NFL The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
42.1k votes 6.3k voters 117.7k views 91 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
2,340 608
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles

2
1,439 706
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins

3
1,586 588
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Virginia Tech Hokies football

4
2,509 698
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Houston Texans, Wisconsin Badgers football, Central Michigan Chippewas football

5
1,435 671
Michael Strahan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Texas Southern Tigers football, New York Giants

6
1,041 209
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Pittsburgh Steelers, North Texas Mean Green football

7
1,006 489
Howie Long is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Oakland Raiders, Villanova Wildcats football

8
746 491
Jack Youngblood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Los Angeles Rams

9
1,045 432
Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added North Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

10
596 289
Charles Haley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Junior53 added San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys

11
758 459
Jared Allen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Idaho State Bengals football, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings

12
559 341
Richard Dent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Tennessee State Tigers football

13
554 282
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Tennessee State Tigers football, Dallas Cowboys

14
618 257
DeMarcus Ware is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Troy Trojans football, Dallas Cowboys

15
418 392
Lee Roy Selmon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oklahoma Sooners football

16
504 257
Dwight Freeney is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football, San Diego Chargers

17
488 228
Jason Taylor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Washington Redskins, Akron Zips football, New York Jets

18
384 264
L. C. Greenwood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Pittsburgh Steelers

19
350 237
Jim Marshall is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings

20
364 255
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

21
292 275
Gino Marchetti is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts

22
276 249
Chris Doleman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers

23
298 170
Bubba Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers, Michigan State Spartans football

24
255 208
Doug Atkins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints

25
282 153
Lyle Alzado is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
RobSpencer added Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns

26
206 97
Merlin Olsen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Los Angeles Rams, Utah State Aggies football

27
205 206
Harvey Martin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dallas Cowboys

28
168 150
Jevon Kearse is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
slaft added Florida Gators football, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles

29
187 189
John Matuszak is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Houston Oilers, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders

30
173 139
Mark Gastineau is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
AdamBourque added Arizona State Sun Devils football, New York Jets

31
200 186
Willie McGinest is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
TehSauce added USC Trojans football, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns

32
205 162
Willie Davis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
willyboymcoy added Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers

33
149 176
Dwight White is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Pittsburgh Steelers

34
115 117
Dexter Manley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Ottawa Rough Riders, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

35
99 199
Elvin Bethea is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Houston Oilers

36
179 187
Mario Williams is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
NC State Wolfpack football, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans

37
102 119
Clyde Simmons is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
slaft added Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars

38
157 135
Calais Campbell is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arizona Cardinals

39
204 210
Jason Pierre-Paul is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

40
214 145
Cameron Wake is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Penn State Nittany Lions football, BC Lions, Miami Dolphins

41
160 170
Michael Bennett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

42
79 92
Charles Mann is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers

43
125 67
Robert Mathis is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
_1442177542662 added Indianapolis Colts

44
130 159
Robert Quinn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
North Carolina Tar Heels football, St. Louis Rams

45
95 122
Cameron Jordan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
New Orleans Saints, California Golden Bears football

46
131 132
Chris Long is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Virginia Cavaliers football, St. Louis Rams

47
88 166
Claude Humphrey is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles

48
102 115
Fletcher Cox is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Philadelphia Eagles

49
69 72
Joe Klecko is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts

50
76 126
Brian Orakpo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Washington Redskins, Texas Longhorns football