NFL The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time  

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List Rules Please rank the players based on their career accomplishments

The key to a winning football games is winning the battle in the trenches. For a defense, the unsung hero down fighting in the frontlines is a defensive tackle. These big, burly guys are the anchor of the defense. Without a great defensive tackle, other pieces of the defense may not be able to function as crisply without these important players. For the most part, only diehard football fans recognize the contributions of defensive tackles and defensive linemen. These guys may not put up the biggest numbers, but often times they can occupy several offensive linemen, clearing the way for their teammates to make a big play.

There are a number of familiar names on this list of the greatest defensive tackles. "Mean" Joe Greene, Bruce Smith and Howie Long are some of the most popular players in Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders history. Many of these defensive tackles have taken their place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, proving how valuable they were to their team's successes. This list starts with the greatest players of all time and ends with the players who are prett 

Vote for who you think should be considered the greatest defensive tackle of all time on this Ultimate List. There are plenty of great players on this list so you really can't go wrong with who you choose.
list ordered by

1
1,985 463
Joe Greene is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Charles Edward Greene, known as "Mean Joe" Greene, is a former all-pro American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. ...more

2
1,117 555
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Alan Cedric Page is an American jurist and former professional football player. He is an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, a position to which he was first elected in 1992, and ...more

3
997 523
Randy White is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Randall Lee "Randy" White is a former American football defensive tackle. He attended the University of Maryland from 1971 to 1974, and played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys ...more

4
1,140 446
John Randle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
John Anthony Randle is a former American football defensive tackle that played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. On February 6, 2010 he was ...more

5
1,115 584
Warren Sapp is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Warren Carlos Sapp is a former American football defensive tackle. A Hall of Famer, Sapp played college football for the University of Miami, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American ...more

6
904 394
Bob Lilly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Bob Lilly was the spouse of Peggy De Castro.

7
772 379
Merlin Olsen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Merlin Jay Olsen was an American football player in the National Football League, NFL commentator, and actor. He played his entire 15-year career as a defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams ...more

8
836 353
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Bruce Bernard Smith is a former American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He was a member of the Buffalo Bills teams that ...more

9
881 466
Vince Wilfork is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
teamxtremerocks added Vincent Lamar Wilfork is an American football defensive tackle for the Houston Texans of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2004 ...more

10
767 336
Howie Long is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Howard Matthew Moses "Howie" Long is an American former National Football League defensive end and actor. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, and is currently a ...more

11
460 302
Cortez Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Cortez Kennedy is a former NFL defensive tackle who played his entire eleven-season career with the Seattle Seahawks. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

12
413 314
Dan Hampton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Daniel Oliver Hampton also known as "Danimal" is a retired Hall of Fame American football defensive tackle who played twelve seasons for the Chicago Bears from 1979 to 1990 in the ...more

13
706 133
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Reginald Howard "Reggie" White was an American college and professional football player who was mostly a defensive end but also played some defensive tackle in the National Football ...more

14
372 293
Buck Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Junious "Buck" Buchanan was an American collegiate and Professional Football defensive tackle. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football League and in the National

15
683 518
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
MattSchwarck added Ndamukong Suh is an American football defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions second overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. He played ...more

16
476 359
William Perry is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
bdcoop34 added William Anthony Perry is a former American professional football player who was a defensive lineman in the National Football League for ten seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Perry played ...more

17
383 278
Jerome Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
willyboymcoy added Willie Jerome Brown, III was an American football defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He played his entire five-year NFL career with the Eagles from ...more

18
379 100
Deacon Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
David D. "Deacon" Jones was an American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and the Washington Redskins. He was ...more

19
440 317
Haloti Ngata is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
HitmanCapone added Etuini Haloti Ngata is an American football defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Oregon and earned consensus ...more

20
292 288
Casey Hampton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Casey Hampton, Jr., nicknamed "Big Snack," is an American former football nose tackle who played twelve seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He played ...more

21
228 216
Richard Seymour is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Richard Vershaun Seymour is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Georgia, and was drafted by the New ...more

22
210 147
Art Donovan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
RobSpencer added Arthur James "The Bulldog" Donovan, Jr. was an American football defensive tackle, better known as Art Donovan, who played for three National Football League teams, most notably the ...more

23
194 222
Ernie Stautner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Ernest Alfred Stautner was a German-born American football player and coach who starred as a defensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

