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Published: June 28, 2017 at 02:47 p.m.

Gil Brandt's greatest defensive ends of all time

NFL Media senior analyst and personnel guru Gil Brandt ranks the greatest defensive ends in NFL history. Take a look at how they stack up.

30 Photos Total

  • 30. Jared Allen 30

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    30. Jared Allen

    Kansas City Chiefs, 2004-2007; Minnesota Vikings, 2008-2013; Chicago Bears, 2014-2015; Carolina Panthers, 2015
    » Voted to five Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro four times
    » 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » Two-time NFL sack leader
    » NFL-record four career safeties
    » Recorded 136 career sacks (No. 11 on all-time list), 57 pass deflections and 31 forced fumbles

  • 29. Dwight Freeney 29

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    29. Dwight Freeney

    Indianapolis Colts, 2002-2012; San Diego Chargers, 2012-2014; Arizona Cardinals, 2015; Atlanta Falcons, 2016
    » One-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to seven Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro three times
    » AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005
    » NFL sacks leader in 2004
    » NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
    » Recorded 122.5 sacks and forced 47 fumbles in 15 NFL seasons

  • 28. L.C. Greenwood 28

    Tony Tomsic/Associated Press

    28. L.C. Greenwood

    Pittsburgh Steelers, 1969-1981
    » Four-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to six Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro two times
    » NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
    » Led Pittsburgh in sacks six times and finished with 73.5 in his career, per Steelers record books

  • 27. Michael Bennett 27

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    27. Michael Bennett

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2009-2012; Seattle Seahawks, 2013-2016
    » One-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to two Pro Bowls, one-time Pro Bowl Defensive MVP
    » Has 45.5 career sacks in nine NFL seasons

  • 26. Elvin Bethea 26

    NFL Photos

    26. Elvin Bethea

    Houston Oilers, 1968-1993
    » Voted to eight Pro Bowls, four-time First Team All-AFL
    » Had five seasons with double-digit sack totals, including high of 16 in 1973
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 25. Len Ford 25

    Vernon Biever/Associated Press

    25. Len Ford

    Los Angeles Dons, 1948-1949; Cleveland Browns, 1950-1957; Green Bay Packers, 1958
    » Three-time NFL champion
    » Voted to four Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro four times
    » NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 24. Charles Haley 24

    Al Messerschmidt Archive/Associated Press

    24. Charles Haley

    San Francisco 49ers, 1986-1991, 1998-1999; Dallas Cowboys, 1992-1996
    » Five-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to five Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro two times
    » Two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year
    » Recorded 100.5 career sacks and 26 forced fumbles
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 23. Coy Bacon 23

    National Football League

    23. Coy Bacon

    Los Angeles Rams, 1968-1972; San Diego Chargers, 1973-1975; Cincinnati Bengals, 1976-1977; Washington Redskins, 1978-1981
    » Voted to three Pro Bowls
    » Credited by some as recording NFL-record 26 sacks in 1976 (sacks didn't become official NFL stat until 1982)

  • 22. Jack Youngblood 22

    National Football League

    22. Jack Youngblood

    Los Angeles Rams, 1971-1984
    » Voted to seven Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro five times
    » Two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
    » Unofficially retired with 151.5 career sacks
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 21. John Abraham 21

    Rich Kane/Associated Press

    21. John Abraham

    New York Jets, 2000-2005; Atlanta Falcons, 2006-2012; Arizona Cardinals, 2013-2014
    » Voted to five Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro two times
    » Recorded 133.5 career sacks (No. 12 on all-time list)

  • 20. Richard Dent 20

    National Football League

    20. Richard Dent

    Chicago Bears, 1983-1993, 1995; San Francisco 49ers, 1994; Indianapolis Colts, 1996; Philadelphia Eagles, 1997
    » Two-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to four Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro one time
    » 1985 NFL sacks leader
    » Recorded 137.5 sacks (No. 9 on all-time list)
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 19. Julius Peppers 19

    Al Messerschmidt Archive/Associated Press

    19. Julius Peppers

    Carolina Panthers, 2002-2009, 2017; Chicago Bears, 2010-2013; Green Bay Packers, 2014-2016
    » Voted to nine Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro three times
    » 2004 NFC Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
    » Has 143.5 career sacks (No. 5 on all-time list), 73 pass deflections, 11 interceptions and 47 forced fumbles

  • 18. Fred Dean 18

    NFL Photos

    18. Fred Dean

    San Diego Chargers, 1975-1981; San Francisco 49ers, 1981-1985
    » Two-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to four Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro two times
    » Unofficially finished career with 93 sacks, including high of 17 in 1983
    » Inducted in both 49ers and Chargers Halls of Fame
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 17. Howie Long 17

    National Football League

    17. Howie Long

    Oakland/L.A. Raiders, 1981-1993
    » One-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to eight Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro three times
    » 1985 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
    » Officially recorded 84 career sacks
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 16. Dan Hampton 16

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    16. Dan Hampton

    Chicago Bears, 1979-1990
    » One-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to four Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro four times
    » NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
    » Made All-Pro as both defensive end and defensive tackle
    » Officially credited with 57 career sacks
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 15. Claude Humphrey 15

    Vernon Biever/Associated Press

    15. Claude Humphrey

    Atlanta Falcons, 1968-1978; Philadelphia Eagles, 1979-1981
    » Voted to six Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro five times
    » 1968 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
    » Finished career with unofficial 126.5 career sacks
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 14. Ed 'Too Tall' Jones 14

