The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
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17  reranks 11,620 votes 922 voters 26,474 views more info

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 ever.

Some of these exceptional NFL players include the legendary Dick Butkus, "Mean" Joe Green, 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 25 best NFL players in history, the top quarterbacks, and the greatest linebackers of all time
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 17 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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    • Region
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 310
    Down 77

    1942

    open report item
  2. 2
    Up 357
    Down 123

    the people's #1 1959

    open report item
  3. 3
    Up 297
    Down 82

    1961

    open report item
  4. 4
    Up 293
    Down 81

    1946

    open report item
  5. 5
    Up 269
    Down 69

    1952

    open report item
  6. 6
    Up 229
    Down 68

    1959

    open report item
  7. 7
    Up 199
    Down 74

    1958

    open report item
  8. 8
    Up 181
    Down 72

    1965

    open report item
  9. 9
    Up 173
    Down 80

    most listed 1963

    open report item
  10. 10
    Up 195
    Down 67

    1948

    open report item
  11. 11
    Up 248
    Down 112

    1975

    open report item
  12. 12
    Up 176
    Down 37

    1938

    open report item
  13. 13
    Up 130
    Down 68

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1940

    open report item
  14. 14
    Up 138
    Down 56

    1939

    open report item
  15. 15
    Up 151
    Down 67

    1948

    open report item
  16. 16
    Up 156
    Down 49

    1967

    open report item
  17. 17
    Up 144
    Down 40

    1936

    open report item
  18. 18
    Up 126
    Down 57

    1953

    open report item
  19. 19
    Up 130
    Down 50

    1945

    open report item
  20. 20
    Up 174
    Down 100

    1967

    open report item
  21. 21
    Up 139
    Down 51

    1976

    open report item
  22. 22
    Up 113
    Down 53

    1925

    open report item
  23. 23
    Up 103
    Down 60

    1960

    open report item
  24. 24
    Up 95
    Down 42

    1927

    open report item
  25. 25
    Up 109
    Down 62

    1969

    open report item
  26. 26
    Up 90
    Down 50

    1950

    open report item
  27. 27
    Up 140
    Down 71

    1978

    open report item
  28. 28
    Up 73
    Down 58

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1937

    open report item
  29. 29
    Up 106
    Down 65

    1978

    open report item
  30. 30
    Up 80
    Down 55

    1942

    open report item
  31. 31
    Up 90
    Down 44

    1937

    open report item
  32. 32
    Up 91
    Down 40

    1973

    open report item
  33. 33
    Up 108
    Down 71

    1971

    open report item
  34. 34
    Up 56
    Down 58

    1926

    open report item
  35. 35
    Up 71
    Down 46

    1966

    open report item
  36. 36
    Up 68
    Down 55

    1947

    open report item
  37. 37
    Up 52
    Down 48

    1940

    open report item
  38. 38
    Up 88
    Down 83

    1972

    open report item
  39. 39
    Up 59
    Down 59

    1942

    open report item
  40. 40
    Up 51
    Down 29

    1945

    open report item
  41. 41
    Up 65
    Down 40

    ranked low on reranks & added by Al Sobrante 1955

    open report item
  42. 42
    Up 51
    Down 71

    1958

    open report item
  43. 43
    Up 41
    Down 55

    1925

    open report item
  44. 44
    Up 54
    Down 60

    1939

    open report item
  45. 45
    Up 44
    Down 55

    1930

    open report item
  46. 46
    Up 36
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81 1978

    open report item
  47. 47
    Up 51
    Down 62

    1940

    open report item
  48. 48
    Up 39
    Down 59

    1940

    open report item
  49. 49
    Up 43
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761 1960

    open report item
  50. 50
    Up 41
    Down 58

    1932

    open report item
  51. 104 +

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