24
345 97
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Justin James "J. J." Watt is an American football defensive end for the Houston Texans of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Wisconsin and ...more

25
177 144
Kevin Williams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Kevin Williams is an American football defensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He played college football for Oklahoma State University. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings ninth ...more

26
263 83
Aaron Donald is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
RamsFan added Aaron Charles Donald is an American football defensive tackle for the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Rams in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He ...more

27
166 202
Bryant Young is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Bryant Colby Young is a former American football defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. A first round draft pick out of University of Notre Dame, he ...more

28
200 122
Alex Karras is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Alexander George "Alex" Karras, nicknamed "The Mad Duck", was an American football player, professional wrestler, and actor. He played football with the Detroit Lions in the ...more

29
150 196
Leo Nomellini is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Leo Joseph Nomellini was a Hall of Fame American football player with the San Francisco 49ers. He was born at Lucca in Italy and immigrated to the United States as an infant. However Nomellini ...more

30
174 258
Leon Lett is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Junior53 added Leon Lett, Jr., nicknamed The Big Cat, is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos, after playing ...more

31
115 135
La'Roi Glover is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
La'Roi Damon Glover is a former American football defensive tackle and current Director of Player Engagement for the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. Glover played college football for San Diego State ...more

32
110 211
Sam Adams is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
willyboymcoy added Sam Adams is a former professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League for fourteen seasons. He played college football at Texas A&M University, and ...more

33
243 156
Geno Atkins is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
JamesRLock added Gene Renard Atkins Jr. is an American football defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Georgia. He was ...more

34
148 118
Steve McMichael is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears Stephen Douglas "Steve" McMichael is a former American college and professional football player as a defensive tackle in the National Football League, a former commentator and then ...more

35
175 117
Gerald McCoy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Gerald Keith McCoy Jr. is an American football defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Buccaneers third overall in the 2010 NFL ...more

36
115 142
Ray Childress is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
19aisseg added Raymond Clay Childress, Jr. is a former American football defensive lineman in the NFL for the Houston Oilers from 1985–1996, earning Pro Bowl honors five times. He shares the NFL record for ...more

37
116 127
Ted Washington is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Theodore Washington, Jr. is a former American football nose tackle. He was originally drafted out of Louisville by the San Francisco 49ers, 25th overall in the 1991 NFL Draft, but also played ...more

38
103 115
Dana Stubblefield is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Dana William Stubblefield is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League. After graduating from Taylor High School in North Bend, Ohio, Stubblefield attended the ...more

39
159 75
Rosey Grier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier is an American actor, singer, Christian minister, and former professional American football player. He was a notable college football player for The ...more

40
146 99
Joe Klecko is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Joseph Edward Klecko is a former American football player, of Polish descent, as a defensive lineman best remembered for his days as a member of the New York Jets' famed "New York Sack

41
115 92
Bob Golic is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Robert Perry "Bob" Golic is a former American college and professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League for fourteen seasons during the 1970s, ...more

42
95 109
Russell Maryland is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Russell James Maryland is a former professional American football player. He played defensive tackle for ten seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers of the National ...more

43
131 69
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Carl Eller is a former professional American football player in the National Football League who played from 1964 through 1979. He was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and attended the ...more

44
96 163
Jim Burt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
willyboymcoy added James P. Burt is a former American football player who played for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League. Burt played nose tackle for the Giants team that ...more

45
79 113
Henry Jordan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
RobSpencer added Henry Wendell Jordan was an American football defensive tackle who played for two teams, the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns, during his thirteen-year National Football League career. ...more

46
125 139
Darnell Dockett is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
JamesRLock added Arizona Cardinals, Florida State Seminoles football Darnell Maurice Dockett is an American football defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2004 ...more

47
97 67
Willie Davis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
slaft added Willie D. Davis is a former American football defensive end for the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. Davis grew up in rural Louisiana and graduated ...more

48
119 120
Tony Siragusa is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Tony Siragusa is a film actor.

49
107 65
Fletcher Cox is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Kadeebee added Fletcher Cox is an American football defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. After playing college football for Mississippi State, he was selected 12th overall ...more

50
84 103
Dave Butz is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
RobSpencer added David Butz is a former American Football defensive lineman in the National Football League who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins in a sixteen-year career from 1973 ...more