NFL Greats

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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
    + 2084
    - 797

    the people's #1 Linebacker

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1782
    - 706

    most listed Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  3. 3
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    Linebacker

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  4. 4
    + 1213
    - 471

    Linebacker

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  5. 5
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    - 436
    ) open
  6. 6
    + 785
    - 383

    Linebacker

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 732
    - 463

    Linebacker

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  8. 8
    + 644
    - 397

    Linebacker

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 798
    - 305

    Linebacker

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  10. 10
    + 1041
    - 404

    Linebacker

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 344
    - 338

    Linebacker

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 365
    - 270

    Linebacker

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 368
    - 263

    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 570
    - 225

    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest Linebacker

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 245
    - 301

    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 242
    - 259

    Linebacker

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 619
    - 279

    added by noahjacobs1 Linebacker

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 312
    - 231

    Linebacker

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  19. 19
    + 258
    - 215

    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 176
    - 224

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 308
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    added by ChangesDownClub Return specialist, Wide receiver

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 175
    - 257

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 336
    - 214

    added by wiabux Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 298
    - 147

    ranked low on reranks & added by EthanWalker Linebacker, Middle Linebacker

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 154
    - 205

    Offensive Lineman, Guard, Linebacker

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 129
    - 228

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 267
    - 192
    ) open
  28. 28
    + 209
    - 136

    added by TehSauce

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 114
    - 194

    Linebacker

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 203
    - 140

    added by ChangesDownClub

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 165
    - 137

    added by wiabux Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 133
    - 156

    Linebacker

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 128
    - 134

    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 101
    - 166

    Linebacker

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 86
    - 180

    Linebacker

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 86
    - 95

    added by TehSauce Linebacker

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 82
    - 173

    Linebacker

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  38. 38
    + 199
    - 259

    added by stokified Outside Linebacker, Defensive end

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 96
    - 121

    added by wiabux Linebacker

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 193
    - 80

    ranked low on reranks & added by megatron81calvin Outside Linebacker

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 36
    - 72

    often listed & added by RobSpencer Linebacker, Placekicker

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 72
    - 152

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Linebacker

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 113
    - 65

    added by Biscuit420 Linebacker

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 102
    - 63

    added by quantum.svcs Linebacker

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 78
    - 51

    added by PaulMaisonneuve Wilbur Marshall

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 85
    - 71

    added by ShaneAdkins Linebacker

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 56
    - 49

    added by RobSpencer

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 47
    - 49

    added by RobSpencer Linebacker

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 73
    - 91

    added by TehSauce Linebacker

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 40
    - 53

    added by RobSpencer Linebacker

    ) open
52 +

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