NFL List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans

Reference
5.8k views 381 items

List of the most famous (American) football defensive linemans in the history of the sport, listed by popularity with photos of the players when available. There have been many legendary defensive linemans in the NFL and NCAA, and you'll find all of them on this list below. Some of these men are considered to be the best defensive linemans to ever play the game, and if you're looking for a specific football player you can look for them by using the "search" function on this list. These amazing defensive linemans may currently be active while others have been retired for quite sometime. This list of the top defensive linemans in American football includes all the greats from both the NFL and college football.

List items include Jimmy Johnson, Charles Haley and many more.

This list answers the questions, "Who is the greatest defensive lineman of all time?" and "Who are the best defensive linemans of all time?"

1
Willie Davis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman 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

2
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman 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

3
Bobby Bell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman Bobby Lee Bell, Sr is a former professional American football linebacker/defensive end. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and was a member of ...more

4
Charles Haley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman Charles Lewis Haley is a retired American football linebacker and defensive end who played in the National Football League for the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. He was selected in ...more

5
Chris Doleman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Christopher John Doleman is a former American Football defensive end who played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers from 1985 to 1999. He was an 8-time ...more

6
Buck Buchanan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive lineman 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

7
Harvey Martin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Harvey Banks Martin was an American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1973 until 1983. He starred at South Oak Cliff High School and East Texas ...more

8
Vince Wilfork is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive lineman 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

9
Manny Fernandez is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle Manuel Jose Fernandez is a former American football player of who played eight seasons for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He played in three Super Bowls for the Dolphins.

10
Richard Seymour is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle 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

11
Jim Jeffcoat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman James Wilson "Jim" Jeffcoat, Jr. is a former American football defensive end and current coach. A native of Matawan, New Jersey, Jeffcoat played college football at Arizona State ...more

12
Jacob Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman Jacob Carl Green is a former American football defensive end. He played college football for Texas A&M. Green was an All-American selection in 1979 after compiling 134 tackles and was a then ...more

13
Courtney Brown is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive lineman Courtney Lanair Brown is a former American college and professional football player who was a defensive end in the National Football League for seven seasons. He played college football for Penn ...more

14
Joe Klecko is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Lineman, Defensive end 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

15
Mark Gastineau is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Marcus Dell Gastineau is a former American football player who was a leading defensive end for the New York Jets from 1979 to 1988. A five-time Pro Bowler, his 107½ quarterback sacks in ...more

16
Jamal Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Idris Jamal Reynolds is an American former college and professional football player who was a defensive end in the National Football League for three seasons during the early 2000s. He played ...more

17
Otis Sistrunk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Otis Sistrunk is a former professional football player who played seven seasons as a defensive lineman, from 1972 to 1978. He played his entire National Football League career with the Oakland ...more

18
Fred Smerlas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Tackle, Nose tackle, Defensive lineman Frederic Charles Smerlas is a former American football defensive lineman who was a 5-time NFL Pro Bowl selection during 14-year career as a nose tackle with the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco ...more

19
Bill Willis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Lineman, Defensive end William Karnet Willis was an American football defensive lineman who played eight seasons for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League. Known ...more

20
Ray Childress is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle 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

21
Willie McGinest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Linebacker, Defensive lineman William Lee McGinest, Jr. is a former American football linebacker who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League.

22
Henry Melton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle Henry James Melton is an American football defensive tackle for Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Texas, where he was a ...more

23
Clyde Simmons is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Clyde Simmons, Jr. is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati ...more

24
Bubba Smith is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith was an American professional football player who became an actor after his retirement from the sport. He first came into prominence at Michigan State ...more

25
Marty Lyons is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle Martin Anthony Lyons is a former American college and professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League for eleven seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. Lyons ...more

26
Ted Washington is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Tackle, Nose tackle 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

27
Mike Rucker is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle Michael Dean Rucker is a former American football defensive end who played eight seasons for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He played college football for the University ...more

28
John Dutton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle John Owen Dutton is a former professional football player, a defensive lineman in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and Dallas Cowboys. He played 14 seasons, from 1974-87.

29
Steve Emtman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Lineman, Defensive end Steven Charles Emtman is a former professional American football player. He played defensive tackle and defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins and the Washington Redskins ...more

30
Lamar Lundy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Tackle Lamar J. Lundy, Jr. was an American defensive end with the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League for 13 seasons, from 1957 to 1969. Along with Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, and Rosey ...more

31
Wally Chambers is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Lineman, Defensive end Wallace Hashim Chambers is a former American football defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears and defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1970s. He was selected with the eighth overall ...more

32
Stan Jones is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Tackle, Guard Stanley Paul "Stan" Jones was an American football guard and defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into ...more

33
Leonard Marshall is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman Leonard Allen Marshall Jr. is a former American football defensive lineman who played twelve seasons in the National Football League. Marshall played defensive end for the New York Giants for ...more

34
Fred Williams is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Tackle, Defensive lineman Fred Williams was an American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. He went to four Pro Bowls during his 14-year career. ...more

35
Ahtyba Rubin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin is an American football defensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. ...more

36
Ty Warren is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle Ty'ron "Ty" Markeith Warren is a former American football defensive tackle who played ten seasons in the National Football League. He played college football for Texas A&M ...more

37
Ben Davidson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Benjamin Earl Franklin "Ben" Davidson, Jr. was an American collegiate and professional football player who was active between 1961 and 1972.

38
Jim Osborne is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive lineman James Henry "Jim" Osborne is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League. He spent his entire 13 year career with the Chicago Bears. Osborne retired in ...more

39
Keith Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman Keith Lamarr Hamilton is a former American football defensive tackle for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and was ...more

40
Steve McMichael is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive lineman 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

41
Mike Hartenstine is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Michael Albert Hartenstine is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. Prior to entering the NFL, ...more

42
Pete Pihos is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
End, Defensive lineman Peter Louis Pihos was a professional American football player in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a high school junior when his mother moved the family to ...more

43
Jurrell Casey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey is an American football defensive end for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Titans in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played ...more

44
Vern Den Herder is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Vern Wayne Den Herder is a former American football player who played twelve seasons for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. He played in three Super Bowls for the Dolphins. In 1996 he was selected ...more

45
Ron McDole is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive end, Defensive lineman Roland Owen "Ron" McDole is a former American collegiate and Professional Football defensive end from the University of Nebraska, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins. He graduated ...more

46
Kenny Walker is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Lineman, Defensive lineman Kenny Wayne Walker is a former defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos and the first deaf player to have played in the Canadian Football League and one of only three to have played in the ...more

47
Jimmy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive lineman James William "Jimmy" Johnson is an American football broadcaster and former player, coach, and executive. He served as the head football coach at Oklahoma State University–Stillwater ...more

48
Ed Orgeron is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive lineman Edward Orgeron, Jr. is an American college football coach. Orgeron served as the head football coach of the Ole Miss Rebels from 2005 to 2007 and was the interim head coach for the USC Trojans ...more

49
Lucious Selmon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive lineman Lucious Selmon is a former collegiate and professional American football nose guard.

50
Jerry Groom is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive Linemans
Defensive tackle, Tackle, Linebacker Jerome Paul "Boomer" Groom was sn American football player. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he graduated from Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. He played college football for ...more