10 Best Defensive Ends in the NFL History

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Some of the best players in the NFL are defenders. They are responsible for ensuring their opponents don’t get past them by restricting the quarterback runs and disrupting plays. Over the years, the game has seen some of the most outstanding defenders and in this article, we’ll list the 10 best defensive ends in the NFL.

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Bruce Smith

Smith played for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins. He made it into the Pro Bowl team 11 times and the First Team All-Pro eight times. Smith was the Defender of the Year two times in his career and twice made it into the NFL All-Decade team. 

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Chase Young

Young was drafted in 2020 as a first-round pick and represents the Washington Football Team. He has proven to be a quality player which is why he’s made it into the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2020, the Pro Bowl and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. 

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Cameron Jordan

Jordan is one of the best defensive NFL in history. He recorded 573 total tackles and 107 sacks. He plays for the New Orleans Saints and has made it into the First-Team All-Pro in 2017 and the 2010 NFL All-Decade team.

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Deacon Jones

Jones makes the list of one of the best defensive ends in the NFL of all time. He played for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. Jones is an eight-times member of the Pro Bowl team, five times on the All-Star team and an NFL Defensive Player of the Year two times. He made 173.5 sacks which is unofficially the third-highest of all time.

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Khalil Mack

Highlights of Khalil Mack’s game. Video Credit: Joseph Vincent

Khalil is one of the best defensive ends in the NFL in 2022. He plays for the Los Angeles Chargers. He started his career at Fort Pierce Westwood High School and then joined his college football team, the Buffalo, where he played between 2009 and 2013. Khalil was first drafted into the NFL in 2014 by the Oakland Raiders as a first-round pick. 

He played for the Raiders until 2017 when he joined the Chicago Bears and currently turns out for the LA Chargers. In 2016, he earned the title of Defensive Player of the Year, made it into the First-Team All-Pro three times, and was named in the 100 Greatest Bears of All Time list.

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Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons has been part of the Dallas Cowboys since 2021. He was a first-round round 12th pick from Pennsylvania State University. In his first season, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s already made it into three pro-bowl teams and won the Butkus Awards. 

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Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan began and ended his career with the New York Giants. The team drafted him in 1993 as a second-round 40th pick in the draft that year. He won the Super Bowl XLII and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2001. He made the Pro Bowl seven times and was a two-time NFL sacks leader. 

Myles Garret

Myles entered the NFL in 2017 and established himself as one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. He plays for the Cleveland Browns and has made 58.5 sacks and 203 tackles. He’s twice made it into the First Team All-Pro and was named Rookie of the Year by the PFWA in 2017. 

Reggie White

This list of the best defensive ends in NFL wouldn’t be complete without Reggie White history. He played for the Green Bay Packers, Philadephia Eagles,  and the  Carolina Panthers. He won the Super Bowl once, made it into the Pro Bowl 13 times, was named the NFL Best Defensive Player of the Year twice and twice led the NFL sacks. 

Shaquil Barret

Barret signed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 after four years with the Denver Broncos. He’s a two-time Super Bowl Champion and made it into the Pro Bowl twice. Barret has made 317 tackles and 51.5 sacks. 

If you’ve watched these defensive ends during their time, you’ll agree that they’re some of the best in the game. Although they don’t get as much fame as the quarterbacks, their role is vital. Who else will you include in your list?

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