The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
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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 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
  • 18 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 Linebacker

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  2. 2
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    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

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  3. 3
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    - 149
    ) open
  4. 4
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    Linebacker, Center

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  5. 5
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    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

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  6. 6
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    - 158

    Linebacker

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  7. 7
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    Linebacker

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  8. 8
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    - 84
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  9. 9
    + 355
    - 161
    ) open
  10. 10
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    - 151

    most listed

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  11. 11
    + 339
    - 144
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  12. 12
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    Linebacker

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  13. 13
    + 267
    - 137

    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 392
    - 167

    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 215
    - 154

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 291
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    Linebacker

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  17. 17
    + 229
    - 127

    Defensive tackle

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  18. 18
    + 301
    - 95

    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 234
    - 113

    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 245
    - 97

    Linebacker

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  21. 21
    + 220
    - 103

    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

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  22. 22
    + 201
    - 86

    Cornerback

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  23. 23
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    - 101

    Cornerback

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  24. 24
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    Linebacker

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  25. 25
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    - 104

    Linebacker, Center

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  26. 26
    + 232
    - 109

    Free Safety

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  27. 27
    + 151
    - 99

    Defensive end

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  28. 28
    + 253
    - 130

    Linebacker

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  29. 29
    + 128
    - 109

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defensive end

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 232
    - 117

    Defensive end

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  31. 31
    + 208
    - 129

    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

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  32. 32
    + 177
    - 78

    Linebacker

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  33. 33
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    - 85

    Safety, Defensive back

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  34. 34
    + 128
    - 105

    Defensive end, Defensive lineman

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  35. 35
    + 147
    - 91
    ) open
  36. 36
    + 102
    - 114

    Defensive end

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 108
    - 105

    Linebacker

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  38. 38
    + 140
    - 52

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81 Cornerback

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 89
    - 99

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

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 100
    - 104

    Safety, Defensive back

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  41. 41
    + 128
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks & added by EthanWalker Defensive end

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  42. 42
    + 121
    - 79

    added by Al Sobrante Cornerback, Safety

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  43. 43
    + 131
    - 46

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 83
    - 122

    Linebacker

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  45. 45
    + 91
    - 103

    Cornerback, Return specialist

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 90
    - 99

    Cornerback

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 92
    - 74

    Linebacker

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 66
    - 109

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Return specialist, Safety, Defensive back

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 78
    - 105

    Defensive end

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 88
    - 86

    added by EthanWalker Linebacker, Middle Linebacker

    ) open
120 +

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