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The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated April 5, 2020 56.4k votes 8.1k voters 137.6k views 95 items

List Rules Please rank the players based on their career accomplishments

When it comes to striking fear into an opposing offense, having a great defensive end can be a game changer. A lightning quick defensive end can cause chaos for offense by interrupting a quarterback's rhythm by rushing and hitting him. A great defensive end is double teamed most of the time, allowing for his counterpart to blow up an offense's scheme. A great defensive end isn't measured by stats, though having a lot of sacks certainly doesn't hurt his claim to being one of the greatest of all time.

There are a lot of familiar faces on the list of greatest defensive ends of all time. Famous defensive ends like Reggie White, Michael Strahan and Jack Youngblood are some of the toughest and menacing players in the league. White and Strahan were considered the best defensive ends of their generation. Strahan currently holds the single season record for sacks in a season. Youngblood cemented his status as the toughest player in the NFL when he played in Super Bowl XIV with a broken leg.

Selecting who the greatest defensive end of all time isn't easy, especially since most of these defensive ends either are in or will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But you can vote for who you feel is the best-ever on this Ultimate List.
list ordered by
1
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America
2
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Waukesha, Wisconsin
3
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added
4
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
5
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
6
Michael Strahan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Houston, Texas, United States of America
7
Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Defensive end from Wilson, North Carolina
8
Howie Long is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added
9
DeMarcus Ware is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end and Linebacker from Auburn, Alabama
10
Charles Haley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Junior53 added Defensive end and Linebacker from Gladys, Virginia, Virginia
11
Jack Youngblood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Jacksonville, Florida
12
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added
13
Jason Taylor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Linebacker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
14
Jared Allen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Defensive end from Dallas, Texas, United States of America
15
Richard Dent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Atlanta, Georgia
16
Dwight Freeney is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Outside Linebacker and Defensive end from Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America
17
Bubba Smith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Orange, Texas, USA
18
L. C. Greenwood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added L. C. Greenwood Defensive end from Canton, Mississippi
19
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Defensive end and Defensive lineman from Winston-Salem, North Carolina
20
Lee Roy Selmon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Eufaula, Oklahoma
21
Merlin Olsen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
22
Jim Marshall is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Defensive end from Danville, Kentucky
23
Lyle Alzado is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
RobSpencer added
24
Gino Marchetti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Smithers, West Virginia
25
Doug Atkins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Defensive end from Tennessee, USA, Humboldt