The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
Ultimate List
17,526 votes 45,184 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 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 25 best NFL players in history, the top quarterbacks, and the greatest linebackers of all time
  • 17 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 536
    Down 176

    the people's #1 1959

    open
  2. 2
    Up 437
    Down 126

    1961

    open
  3. 3
    Up 421
    Down 134

    1942

    open
  4. 4
    Up 419
    Down 112

    1946

    open
  5. 5
    Up 338
    Down 101

    1959

    open
  6. 6
    Up 355
    Down 113

    1952

    open
  7. 7
    Up 392
    Down 152

    1975

    open
  8. 8
    Up 281
    Down 118

    1958

    open
  9. 9
    Up 260
    Down 106

    1965

    open
  10. 10
    Up 238
    Down 116

    most listed 1963

    open
  11. 11
    Up 264
    Down 58

    1938

    open
  12. 12
    Up 267
    Down 99

    1948

    open
  13. 13
    Up 173
    Down 107

    1940

    open
  14. 14
    Up 210
    Down 99

    1948

    open
  15. 15
    Up 230
    Down 70

    1967

    open
  16. 16
    Up 188
    Down 91

    1939

    open
  17. 17
    Up 276
    Down 135

    1967

    open
  18. 18
    Up 183
    Down 85

    1953

    open
  19. 19
    Up 199
    Down 70

    1936

    open
  20. 20
    Up 218
    Down 75

    1976

    open
  21. 21
    Up 172
    Down 80

    1945

    open
  22. 22
    Up 145
    Down 61

    1927

    open
  23. 23
    Up 139
    Down 86

    1960

    open
  24. 24
    Up 145
    Down 81

    1925

    open
  25. 25
    Up 159
    Down 94

    1969

    open
  26. 26
    Up 125
    Down 75

    1950

    open
  27. 27
    Up 167
    Down 88

    1978

    open
  28. 28
    Up 193
    Down 103

    1978

    open
  29. 29
    Up 101
    Down 83

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1937

    open
  30. 30
    Up 169
    Down 92

    1971

    open
  31. 31
    Up 140
    Down 59

    1973

    open
  32. 32
    Up 104
    Down 81

    1942

    open
  33. 33
    Up 146
    Down 107

    1972

    open
  34. 34
    Up 84
    Down 83

    1926

    open
  35. 35
    Up 102
    Down 68

    1966

    open
  36. 36
    Up 117
    Down 71

    1937

    open
  37. 37
    Up 89
    Down 81

    1947

    open
  38. 38
    Up 72
    Down 71

    1940

    open
  39. 39
    Up 79
    Down 80

    1942

    open
  40. 40
    Up 87
    Down 30

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81 1978

    open
  41. 41
    Up 70
    Down 96

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1958

    open
  42. 42
    Up 76
    Down 50

    1945

    open
  43. 43
    Up 87
    Down 61

    added by Al Sobrante 1955

    open
  44. 44
    Up 71
    Down 83

    1939

    open
  45. 45
    Up 64
    Down 78

    1930

    open
  46. 46
    Up 54
    Down 83

    1925

    open
  47. 47
    Up 87
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761 1960

    open
  48. 48
    Up 67
    Down 80

    1940

    open
  49. 49
    Up 71
    Down 48

    ranked low on reranks & added by EthanWalker 1980

    open
  50. 50
    Up 66
    Down 62

    added by EthanWalker 1975

    open
108 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists