The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

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.
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Ranked by
  • Reggie White
    1
    Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Joe Greene
    2
    Pittsburgh Steelers, North Texas Mean Green football
  • Bruce Smith
    3
    Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Virginia Tech Hokies football
  • J. J. Watt
    4
    Arizona Cardinals
  • Deacon Jones
    5
    Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins
  • Julius Peppers
    6
    North Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers
  • Howie Long
    7
    Oakland Raiders, Villanova Wildcats football
  • Ed Jones
    8
    Tennessee State Tigers football, Dallas Cowboys
  • Michael Strahan
    9
    Texas Southern Tigers football, New York Giants
  • Jack Youngblood
    10
    Los Angeles Rams
  • Richard Dent
    11
    Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Tennessee State Tigers football
  • Charles Haley
    12
    San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys
  • DeMarcus Ware
    13
    Troy Trojans football, Dallas Cowboys
  • Jared Allen
    14
    Idaho State Bengals football, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings
  • Merlin Olsen
    15
    Los Angeles Rams, Utah State Aggies football
  • Jason Taylor
    16
    Washington Redskins, Akron Zips football, New York Jets
  • Dwight Freeney
    17
    Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football, San Diego Chargers
  • Bubba Smith
    18
    Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers, Michigan State Spartans football
  • L. C. Greenwood
    19
    Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Lyle Alzado
    20
    Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns
  • Gino Marchetti
    21
    Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts
  • Carl Eller
    22
    Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings
  • Jim Marshall
    23
    Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings
  • Willie Davis
    24
    Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers
  • Fred Dryer
    25
    St. Louis Rams, San Diego State Aztecs football, New York Giants