The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

51k votes 4.5k voters 94k 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
    + 1,717
    - 452

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,210
    - 369

    most listed

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,285
    - 416


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  4. 4
    + 995
    - 312


    Cornerback, Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,082
    - 396


    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  6. 6
    + 932
    - 377


    Linebacker

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,183
    - 478


    Linebacker

    ;
  8. 8
    + 781
    - 281


    ;
  9. 9
    + 746
    - 219


    ;
  10. 10
    + 689
    - 305


    ;
  11. 11
    + 683
    - 322


    ;
  12. 12
    + 912
    - 328


    Cornerback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner

    ;
  13. 13
    + 672
    - 295


    Linebacker

    ;
  14. 14
    + 509
    - 187


    Cornerback

    ;
  15. 15
    + 715
    - 221


    Cornerback, Return specialist, Safety

    ;
  16. 16
    + 562
    - 229


    Linebacker

    ;
  17. 17
    + 485
    - 278


    Cornerback, Defensive back

    ;
  18. 18
    + 385
    - 284

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  19. 19
    + 442
    - 236


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Linebacker

    ;
  20. 20
    + 406
    - 251


    Defensive tackle

    ;
  21. 21
    + 553
    - 218

    ranked low on reranks
    Free Safety

    ;
  22. 22
    + 449
    - 224


    Linebacker

    ;
  23. 23
    + 423
    - 207


    Linebacker

    ;
  24. 24
    + 410
    - 195


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  25. 25
    + 344
    - 214


    Cornerback

    ;
  26. 26
    + 458
    - 235


    Defensive end

    ;
  27. 27
    + 305
    - 202

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker, Center

    ;
  28. 28
    + 477
    - 248


    Linebacker

    ;
  29. 29
    + 263
    - 198

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  30. 30
    + 344
    - 153

    ranked low on reranks
    Linebacker

    ;
  31. 31
    + 227
    - 210

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  32. 32
    + 442
    - 116

    ranked low on reranks
    Strong Safety

    ;
  33. 33
    + 385
    - 231


    Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle

    ;
  34. 34
    + 601
    - 144

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  35. 35
    + 309
    - 162


    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  36. 36
    + 289
    - 138

    added by EthanWalker
    Cornerback

    ;
  37. 37
    + 300
    - 149

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  38. 38
    + 212
    - 183

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 254
    - 171


    ;
  40. 40
    + 168
    - 160

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 276
    - 102

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761

    ;
  42. 42
    + 299
    - 125

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81
    Cornerback

    ;
  43. 43
    + 180
    - 175


    Linebacker

    ;
  44. 44
    + 166
    - 191

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
  45. 45
    + 206
    - 139

    added by Al Sobrante
    Cornerback, Safety

    ;
  46. 46
    + 110
    - 40

    ranked low on reranks
    Defensive tackle, Defensive end

    ;
  47. 47
    + 161
    - 174

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Safety, Defensive back

    ;
  48. 48
    + 167
    - 124


    Linebacker

    ;
  49. 49
    + 201
    - 122

    added by EthanWalker
    Defensive end

    ;
  50. 50
    + 139
    - 164

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defensive end

    ;
178 +

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