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Defensive lineman finalists revealed for NFL 100 All-Time Team

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  • By NFL.com
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The NFL is revealing the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest coaches in NFL history. Every Friday night at 8 ET through Dec. 27, NFL Network will announce the latest members of the All-Time Team during a one-hour special hosted by Rich Eisen and featuring Bill Belichick and Cris Collinsworth.

Below are the 33 defensive linemen finalists for the All-Time Team. The 14 defensive linemen on the All-Time Team will be revealed this Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network:

Defensive ends


Doug Atkins (1953-1969)


1982 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Played in eight Pro Bowls... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1960s... Ringleader of powerful Bears defensive units for 12 seasons... Exceptionally strong, agile, earned legendary acclaim as devastating pass rusher who often leap-frogged blockers to pressure passer... Scrimmage-line regular for then-record 17 seasons, 205 career games... Selected by the Cleveland Browns in 1st round (11th overall) of the 1953 NFL Draft... All-American tackle at Tennessee, 1952... Born May 8, 1930, in Humboldt, TN.

Willie Davis (1958-1969)


1981 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Played in five Pro Bowls, six NFL title games and two Super Bowls... Earned All-Pro honors five times, 1962, 1964-1967... Intelligent team leader who did not miss a game in 12-year, 162-game career... Career turning point came in 1960 trade to Green Bay, where he became defensive standout... Packers record 21 career fumble recoveries... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1960s... Selected by the Cleveland Browns in 15th round of 1956 NFL Draft... Drafted into the Army after college career at Grambling State; joined Browns in 1958... Born July 24, 1934, in Lisbon, LA.

Carl Eller (1964-1979)


2004 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Played in 6 Pro Bowls. Earned 5 All-Pro selections... Named 1st- or 2nd-team All-NFL in each season, 1967-1973... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1970s... Quickly established himself at left defensive end on Vikings' "Purple People Eaters" defensive line... Excellent at stopping run, devastating pass rusher... Missed only 3 games in 16 NFL seasons... Selected by the Minnesota Vikings in 1st round (6th overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft; Also selected by the Buffalo Bills in 1st round (5th overall) of AFL Draft in 1964... Born January 25, 1942, in Winston-Salem, NC.

Len Ford (1948-1958)


1976 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Caught 67 passes as two-way end with Los Angeles Dons... After AAFC folded, Browns converted him to full-time DE, altered defenses to take advantage of his exceptional pass-rushing skills... Overcame serious injuries in 1950 to earn 1st-team All-Pro honors four times, 1951-1954. Played in four Pro Bowls... Posted two interceptions in 1954 NFL Championship Game, one of three NFL titles won during career... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1950s... Born February 18, 1926, in Washington, D.C.

Bill Hewitt (1932-1939; 1943)


1971 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... First named All-Pro with two teams (1933-1934, 1936 with Bears, 1937 with Eagles)... Super-quick defensive first step, known as "The Offside Kid" for knack of reading snap counts... Fast, elusive, innovative on offense and inventor of many trick plays... Middle man on forward-lateral on Bears' game-winning TD in 1933 NFL Championship Game... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1930s... Born October 8, 1909, in Bay City, MI.

Deacon Jones (1961-1974)


1980 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Unanimous All-Pro 1st-team honors in five straight seasons, 1965-1969... Played in eight Pro Bowls... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1960s... Among first of fast, tough, mobile defensive linemen... Specialized in QB "sacks," a term he invented, and known for the "head slap," which was eventually outlawed... Most dominant member of Rams' "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line... Selected in the 14th round (No. 186 overall) of the 1961 NFL Draft... Born December 9, 1938, in Eatonville, FL.

Howie Long (1981-1993)


2000 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Super Bowl XVIII Champion... Eight-time Pro Bowl... Two-time All-Pro... 1985 NFL Defensive Player of the Year... Key cog of Raiders unit that finished in top 10 in total defense nine times in 13 seasons and tied for NFL-high 249 sacks in four-season span from 1983-1986... Recorded career-best 13.0 sacks in 1983, including 5.0 in one game... Career sack total of 84.0 does not include any recorded as a rookie before sack became official NFL stat... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1980s... Selected by the Oakland Raiders in 2nd round (No. 48 overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft... Born January 6, 1960, in Somerville, MA.

Gino Marchetti (1952-1964; 1966)


1972 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Two-time NFL Champion... Named top defensive end of NFL's first 50 years... Selected for then-record 11 straight Pro Bowls, though missed one game because of broken ankle suffered in Colts' overtime win in 1958 NFL title game... First team All-Pro seven times, 1957-1962, 1964... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1950s... All-around star defender, best known for vicious pass rushing... Selected by New York Yankees in 2nd round (14th overall) of 1952 NFL Draft... Born January 2, 1926, in Smithers, WV.

