NFL The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by
31.1k votes 4.9k voters 102.1k views 85 items Embed

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
1,859 454
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Reggie White Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles

The Dirtiest NFL Players of All Time The Best Restaurants at LAX

2
1,183 496
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Deacon Jones Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins

3
1,234 438
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Virginia Tech Hokies football

4
1,192 493
Michael Strahan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Michael Strahan Texas Southern Tigers football, New York Giants

5
2,034 508
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
J. J. Watt Houston Texans, Wisconsin Badgers football, Central Michigan Chippewas football

6
797 358
Howie Long is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Howie Long Oakland Raiders, Villanova Wildcats football

7
706 136
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers, North Texas Mean Green football

8
565 383
Jack Youngblood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Jack Youngblood Los Angeles Rams

9
808 322
Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Julius Peppers North Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

10
435 199
Charles Haley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Junior53 added Charles Haley

11
611 348
Jared Allen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Jared Allen Idaho State Bengals football, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings

12
461 168
DeMarcus Ware is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
DeMarcus Ware Troy Trojans football, Dallas Cowboys

13
337 294
Lee Roy Selmon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oklahoma Sooners football

14
418 267
Richard Dent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Richard Dent Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Tennessee State Tigers football

15
425 225
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Ed Jones Tennessee State Tigers football, Dallas Cowboys

The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time The Creepiest Sports Mascots

16
381 186
Dwight Freeney is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Dwight Freeney Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football, San Diego Chargers

17
368 152
Jason Taylor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Jason Taylor Washington Redskins, Akron Zips football, New York Jets

18
291 205
L. C. Greenwood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added L. C. Greenwood

19
274 192
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Carl Eller Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

20
265 179
Jim Marshall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Jim Marshall

21
211 187
Chris Doleman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

22
229 227
Gino Marchetti is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

23
220 127
Bubba Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Bubba Smith Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers, Michigan State Spartans football

24
186 163
Doug Atkins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

25
201 102
Lyle Alzado is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
RobSpencer added Lyle Alzado Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns

26
162 157
Harvey Martin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys

27
118 47
Merlin Olsen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Merlin Olsen Los Angeles Rams, Utah State Aggies football

28
124 86
Jevon Kearse is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
slaft added Jevon Kearse Florida Gators football, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles

29
141 143
John Matuszak is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added John Matuszak Houston Oilers, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History Things That Only the Youngest Child Will Understand

30
159 131
Willie McGinest is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
TehSauce added Willie McGinest USC Trojans football, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns

31
116 89
Mark Gastineau is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
AdamBourque added Mark Gastineau Arizona State Sun Devils football, New York Jets

32
145 116
Willie Davis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
willyboymcoy added Willie Davis

33
83 149
Elvin Bethea is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

34
104 135
Dwight White is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dwight White

35
98 27
Too Tall Jones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Dave Kinard added Too Tall Jones

36
147 117
Mario Williams is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Mario Williams NC State Wolfpack football, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans

37
69 74
Clyde Simmons is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
slaft added Clyde Simmons

38
85 72
Dexter Manley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Dexter Manley Ottawa Rough Riders, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

39
165 136
Jason Pierre-Paul is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Jason Pierre-Paul New York Giants

40
163 99
Cameron Wake is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Cameron Wake Penn State Nittany Lions football, BC Lions, Miami Dolphins

41
102 84
Calais Campbell is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Calais Campbell Arizona Cardinals

42
50 47
Charles Mann is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

43
107 102
Robert Quinn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Robert Quinn North Carolina Tar Heels football, St. Louis Rams

The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time The Best Action-Adventure Games of All Time

44
118 113
Michael Bennett is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Michael Bennett Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

45
67 121
Claude Humphrey is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
wiabux added Claude Humphrey

46
82 98
Muhammad Wilkerson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Muhammad Wilkerson New York Jets

47
76 30
Robert Mathis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
_1442177542662 added Robert Mathis Indianapolis Colts

48
53 77
Brian Orakpo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Brian Orakpo Washington Redskins, Texas Longhorns football

49
38 36
Joe Klecko is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

50
53 82
Cameron Jordan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time
Cameron Jordan New Orleans Saints, California Golden Bears football