The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
Ultimate List
104  items 15,012 votes 1,198 voters 38,698 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 474
    Down 156

    the people's #1 1959

    open
  2. 2
    Up 382
    Down 107

    1961

    open
  3. 3
    Up 380
    Down 117

    1942

    open
  4. 4
    Up 373
    Down 97

    1946

    open
  5. 5
    Up 298
    Down 88

    1959

    open
  6. 6
    Up 323
    Down 96

    1952

    open
  7. 7
    Up 338
    Down 132

    1975

    open
  8. 8
    Up 251
    Down 105

    1958

    open
  9. 9
    Up 234
    Down 91

    1965

    open
  10. 10
    Up 211
    Down 102

    most listed 1963

    open
  11. 11
    Up 233
    Down 49

    1938

    open
  12. 12
    Up 239
    Down 86

    1948

    open
  13. 13
    Up 155
    Down 91

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1940

    open
  14. 14
    Up 188
    Down 85

    1948

    open
  15. 15
    Up 202
    Down 61

    1967

    open
  16. 16
    Up 166
    Down 81

    1939

    open
  17. 17
    Up 177
    Down 59

    1936

    open
  18. 18
    Up 160
    Down 74

    1953

    open
  19. 19
    Up 239
    Down 119

    1967

    open
  20. 20
    Up 190
    Down 64

    1976

    open
  21. 21
    Up 156
    Down 68

    1945

    open
  22. 22
    Up 128
    Down 52

    1927

    open
  23. 23
    Up 125
    Down 74

    1960

    open
  24. 24
    Up 133
    Down 69

    1925

    open
  25. 25
    Up 145
    Down 80

    1969

    open
  26. 26
    Up 113
    Down 63

    1950

    open
  27. 27
    Up 173
    Down 89

    1978

    open
  28. 28
    Up 90
    Down 75

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1937

    open
  29. 29
    Up 144
    Down 81

    1978

    open
  30. 30
    Up 125
    Down 50

    1973

    open
  31. 31
    Up 145
    Down 86

    1971

    open
  32. 32
    Up 96
    Down 71

    1942

    open
  33. 33
    Up 75
    Down 73

    1926

    open
  34. 34
    Up 129
    Down 96

    1972

    open
  35. 35
    Up 108
    Down 61

    1937

    open
  36. 36
    Up 91
    Down 58

    1966

    open
  37. 37
    Up 81
    Down 70

    1947

    open
  38. 38
    Up 66
    Down 61

    1940

    open
  39. 39
    Up 72
    Down 71

    1942

    open
  40. 40
    Up 68
    Down 41

    1945

    open
  41. 41
    Up 66
    Down 22

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81 1978

    open
  42. 42
    Up 51
    Down 67

    1925

    open
  43. 43
    Up 61
    Down 85

    1958

    open
  44. 44
    Up 77
    Down 53

    ranked low on reranks & added by Al Sobrante 1955

    open
  45. 45
    Up 63
    Down 72

    1939

    open
  46. 46
    Up 57
    Down 68

    1930

    open
  47. 47
    Up 60
    Down 72

    1940

    open
  48. 48
    Up 70
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761 1960

    open
  49. 49
    Up 50
    Down 71

    1940

    open
  50. 50
    Up 49
    Down 38

    added by EthanWalker 1980

    open
105 +

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