The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

Voting 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.
Photo: flickr / CC0
Ranked by
  • Reggie White
    4,853 votes
    Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Joe Greene
    2,631 votes
    Pittsburgh Steelers, North Texas Mean Green football
  • Bruce Smith
    3,930 votes
    Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Virginia Tech Hokies football
  • J. J. Watt
    5,063 votes
    Arizona Cardinals
  • Deacon Jones
    3,637 votes
    Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins
  • Julius Peppers
    2,684 votes
    North Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers