The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

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19,538 views 99 items 9,946 votes 774 voters 30 followers 16reranks
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!

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List Criteria: Defensive players based on their on-field achievements

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      Name
    Score
    1. 1
      Up 309
      Down 98

      the people's #1
      Lawrence Taylor

      1959 More
      100
    2. 2
      Up 251
      Down 71
      1961 More
      99
    3. 3
      Up 262
      Down 69
      1942 More
      98
    4. 4
      Up 254
      Down 67
      1946 More
      98
    5. 5
      Up 200
      Down 60
      1959 More
      96
    6. 6
      Up 238
      Down 58
      1952 More
      95
    7. 7
      Up 176
      Down 56
      1948 More
      91
    8. 8
      Up 158
      Down 64
      1965 More
      90
    9. 9
      Up 147
      Down 71

      most listed
      Bruce Smith

      1963 More
      90
    10. 10
      Up 169
      Down 69
      1958 More
      90
    11. 11
      Up 210
      Down 96
      1975 More
      89
    12. 12
      Up 147
      Down 36
      1938 More
      88
    13. 13
      Up 114
      Down 59

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      Merlin Olsen

      1940 More
      85
    14. 14
      Up 138
      Down 58
      1948 More
      85
    15. 15
      Up 119
      Down 50
      1939 More
      84
    16. 16
      Up 125
      Down 34
      1936 More
      82
    17. 17
      Up 132
      Down 44
      1967 More
      81
    18. 18
      Up 115
      Down 48
      1953 More
      81
    19. 19
      Up 115
      Down 42
      1945 More
      80
    20. 20
      Up 103
      Down 43
      1925 More
      78
    21. 21
      Up 151
      Down 87
      1967 More
      78
    22. 22
      Up 93
      Down 52
      1960 More
      77
    23. 23
      Up 117
      Down 46
      1976 More
      77
    24. 24
      Up 82
      Down 39
      1927 More
      76
    25. 25
      Up 95
      Down 57
      1969 More
      75
    26. 26
      Up 78
      Down 43
      1950 More
      72
    27. 27
      Up 64
      Down 51

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      Jim Marshall

      1937 More
      68
    28. 28
      Up 123
      Down 64
      1978 More
      68
    29. 29
      Up 89
      Down 60
      1978 More
      67
    30. 30
      Up 84
      Down 34
      1937 More
      66
    31. 31
      Up 79
      Down 37
      1973 More
      65
    32. 32
      Up 70
      Down 47
      1942 More
      65
    33. 33
      Up 53
      Down 46
      1926 More
      63
    34. 34
      Up 62
      Down 46
      1947 More
      63
    35. 35
      Up 89
      Down 66
      1971 More
      62
    36. 36
      Up 64
      Down 39
      1966 More
      61
    37. 37
      Up 46
      Down 41
      1940 More
      60
    38. 38
      Up 77
      Down 72
      1972 More
      60
    39. 39
      Up 53
      Down 50
      1942 More
      59
    40. 40
      Up 41
      Down 24
      1945 More
      59
    41. 41
      Up 57
      Down 32

      ranked low on reranks
      Lester Hayes

      1955 More
      59
      added by: Al Sobrante
    42. 42
      Up 40
      Down 46
      1925 More
      57
    43. 43
      Up 50
      Down 51
      1939 More
      57
    44. 44
      Up 48
      Down 63
      1958 More
      56
    45. 45
      Up 37
      Down 48
      1930 More
      55
    46. 46
      Up 46
      Down 54
      1940 More
      54
    47. 47
      Up 39
      Down 44
      1975 More
      53
      added by: EthanWalker
    48. 48
      Up 35
      Down 37
      1934 More
      52
    49. 49
      Up 34
      Down 48
      1940 More
      52
    50. 50
      Up 37
      Down 47
      1932 More
      52
    51. 100 +

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