


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  34. 34
    + 546
    - 133

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  35. 35
    + 292
    - 155


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  36. 36
    + 270
    - 128

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  37. 37
    + 282
    - 140

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  38. 38
    + 199
    - 177

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 245
    - 165


    ;
  40. 40
    + 284
    - 118

    added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  41. 41
    + 261
    - 93

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ;
  42. 42
    + 157
    - 155

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 170
    - 169


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 156
    - 186

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 195
    - 134

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  46. 46
    + 99
    - 34

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  47. 47
    + 152
    - 168

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  48. 48
    + 188
    - 113

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  49. 49
    + 157
    - 119


    Linebacker

    ;
  50. 50
    + 141
    - 83


    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ;
178 +

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