Julius Peppers (2002-2018)


Named 2002 NFL Defensive Rookie of Year with 12.0 sacks in 12 games... 159.5 career sacks, 4th-most in NFL history since sacks became official stat in 1982... Posted 10.0 sacks or more 10 times... Earned nine Pro Bowl selections... Named 1st-team All-Pro three times... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 2000s... Selected by Panthers in 1st round (2nd overall) of 2002 NFL Draft... 2001 All-American, Bednarik Award winner for nation's best defensive player at North Carolina... Born January 18, 1980, in Wilson, NC.

Andy Robustelli (1951-1964)


1971 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Two-time NFL Champion... Played in six NFL Championship Games and seven Pro Bowls... Named 1st-team All-Pro six times, 1953, 1955-1956, 1958-1960... Played on teams that finished season with winning record in 13 of 14 years... Exceptionally smart, quick, strong... Known as an elite pass rusher... Recovered 22 fumbles in career, an NFL-record at time of retirement... Missed only one game in 14 seasons... Selected by the Los Angeles Rams in 19th round (No. 228 overall) of the 1951 NFL Draft... Born December 6, 1925, in Stamford, CT.

Lee Roy Selmon (1976-1984)


1995 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year... Made Pro Bowls in each of final six seasons, 1979-1984... Helped power Buccaneers from 0-14 season as a rookie to No. 1-ranked scoring and total defense in 1979... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1980s... First overall selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1976 NFL Draft... Unanimous All-American, Lombardi Award (best lineman/LB) and Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) winner at Oklahoma, 1975... Born October 20, 1954, in Eufaula, Oklahoma.

Bruce Smith (1985-2003)


2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... 11-time Pro Bowl selection... Eight-time first-team All-Pro selection, including five straight seasons, 1993-1997... Two-time NFL Defensive Player of Year, 1990, 1996... Helped Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances... Considered one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history... 200.0 career sacks, NFL's all-time record (since 1982)... Recorded 10.0 or more sacks in NFL-record 13 seasons... Named to NFL's All-Decade Teams for 1980s & 1990s. Selected by the Buffalo Bills with No. 1 overall pick in 1985 NFL Draft... Born June 18, 1963, in Norfolk, VA.

Michael Strahan (1993-2007)


2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Helped Giants to Super Bowl XLII title in final NFL game... Two-time NFL sack leader, including single-season record 22.5 sacks in 2001... 2001 NFL Defensive Player of Year. Seven-time Pro Bowl selection... Four-time 1st-team All-Pro selection... Ranks 6th in NFL (since 1982) with 141.5 career sacks. Registered double-digit sack totals six times; posted 15.0+ sacks in season three times (T-3rd-most since 1982)... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 2000s... Selected by the New York Giants in 2nd round (40th overall) of 1993 NFL Draft... Born November 21, 1971 in Houston, TX.

DeMarcus Ware (2005-2016)


Super Bowl 50 Champion... Nine-time Pro Bowl selection... Four-time 1st-team All-Pro selection... Recorded 8.0+ sacks in each of first eight NFL seasons, 2005-2012. Two-time NFL sack leader in 2008 and 2010... 138.5 career sacks ranks 8th-most in NFL history since sacks became official stat in 1982... Cowboys all-time sack leader with 117.0... One of 11 players ever to post 20.0+ sacks in a season, 2008... Posted 10.0 sacks or more eight times... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 2000s... Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in 1st round (11th overall) of 2005 NFL Draft... Born July 31, 1982, in Auburn, AL.

J.J. Watt (2011-Current)


Five-time Pro Bowl selection... Five-time 1st-team All-Pro selection... Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times in first five seasons, 2012, 2014-2015... Two-time NFL sack champion, 2012, 2015... 92.0 career sacks from 2011-2018 seasons, 2nd-most in the NFL... Houston Texans all-time sack leader... Only player in NFL history with to post 20.0+ sacks in two different seasons, 2012, 2014... Has registered 16.0+ sacks 4 times, tied for most in NFL history... Selected by the Houston Texans in 1st round (11th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft... Born March 22, 1989, in Pewaukee, WI.

Reggie White (1985-1998; 2000)


2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Had 3.0 sacks in Super Bowl XXXI win with Packers vs. Patriots... Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year... Ranks T-3rd in NFL history with 13 straight Pro Bowls, 1986-1998... Ranks 2nd in NFL (since 1982) with 198.0 career sacks... Posted 12 seasons with 10.0+ sacks, including 1st 9 of career, 1985-1993... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1980s and 1990s... Selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1984 Supplemental Draft... Born December 19, 1961, in Chattanooga, TN.

