The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

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List Criteria: Please rank the players based on their career accomplishments

The key to a winning football games is winning the battle in the trenches. For a defense, the unsung hero down fighting in the frontlines is a defensive tackle. These big, burly guys are the anchor of the defense. Without a great defensive tackle, other pieces of the defense may not be able to function as crisply without these important players. For the most part, only diehard football fans recognize the contributions of defensive tackles and defensive linemen. These guys may not put up the biggest numbers, but often times they can occupy several offensive linemen, clearing the way for their teammates to make a big play.

There are a number of familiar names on this list of the greatest defensive tackles. "Mean" Joe Greene, Bruce Smith and Howie Long are some of the most popular players in Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders history. Many of these defensive tackles have taken their place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, proving how valuable they were to their team's successes. This list starts with the greatest players of all time and ends with the players who are prett 

Vote for who you think should be considered the greatest defensive tackle of all time on this Ultimate List. There are plenty of great players on this list so you really can't go wrong with who you choose.
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  • 33 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1,191
    - 233

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Pittsburgh Steelers, North Texas Mean Green football

    ;
  2. 2
    + 650
    - 263


    Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings

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  3. 3
    + 576
    - 235


    Maryland Terrapins football, Dallas Cowboys

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  4. 4
    + 635
    - 182
    John Randle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    John Randle Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

  5. 5
    + 650
    - 295


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, Miami Hurricanes football

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  6. 6
    + 512
    - 213
    Bob Lilly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Bob Lilly TCU Horned Frogs football, Dallas Cowboys

  7. 7
    + 441
    - 191
    Merlin Olsen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Merlin Olsen Los Angeles Rams, Utah State Aggies football

  8. 8
    + 456
    - 176
    Vince Wilfork is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    added by teamxtremerocks
    Vince Wilfork New England Patriots, Miami Hurricanes football

  9. 9
    + 480
    - 181
    Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Virginia Tech Hokies football

  10. 10
    + 446
    - 183
    Howie Long is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Howie Long Oakland Raiders, Villanova Wildcats football

  11. 11
    + 263
    - 135


    Seattle Seahawks

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  12. 12
    + 241
    - 164
    Dan Hampton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Dan Hampton

  13. 13
    + 226
    - 174
    Buck Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Buck Buchanan

  14. 14
    + 238
    - 140

    added by willyboymcoy
    Philadelphia Eagles

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  15. 15
    + 424
    - 245
    Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    added by MattSchwarck
    Ndamukong Suh Detroit Lions

  16. 16
    + 285
    - 168
    William Perry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    added by bdcoop34
    William Perry Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, London Monarchs

  17. 17
    + 286
    - 174

    added by HitmanCapone
    Baltimore Ravens, Oregon Ducks football

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  18. 18
    + 185
    - 26
    Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Reggie White Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles

  19. 19
    + 193
    - 162
    Casey Hampton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Casey Hampton Pittsburgh Steelers

  20. 20
    + 128
    - 80
    Richard Seymour is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Richard Seymour Oakland Raiders, Georgia Bulldogs football team, New England Patriots

  21. 21
    + 97
    - 98
    Bryant Young is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bryant Young

  22. 22
    + 109
    - 22

    ranked low on reranks
    Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Los Angeles Rams, ...

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  23. 23
    + 122
    - 128
    Ernie Stautner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ernie Stautner

  24. 24
    + 96
    - 49
    Alex Karras is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Alex Karras Detroit Lions, Iowa Hawkeyes football

  25. 25
    + 106
    - 79
    Art Donovan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobSpencer
    Art Donovan Baltimore Colts, Indianapolis Colts, New York Yanks

  26. 26
    + 116
    - 141

    often listed & added by Junior53
    Denver Broncos, Emporia State Hornets football, Dallas Cowboys

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  27. 27
    + 78
    - 53

    ranked low on reranks
    Minnesota Vikings

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  28. 28
    + 77
    - 116
    Sam Adams is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    often listed & added by willyboymcoy
    Sam Adams

  29. 29
    + 68
    - 47

    ranked low on reranks

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  30. 30
    + 87
    - 123
    Leo Nomellini is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leo Nomellini

  31. 31
    + 64
    - 53


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  32. 32
    + 43
    - 34

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  33. 33
    + 85
    - 49

    ranked low on reranks
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oklahoma Sooners football

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  34. 34
    + 50
    - 33


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  35. 35
    + 117
    - 83
    Geno Atkins is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    added by JamesRLock
    Geno Atkins Cincinnati Bengals

  36. 36
    + 70
    - 42


    New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears

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  37. 37
    + 49
    - 10


    Houston Texans, Wisconsin Badgers football, Central Michigan Chippewas ...

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  38. 38
    + 65
    - 72
    Ray Childress is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    often listed & added by 19aisseg
    Ray Childress

  39. 39
    + 55
    - 46
    Dana Stubblefield is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time


    Dana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers

  40. 40
    + 36
    - 15

    added by slaft

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  41. 41
    + 29
    - 9

    added by RamsFan
    Pittsburgh Panthers football

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  42. 42
    + 66
    - 39


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  43. 43
    + 83
    - 70

    added by JamesRLock
    Arizona Cardinals, Florida State Seminoles football

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  44. 44
    + 44
    - 38


    Minnesota Vikings

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  45. 45
    + 65
    - 57


    Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens

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  46. 46
    + 33
    - 58

    often listed & added by RobSpencer

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  47. 47
    + 22
    - 22


    Buffalo Bills, Texas A&M Aggies football, Minnesota Vikings

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  48. 48
    + 59
    - 97
    Jim Burt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

    added by willyboymcoy
    Jim Burt

  49. 49
    + 26
    - 32

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  50. 50
    + 25
    - 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

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