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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!

The Greatest Linebackers of All Time Football Players (American)
  • 43 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    North Carolina Tar Heels football, New York Giants

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    Chicago Bears

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    Baltimore Ravens

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    Pittsburgh Steelers, Kent State Golden Flashes football

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    Baylor Bears football, Chicago Bears

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    Penn State Nittany Lions football

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    Alabama Crimson Tide Football, Kansas City Chiefs

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    USC Trojans football, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins

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  9. 9
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Green Bay Packers

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    New Mexico Lobos Football, Chicago Bears

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    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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  12. 12
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    University of Pennsylvania football

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    added by noahjacobs1
    San Francisco 49ers

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    Washington Redskins, New York Giants

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks

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    Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Auburn Tigers football

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    ranked low on reranks & added by ChangesDownClub
    Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks

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    added by megatron81calvin
    Arizona State Sun Devils football, Baltimore Ravens

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    added by wiabux
    Troy Trojans football, Dallas Cowboys

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  21. 21
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    added by EthanWalker
    Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams

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    Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers

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    Arizona Wildcats football, New England Patriots

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    USC Trojans football, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns

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    ranked low on reranks & added by TehSauce
    Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Denver Broncos

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  30. 30
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    ranked low on reranks & added by ChangesDownClub
    Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions

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    added by stokified
    Texas A&M Aggies football, Denver Broncos

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    Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants

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    added by Biscuit420

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    added by chile6880

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    added by chile6880

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  38. 38
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, Detroit Lions

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    + 80
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    added by chile6880
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Colorado State Rams football, Arizona Cardinals

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    added by ShaneAdkins
    New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars, Carolina Panthers

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    added by TehSauce

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    added by chile6880
    Arizona Wildcats football, Chicago Bears

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  45. 45
    + 132
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks

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  46. 46
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    added by chile6880
    Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets

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  47. 47
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    added by chile6880
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers

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    added by madd
    Pittsburgh Steelers

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  50. 50
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    - 18

    added by _1442432702366
    San Francisco 49ers

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