Jack Youngblood (1971-1984)


2001 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Played in seven straight Pro Bowls, 1973-1979... Earned 1st-team All-Pro honors five times in six-season span, 1974-1976, 1978-1979... Led Rams to five NFC Championship games... Known for being rugged, determined, durable DE who played in Rams-record 201 consecutive games... Missed only 1 game in 14 NFL seasons... Played every defensive down in Super Bowl XIV despite suffering broken leg earlier in 1979 Playoffs... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1970s... Selected by the Los Angeles Rams in 1st round (20th overall) of 1971 NFL Draft... Born January 26, 1950, in Jacksonville, FL.

Defensive tackles


Junious "Buck" Buchanan (1963-1975)


1990 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Super Bowl IV Champion... Led Kansas City Chiefs to two Super Bowl appearances... Played in eight career Pro Bowls (six in AFL, two in NFL)... Four-time AFL 1st-team All-Pro honors, 1966-1969... Known for alarming quickness combined with 6-foot-7, 270-pound frame... Missed only one game in 13 seasons... Excelled at intimidating passer, unofficially batted down 16 passes, 1967... 1st overall pick by Kansas City Chiefs in the 1963 AFL Draft... NAIA All-American at Grambling... Born September 10, 1940, in Gainesville, AL.

Curley Culp (1968-1981)


2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Traded during training camp and became key member of Chiefs defense that led team to Super Bowl IV win in 2nd season... Earned six career Pro Bowl selections, including in each of first four full seasons with Oilers, 1975-1978... Helped turn Oilers defense around after trade in 1975, becoming elite nose tackle in head coach Bum Phillips' new 3-4 defense... Selected by the Denver Broncos in 2nd round (31st overall) in the 1968 NFL Draft... Born March 10, 1946, in Yuma, AZ.

Art Donovan (1950-1961)


1968 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Became vital part of Colts' climb to powerhouse status in 1950s, which included back-to-back NFL championships, 1958-1959... Earned four straight 1st-team All-Pro selections, 1954-1957... Five-time Pro Bowler... Was the 1st member of Colts to enter Hall of Fame... Broke into NFL as 26-year-old rookie in 1950 after tour of duty with U.S. Marines delayed college career at Boston College... Born June 5, 1924, in Bronx, NY.

Joe Greene (1969-1981)


1987 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Four-time Super Bowl Champion... 10-time Pro Bowler... Played in six AFC title games... Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year... Four-time 1st-team All-Pro... Became defensive cornerstone of franchise that dominated NFL in 1970s... Exceptional team leader flush with size, speed, quickness, strength, determination... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1970s... Selected by Pittsburgh Steelers in 1st round (4th overall pick) of 1969 NFL Draft... Born September 24, 1946, in Temple, TX.

Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000)


2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year... Eight-time Pro Bowler, 2nd-most in Seahawks history... Named 1st-team All-Pro in three straight seasons, 1992-1994... Extremely durable, played in 167 of possible 176 NFL games... Led NFL defensive tackles with career-high 14.0 sacks in 1992... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1990s... Selected by the Seattle Seahawks in 1st round (3rd overall pick) of 1990 NFL Draft... Born August 23, 1968 in Osceola, AK.

Bob Lilly (1961-1974)


1980 Pro Football Hall of Fame... Played in five NFL/NFC title games, two Super Bowls, winning SB VI versus Dolphins... Made 11 Pro Bowls, including 10 straight from 1964-1973 (tied for club record)... Named 1st-team All-Pro eight times, including seven straight seasons, 1964-1970... Moved from DE to DT in 1963, becoming heart of Cowboys "Doomsday Defense"... Known for unusual speed, strength, intelligence, recovery ability. Missed only one game in 14 NFL seasons... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1960s and 1970s... Selected by Cowboys in 1st round (13th overall pick) of 1961 draft, the 1st pick in team history... Born July 26, 1939, in Olney, TX.

Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb (1953-1962)


Earned three Pro Bowl selections, highlighted by back-to-back 1st-team All-Pro berths and consecutive NFL Championships in 1958-1959 seasons... Blossomed after trade to Colts in 1956, where he became dominant force with unprecedented speed to go with 6-foot-6, near-300-pound frame... Scouted while in Marines by then-Rams PR Director and eventual NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle; signed as undrafted free agent in 1953... Born August 9, 1931, in Uniontown, AL.

Leo Nomellini (1950-1963)


1969 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Earned Pro Bowl selections in 10 of first 11 seasons... Six-time All-Pro with two seasons on offense and four on defense... Played every 49ers game for 14 seasons, covering 174 regular-season games... Excellent defensive pass rusher, bulldozing offensive blocker... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1950s... Selected by 49ers as 1st-ever draft pick in 1st round (11th overall pick) of 1950 NFL Draft... Two-time All-American at Minnesota, 1948-1949... Born June 19, 1924, in Lucca, Italy.

