The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

55k votes 4.8k voters 99k views 175 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
Collection Photo:  FanShare
  • 29 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,837
    - 483

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,376
    - 442


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,279
    - 411


    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,160
    - 426

    most listed
    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,053
    - 341


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,263
    - 514


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 980
    - 409


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 831
    - 303


    ;
  9. 9
    + 740
    - 321


    ;
  10. 10
    + 799
    - 235


    ;
  11. 11
    + 724
    - 347


    ;
  12. 12
    + 983
    - 354


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  13. 13
    + 704
    - 315


    Linebacker

    ;
  14. 14
    + 766
    - 240


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  15. 15
    + 543
    - 202


    Cornerback

    ;
  16. 16
    + 599
    - 250


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 600
    - 233


    Free Safety

    ;
  18. 18
    + 503
    - 299


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  19. 19
    + 403
    - 306


    ;
  20. 20
    + 481
    - 236


    Linebacker

    ;
  21. 21
    + 461
    - 256


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 426
    - 269


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  23. 23
    + 439
    - 205


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  24. 24
    + 445
    - 224


    Linebacker

    ;
  25. 25
    + 362
    - 229


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 320
    - 215


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  27. 27
    + 488
    - 255


    Defensive end

    ;
  28. 28
    + 510
    - 262


    Linebacker

    ;
  29. 29
    + 280
    - 214

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 363
    - 167

    ranked low on reranks
    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 242
    - 224

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  32. 32
    + 488
    - 128

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  33. 33
    + 403
    - 244


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  34. 34
    + 654
    - 154

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  35. 35
    + 333
    - 170


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  36. 36
    + 310
    - 151

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  37. 37
    + 222
    - 193

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 319
    - 163

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  39. 39
    + 268
    - 180


    ;
  40. 40
    + 178
    - 168

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 326
    - 131

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  42. 42
    + 295
    - 111

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ;
  43. 43
    + 187
    - 185


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 170
    - 201

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 216
    - 147

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  46. 46
    + 127
    - 43

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  47. 47
    + 172
    - 183

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  48. 48
    + 157
    - 90

    added by MarkJStout
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman

    ;
  49. 49
    + 213
    - 132

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  50. 50
    + 164
    - 96


    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ;
176 +

Something missing? Add it!

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