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    14. Ed 'Too Tall' Jones

    Dallas Cowboys, 1974-1989
    » One-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to three Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro one time
    » Unofficially recorded 106 career sacks and 19 fumble recoveries
    » Fifth-leading tackler in Cowboys history with 1,032
    » Could have been one of all-time greats if he hadn't interrupted football career with foray into boxing

  • 13. Willie Davis 13

    Tony Tomsic/Associated Press

    13. Willie Davis

    Cleveland Browns, 1958-1959; Green Bay Packers, 1960-1969
    » Three-time NFL champion, two-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to five Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro five times
    » NFL 1960s All-Decade Team
    » While sacks didn't become official NFL stat until 1982, Packers estimate Davis had more than 100 sacks in career, some believe it exceeded 120
    » 21 career fumble recoveries still stands as Packers record
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 12. Harvey Martin 12

    Tony Tomsic/Associated Press

    12. Harvey Martin

    Dallas Cowboys, 1973-1983
    » One-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl XII MVP
    » Voted to four Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro one time
    » 1977 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
    » Officially credited by Cowboys with 114 career sacks; high of 23 in 1977

  • 11. Jason Taylor 11

    Hans Deryk/Associated Press

    11. Jason Taylor

    Miami Dolphins, 1997-2007, 2009, 2011; Washington Redskins, 2008; N.Y. jets, 2010
    » Voted to Pro Bowl six times, First Team All-Pro three times
    » 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » Led league in sacks in 2002
    » NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
    » Finished career with 139.5 career sacks (No. 7 on all-time list, 48 forced fumbles, 29 fumble recoveries, 8 interceptions and 9 defensive touchdowns
    » First-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame selection

  • 10. Michael Strahan 10

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    10. Michael Strahan

    New York Giants, 1993-2007
    » One-time NFL champion
    » Voted to seven Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro four times
    » Two-time NFL season sacks leader
    » 2001 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
    » 141.5 career sacks (No. 6 on all-time list), 24 forced fumbles
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 9. Chris Doleman 9

    Kevin Reece/Associated Press

    9. Chris Doleman

    Minnesota Vikings, 1985-1993, 1999; Atlanta Falcons, 1994-1995; San Francisco 49ers, 1996-1998
    » Voted to eight Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro two times
    » 1989 NFL sacks leader
    » NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
    » Recorded 150.5 sacks for fourth-most all time
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 8. Carl Eller 8

    NFL Photos

    8. Carl Eller

    Minnesota Vikings, 1964-1978; Seattle Seahawks, 1979
    » Voted to six Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro five times
    » 1971 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » Missed only three games (out of 225) in 16-year career
    » NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
    » Unofficially recorded 133.5 career sacks, which would rank No. 12 on all-time list
    » Had seven seasons of 10-plus sacks
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 7. Gino Marchetti 7

    National Football League

    7. Gino Marchetti

    Dallas Texans, 1952; Baltimore Colts, 1953-1966
    » Two-time NFL champion
    » Voted to 11 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro nine times
    » NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
    » Voted the "greatest defensiev end in pro football history" by Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972
    » Forrest Gregg called him "the best all-around player I ever played against" » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 6. Doug Atkins 6

    NFL Photos

    6. Doug Atkins

    Cleveland Browns, 1953-1954; Chicago Bears, 1955-1966; New Orleans Saints1967-1969
    » Two-time NFL champion
    » Voted to eight Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro four times
    » Played 17 NFL seasons
    » NFL 1960s All-Decade Team
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 5. Lee Roy Selmon 5

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    5. Lee Roy Selmon

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1976-1984
    » Voted to six Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro once
    » 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
    » Unofficially finished career with 78.5 sacks, including 18 in 1974, and 28.5 forced fumbles
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 4. J.J. Watt 4

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    4. J.J. Watt

    Houston Texas, 2011-2016
    » Voted to four Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro four times
    » Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » Two-time NFL sacks leader
    » Has recorded 76 sacks, 45 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and scored five touchdowns in six NFL seasons

  • 3. Bruce Smith 3

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    3. Bruce Smith

    Buffalo Bills, 1985-1999; Washington Redskins, 2000-2003
    » Voted to 11 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro eight times
    » Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » Made NFL All-Decade Teams in two decades (1980s, 1990s) » Recorded 200 career sacks (No. 1 on all-time list) and 43 forced fumbles
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 2. Deacon Jones 2

    Associated Press

    2. Deacon Jones

    Los Angeles Rams, 1961-1971; San Diego Chargers, 1972-1973; Washington Redskins, 1974
    » Voted to eight Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro five times
    » Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
    » Missed only six games (out of 196) in 14 NFL seasons
    » Unofficially recorded 173.5 sacks in career, which would rank No. 3 all-time
    » Tallied 21.5 sacks in only 14 games in 1967
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • 1. Reggie White 1

    National Football League

    1. Reggie White

    Philadelphia Eagles, 1985-1992; Green Bay Packers, 1993-1998; Carolina Panthers, 2000
    » One-time Super Bowl champion
    » Voted to 13 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro eight times
    » Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
    » Two-time NFL sacks leader
    » NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team » Recorded 198 career sacks (No. 2 on all-time list)
    » Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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