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

  • 22 ReRanks
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    the people's #1
    Linebacker

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    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

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    most listed

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    Linebacker, Center

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    Linebacker

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    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

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  14. 14
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    Linebacker

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  15. 15
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    Cornerback, Defensive back

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    Cornerback

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  18. 18
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    ranked low on reranks
    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

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  19. 19
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    Defensive tackle

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    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

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    Linebacker

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    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

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    Cornerback

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    Linebacker, Center

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    Free Safety

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  27. 27
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    Linebacker

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  28. 28
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

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  29. 29
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    Defensive end

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  30. 30
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

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  31. 31
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    Linebacker

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  32. 32
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    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

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    Defensive end, Defensive lineman

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    Safety, Defensive back

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    Defensive end

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    Linebacker

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  38. 38
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    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

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  39. 39
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

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  40. 40
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

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    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

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  42. 42
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    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

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  43. 43
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    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

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  44. 44
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    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

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  45. 45
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    - 64

    added by marcooch761

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  46. 46
    + 184
    - 54

    Strong Safety

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  47. 47
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    - 88

    Linebacker

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  48. 48
    + 107
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    Cornerback, Return specialist

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 101
    - 117

    Cornerback

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 94
    - 122

    Defensive end

    ) open
123 +

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