Merlin Olsen (1962-1976)


1982 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Became stabilizing leader of Rams' famous "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line... Started all 208 regular-seasons games in 15-year career... Named 1st-team All-Pro in five straight seasons, 1966-1970... Earned Rams-record 14 Pro Bowl selections, tied for most in NFL history... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1960s and 1970s... 1962 NFL Rookie of the Year... Selected by the Los Angeles Rams in 1st round (3rd overall pick) of 1962 NFL Draft... Two-time All-American at Utah State, 1960-1961... Outland Trophy winner as best interior lineman, 1961... Born September 15, 1940, in Logan, UT.

Alan Page (1967-1981)


1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Selected by Bears in 1st round (15th overall pick) of 1967 draft... Extremely fast, strong with cat-like reflexes. Did not miss game in 15-seasons, playing in all 218 regular-season games... Played in 4 Super Bowls with Vikings... One of only 2 defensive players ever to win NFL MVP award, 1971... Posted 23 career fumble recoveries, 28 blocked kicks... 6-time 1st-team All-Pro. Elected to 9 straight Pro Bowls, 1968-1976. Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1970s... Won two NCAA titles at Notre Dame, 1964, 1966... Born August 7, 1945, in Canton, OH.

John Randle (1990-2003)


2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Earned seven Pro Bowl selections... Named first-team All-Pro in six straight seasons, 1993-1998... Recorded 137.5 career sacks, T-10th in NFL (since 1982)... Posted nine career 10-sack seasons, including eight consecutive from 1992-1999, 2nd-most in NFL (since 1982)... Had career-best and NFL-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1990s... Originally went undrafted, signed by Vikings as undrafted free agent after being undersized, entering league under 250 pounds... Born December 12, 1967, in Mumford, TX.

Warren Sapp (1995-2007)


1999 NFL Defensive Player of Year... Super Bowl XXXVII Champion... Made seven straight Pro Bowls, 1997-2003... Named 1st-team All-Pro in four straight seasons, 1999-2002... Amassed 96.5 career sacks, including franchise-record 77.0 with Buccaneers... Anchored dominant Bucs' defense, which led NFL in both scoring and total defense in 2002... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1990s and 2000s... Selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1st round (12th overall pick) in 1995 NFL Draft... Born December 19, 1972, in Orlando, FL.

Tom Sestak (1962-1968)


Main defensive cog on Bills team that made four straight AFL playoff appearances, winning back-to-back titles in 1964-1965... Earned Pro Bowl selections in each of his first four seasons. Three-time 1st-team AFL All-Pro, 1963-1965... Spearheaded unit that allowed fewest PPG in three straight seasons, 1964-1966, and ranked 1st in AFL in both scoring and total defense in 1964... Named to AFL's All-Time team in 1970... Selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 17th round (No. 132 overall) in the 1962 AFL Draft... Also a 16th round selection (No. 220 overall) by the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft that same year... Born March 9, 1936, in Gonzales, TX.

Ernie Stautner (1950-1963)


1969 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Earned nine Pro Bowl selections in 1952-1953 and 1955-1961... Spearheaded strong Pittsburgh defense for 14 seasons... Known for excellent mobility, burning desire, extreme ruggedness, unusual durability... Recovered 23 opponents' fumbles, scored three safeties in career... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1950s... Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2nd round (22nd overall pick) of the 1950 NFL Draft... Born April 20, 1925, in Cham, Germany.

Randy White (1975-1988)


Helped Cowboys to Super Bowl XII win versus Broncos, winning Super Bowl Co-MVP... Played in three Super Bowls and six NFC title games... Made nine consecutive Pro Bowls, 1977-1985... Played in 209 games, missing only one game in 14 seasons... Seven-time 1st-team All-Pro... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1980s... After two seasons at LB, moved to DT in 1977 breakout season... Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1st round (2nd overall pick) of 1975 NFL Draft... Two-time All-American at Maryland, 1973-1974, winning Lombardi Award (best lineman/LB) & Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), 1974... Born January 15, 1953, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Bill Willis (1946-1953)


1977 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee... Made touchdown-saving tackle vs. Giants to preserve Browns' 1950 NFL Championship... Named All-AAFC in three straight seasons from 1946-1948, and 1st-team All-Pro from 1951-1953... Named to Pro Bowls in each of four NFL seasons in 1950-1953... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team for 1940s... Began career with AAFC's Browns, where he used played two ways, but excelled as defensive middle guard... Won NCAA title at Ohio State, 1942... Born October 5, 1921, in Columbus, OH.

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