The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

53k votes 4.7k voters 96k 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
Collection Photo:  FanShare
  • 28 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,782
    - 470

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,254
    - 390

    most listed

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,339
    - 425


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,124
    - 409


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,033
    - 326


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  6. 6
    + 955
    - 394


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,223
    - 497


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 810
    - 293


    ;
  9. 9
    + 775
    - 229


    ;
  10. 10
    + 721
    - 313


    ;
  11. 11
    + 709
    - 336


    ;
  12. 12
    + 949
    - 343


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  13. 13
    + 694
    - 301


    Linebacker

    ;
  14. 14
    + 530
    - 194


    Cornerback

    ;
  15. 15
    + 745
    - 232


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  16. 16
    + 584
    - 240


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 494
    - 290


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  18. 18
    + 579
    - 225


    Free Safety

    ;
  19. 19
    + 396
    - 297

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  20. 20
    + 450
    - 250


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  21. 21
    + 418
    - 260


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  22. 22
    + 467
    - 231


    Linebacker

    ;
  23. 23
    + 426
    - 198


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  24. 24
    + 435
    - 217


    Linebacker

    ;
  25. 25
    + 353
    - 223


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 313
    - 208


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  27. 27
    + 472
    - 243


    Defensive end

    ;
  28. 28
    + 494
    - 255


    Linebacker

    ;
  29. 29
    + 274
    - 206

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 355
    - 160


    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 237
    - 216

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  32. 32
    + 466
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  33. 33
    + 395
    - 238


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  34. 34
    + 628
    - 149

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  35. 35
    + 323
    - 166


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  36. 36
    + 301
    - 146

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  37. 37
    + 221
    - 187

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 311
    - 157

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  39. 39
    + 263
    - 173


    ;
  40. 40
    + 173
    - 164

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 313
    - 129

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  42. 42
    + 286
    - 106

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ;
  43. 43
    + 182
    - 180


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 169
    - 195

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 210
    - 142

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  46. 46
    + 120
    - 41

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  47. 47
    + 169
    - 177

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  48. 48
    + 210
    - 126

    ranked low on reranks & added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  49. 49
    + 141
    - 169

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  50. 50
    + 170
    - 129


    Linebacker

    ;
178 +

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