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!

  • 23 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2493
    - 928

    the people's #1
    Linebacker

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 2086
    - 838

    most listed
    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 2536
    - 1005

    Linebacker

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1486
    - 556

    Linebacker

    ) open
  5. 5
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    - 508
    ) open
  6. 6
    + 980
    - 454

    Linebacker

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 985
    - 357

    Linebacker

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 906
    - 531

    Linebacker

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 753
    - 458

    Linebacker

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1219
    - 486

    ranked low on reranks
    Linebacker

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 413
    - 397

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 695
    - 259

    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest
    Linebacker

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 442
    - 305

    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 425
    - 324

    Linebacker

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 770
    - 322

    ranked low on reranks & added by noahjacobs1
    Linebacker

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 294
    - 341

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

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 362
    - 261

    Linebacker

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 286
    - 296

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 297
    - 249

    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 367
    - 203

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Return specialist, Wide receiver

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 403
    - 252

    added by wiabux
    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 350
    - 180

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

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 214
    - 259

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 249
    - 105

    added by megatron81calvin
    Outside Linebacker

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 200
    - 291

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 313
    - 222

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 181
    - 231

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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 248
    - 165

    ranked low on reranks & added by TehSauce

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 145
    - 257

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Linebacker

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 206
    - 155

    added by wiabux
    Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 235
    - 161

    added by ChangesDownClub

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 116
    - 88

    added by ShaneAdkins
    Linebacker

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 136
    - 216

    Linebacker

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 150
    - 179

    Linebacker

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 149
    - 156

    Linebacker, Center

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 242
    - 284

    added by stokified
    Outside Linebacker, Defensive end

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 107
    - 114

    added by TehSauce
    Linebacker

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 112
    - 185

    Linebacker

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 19
    - 21

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 21
    - 13

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 17
    - 14

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 97
    - 203
    ) open
  43. 43
    + 111
    - 146

    added by wiabux
    Linebacker

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 92
    - 197

    Linebacker

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 9
    - 15

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 21
    - 19

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 17
    - 12

    added by chile6880
    Middle Linebacker

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 14
    - 10

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 9
    - 21

    added by chile6880
    Linebacker

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 10
    - 15

    added by chile6880
    Defensive end, Linebacker

    ) open
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