The Greatest Linebackers of All Time Football Players (American)
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The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

List Criteria: Only include linebackers based on their on-field accomplishments

The greatest linebackers of all time are not only the best NFL players to ever play the linebacker position but also some of the most respected and most feared football players of all time. These all-time greats have electrified crowds with their energy and leadership and delivered on the field as some of the NFL's best defensive players ever.

It's hard to claim that anyone other than the great Lawrence Taylor is the best linebacker ever. He made an immeasurable impact on the game, changing it for decades to follow and becoming the star of the league which at that time was dominated by quarterbacks. His explosiveness and raw power was in most cases simply unstoppable and easily qualifies him as one of the top 10 NFL linebackers of all time.

That said, there are plenty of other great linebackers who each had stellar careers of their own. The likes of Dick Butkus, who terrorized offenses during his nine years with the Chicago Bears, Ray Lewis, who served as a perfect combination of talent and heart during his memorable time with the Baltimore Ravens, and Junior Seau, who recorded over 100 tackles for six seasons straight and earned 12 Pro Bowl selections, are all firmly among the best NFL linebackers of all time.

While they don't always get the same level of attention that other positions do, famous linebackers are some of the toughest, smartest, and most hard working players on any NFL team. Have an NFL linebacker that you adore? Vote for your favorite NFL linebackers below, re-rank this list your way, or add any not listed. Then, head over and vote for the greatest tight ends of all time and the greatest NFL punters of all time too!
  • 19 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1966
    - 764

    the people's #1 Linebacker

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1693
    - 662

    most listed Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1993
    - 815

    Linebacker

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1144
    - 452

    Linebacker

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1030
    - 418
    ) open
  6. 6
    + 738
    - 374

    Linebacker

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 616
    - 385

    Linebacker

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 692
    - 449

    Linebacker

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 749
    - 297

    Linebacker

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 993
    - 381

    Linebacker

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 324
    - 329

    Linebacker

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 351
    - 262

    Linebacker

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 343
    - 253

    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 534
    - 219

    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest Linebacker

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 227
    - 294

    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 228
    - 249

    Linebacker

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 541
    - 270

    added by noahjacobs1 Linebacker

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 294
    - 227

    Linebacker

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 244
    - 211

    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 165
    - 223

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 286
    - 165

    added by ChangesDownClub Return specialist, Wide receiver

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 161
    - 251

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 311
    - 209

    added by wiabux Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 277
    - 143

    added by EthanWalker Linebacker, Middle Linebacker

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 258
    - 184
    ) open
  26. 26
    + 123
    - 223

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 145
    - 202

    Offensive Lineman, Guard, Linebacker

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 194
    - 130

    ranked low on reranks & added by TehSauce

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 107
    - 190

    Linebacker

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 194
    - 136

    added by ChangesDownClub

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 156
    - 135

    added by wiabux Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 125
    - 153

    Linebacker

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 82
    - 177

    Linebacker

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 96
    - 163

    Linebacker

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 120
    - 132

    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 79
    - 168

    Linebacker

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 183
    - 255

    added by stokified Outside Linebacker, Defensive end

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 78
    - 91

    added by TehSauce Linebacker

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 90
    - 119

    added by wiabux Linebacker

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 33
    - 69

    often listed & added by RobSpencer Linebacker, Placekicker

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 177
    - 75

    ranked low on reranks & added by megatron81calvin Outside Linebacker

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 68
    - 149

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 104
    - 63

    added by Biscuit420 Linebacker

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 95
    - 60

    added by quantum.svcs Linebacker

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 71
    - 50

    added by PaulMaisonneuve Wilbur Marshall

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 81
    - 68

    added by ShaneAdkins Linebacker

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 50
    - 47

    added by RobSpencer

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 42
    - 47

    added by RobSpencer Linebacker

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 68
    - 88

    added by TehSauce Linebacker

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 36
    - 51

    added by RobSpencer Linebacker

    ) open
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