NFL Defensive Line players are designed for one thing - tackle whoever has the ball by any (legal) means necessary. Sack kings like Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor were fierce competitors.
Defensive tackle Bob Lilly was the first Dallas Cowboys player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was best known for sacking quarterback Bob Griese for a 29-yard loss in Super Bowl VI. Learn about the adroit Bob Lilly.
Gino Marchetti was selected as the best defensive end in the NFL's first 50 years, back in 1969. He was voted onto 10 Pro Bowl teams and was an All-Pro player seven times. Learn more about All-Pro favorite Gino Marchetti.
Lawrence Taylor redefined the linebacker position with his ability to change the outcome of a game. Taylor played in 10 Pro-Bowls and was named the league MVP after making a career-high 20 sacks.
Born in Lucca, Italy, Leo Nomellini dominated on both offense and defense. He was a professional wrestler in the off-season and often brought elements of that sport into football. Learn more about Hall of Famer Leo Nomellini.
Defensive tackle Merlin Olsen was with the Rams for eight years and was named to the Pro Bowl 14 times. He was a natural leader that successfully merged his physical skills with his mental abilities.
Defensive tackle Alan Page spent 15 years with the NFL before becoming a judge on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was the first defensive player selected to be the league MVP in 1972. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988. Learn more about Alan Page.
Deacon Jones is considered by many to be the best defensive end ever to play in the NFL. He was named the NFL's outstanding defensive player twice and elected to play in eight Pro Bowls. Learn more about the innovative David "Deacon" Jones.
Reggie White was a defensive end with one of the best sack records of all time. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year five times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Known for his great speed on defense, Bill Willis was one of the two first African-American players in the AAFC. He entered the NFL in 1950 and was elected to three Pro Bowls and annual All-Pro selections. Learn more about his history-making football career.
Bruce Smith is quite possibly football's quintessential defensive end. His speed and strength made him one of the most feared and respected players in the NFL. Learn more about former Buffalo Bill Bruce Smith.
Doug Atkins was a great defensive football player whose size and speed got him named an All-NFL three times. He was named to eight Pro-Bowls and played a part on the legendary Chicago Bears defensive team in 1963 when they won the championship.
Buck Buchanan was the big player with the big personality that the Kansas City Chiefs needed in the late 1960s. Buchanan was a constant threat who gained notoriety for making things happen when it counted.