The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

46,784 votes 4,117 voters 88,292 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
  • 27 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1540
    - 413

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1172
    - 382


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1110
    - 328


    ;
  4. 4
    + 1003
    - 357

    most listed
    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  5. 5
    + 912
    - 286


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  6. 6
    + 871
    - 335


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1075
    - 441


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 720
    - 259


    ;
  9. 9
    + 625
    - 286


    ;
  10. 10
    + 687
    - 204


    ;
  11. 11
    + 631
    - 298


    ;
  12. 12
    + 626
    - 268


    Linebacker

    ;
  13. 13
    + 829
    - 308


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  14. 14
    + 459
    - 168


    Cornerback

    ;
  15. 15
    + 646
    - 197


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  16. 16
    + 512
    - 205


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 454
    - 256


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  18. 18
    + 355
    - 265

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks

    ;
  19. 19
    + 411
    - 213


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  20. 20
    + 379
    - 231


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  21. 21
    + 394
    - 188


    Linebacker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 488
    - 207


    Free Safety

    ;
  23. 23
    + 407
    - 202


    Linebacker

    ;
  24. 24
    + 377
    - 182


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  25. 25
    + 318
    - 197


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 285
    - 186


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  27. 27
    + 439
    - 228


    Linebacker

    ;
  28. 28
    + 421
    - 212


    Defensive end

    ;
  29. 29
    + 249
    - 182

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 312
    - 145


    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 396
    - 96

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  32. 32
    + 358
    - 214


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  33. 33
    + 212
    - 194

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  34. 34
    + 283
    - 152


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  35. 35
    + 523
    - 128

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  36. 36
    + 195
    - 173

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Defensive end, Defensive lineman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 261
    - 123

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  38. 38
    + 242
    - 162


    ;
  39. 39
    + 257
    - 89

    added by marcooch761

    ;
  40. 40
    + 276
    - 117

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  41. 41
    + 152
    - 154


    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 275
    - 136

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  43. 43
    + 166
    - 166


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 152
    - 183


    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 150
    - 165


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  46. 46
    + 188
    - 133

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  47. 47
    + 153
    - 117


    Linebacker

    ;
  48. 48
    + 127
    - 156

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  49. 49
    + 182
    - 110

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  50. 50
    + 212
    - 91

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761
    Outside Linebacker

    ;
176 +

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