The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Football Players (American)
Ultimate List
104  items 15,507 votes 1,232 voters 40,329 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 488
    Down 162

    the people's #1 1959

    open
  2. 2
    Up 395
    Down 110

    1961

    open
  3. 3
    Up 388
    Down 119

    1942

    open
  4. 4
    Up 388
    Down 100

    1946

    open
  5. 5
    Up 305
    Down 90

    1959

    open
  6. 6
    Up 334
    Down 96

    1952

    open
  7. 7
    Up 352
    Down 137

    1975

    open
  8. 8
    Up 256
    Down 108

    1958

    open
  9. 9
    Up 241
    Down 93

    1965

    open
  10. 10
    Up 248
    Down 86

    1948

    open
  11. 11
    Up 241
    Down 49

    1938

    open
  12. 12
    Up 215
    Down 105

    most listed 1963

    open
  13. 13
    Up 160
    Down 93

    1940

    open
  14. 14
    Up 195
    Down 87

    1948

    open
  15. 15
    Up 210
    Down 61

    ranked low on reranks 1967

    open
  16. 16
    Up 170
    Down 83

    1939

    open
  17. 17
    Up 182
    Down 59

    1936

    open
  18. 18
    Up 165
    Down 75

    1953

    open
  19. 19
    Up 247
    Down 122

    1967

    open
  20. 20
    Up 197
    Down 65

    1976

    open
  21. 21
    Up 159
    Down 69

    1945

    open
  22. 22
    Up 130
    Down 53

    1927

    open
  23. 23
    Up 127
    Down 75

    1960

    open
  24. 24
    Up 134
    Down 71

    1925

    open
  25. 25
    Up 146
    Down 82

    1969

    open
  26. 26
    Up 116
    Down 65

    1950

    open
  27. 27
    Up 176
    Down 92

    1978

    open
  28. 28
    Up 147
    Down 82

    1978

    open
  29. 29
    Up 91
    Down 77

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1937

    open
  30. 30
    Up 126
    Down 52

    1973

    open
  31. 31
    Up 146
    Down 88

    1971

    open
  32. 32
    Up 97
    Down 73

    1942

    open
  33. 33
    Up 132
    Down 97

    1972

    open
  34. 34
    Up 76
    Down 75

    1926

    open
  35. 35
    Up 111
    Down 63

    1937

    open
  36. 36
    Up 93
    Down 59

    1966

    open
  37. 37
    Up 82
    Down 73

    1947

    open
  38. 38
    Up 67
    Down 63

    1940

    open
  39. 39
    Up 75
    Down 72

    1942

    open
  40. 40
    Up 69
    Down 43

    1945

    open
  41. 41
    Up 63
    Down 87

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1958

    open
  42. 42
    Up 51
    Down 70

    1925

    open
  43. 43
    Up 67
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks & added by KobeMr81 1978

    open
  44. 44
    Up 66
    Down 73

    1939

    open
  45. 45
    Up 78
    Down 55

    ranked low on reranks & added by Al Sobrante 1955

    open
  46. 46
    Up 58
    Down 70

    1930

    open
  47. 47
    Up 61
    Down 74

    1940

    open
  48. 48
    Up 74
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks & added by marcooch761 1960

    open
  49. 49
    Up 51
    Down 73

    1940

    open
  50. 50
    Up 56
    Down 56

    added by EthanWalker 1975

    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