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!

  • 21 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2262
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    the people's #1 Linebacker

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  2. 2
    + 1924
    - 771

    most listed Linebacker, Center

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  3. 3
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    Linebacker

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  4. 4
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    - 516

    Linebacker

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  5. 5
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    - 471
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  6. 6
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    - 418

    Linebacker

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  7. 7
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    - 491

    Linebacker

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  8. 8
    + 877
    - 331

    Linebacker

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  9. 9
    + 688
    - 423

    Linebacker

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  10. 10
    + 1124
    - 434

    ranked low on reranks Linebacker

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  11. 11
    + 375
    - 360

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

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  12. 12
    + 390
    - 294

    Linebacker

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  13. 13
    + 399
    - 278

    Linebacker, Center

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  14. 14
    + 618
    - 240

    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest Linebacker

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  15. 15
    + 685
    - 292

    ranked low on reranks & added by noahjacobs1 Linebacker

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 268
    - 316

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

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  17. 17
    + 277
    - 226

    Defensive end, Linebacker

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  18. 18
    + 334
    - 241

    Linebacker

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  19. 19
    + 261
    - 274

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

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  20. 20
    + 333
    - 177

    added by ChangesDownClub Return specialist, Wide receiver

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  21. 21
    + 368
    - 224

    added by wiabux Defensive end, Linebacker

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  22. 22
    + 316
    - 158

    added by EthanWalker Linebacker, Middle Linebacker

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  23. 23
    + 193
    - 238

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

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  24. 24
    + 187
    - 269

    Linebacker

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  25. 25
    + 284
    - 206

    ranked low on reranks

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  26. 26
    + 165
    - 214

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Offensive Lineman, Guard, Linebacker

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  27. 27
    + 225
    - 143

    ranked low on reranks & added by TehSauce

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  28. 28
    + 135
    - 237

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 217
    - 145

    added by ChangesDownClub

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  30. 30
    + 179
    - 141

    added by wiabux Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 125
    - 201

    Linebacker

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  32. 32
    + 99
    - 75

    added by ShaneAdkins Linebacker

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  33. 33
    + 139
    - 161

    Linebacker

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  34. 34
    + 136
    - 141

    Linebacker, Center

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  35. 35
    + 97
    - 99

    added by TehSauce Linebacker

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  36. 36
    + 221
    - 267

    added by stokified Outside Linebacker, Defensive end

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  37. 37
    + 106
    - 172

    Linebacker

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  38. 38
    + 218
    - 86

    ranked low on reranks & added by megatron81calvin Outside Linebacker

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  39. 39
    + 105
    - 127

    added by wiabux Linebacker

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  40. 40
    + 90
    - 188

    Linebacker

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  41. 41
    + 1
    - 1

    added by chile6880 Linebacker

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  42. 42
    + 85
    - 181

    Linebacker

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  43. 43
    + 3
    - 1

    added by chile6880 Linebacker

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  44. 44
    + 5
    - 7

    added by chile6880 Linebacker

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  45. 45
    + 40
    - 80

    often listed & added by RobSpencer Linebacker, Placekicker

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  46. 46
    + 74
    - 160

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

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  47. 47
    + 119
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks & added by Biscuit420 Linebacker

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  48. 48
    + 108
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks & added by quantum.svcs Linebacker

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  49. 49
    + 93
    - 55

    ranked low on reranks & added by PaulMaisonneuve Wilbur Marshall

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 0
    - 0
    No image
    ) open
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