Best all-time roster: D-line

Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby racepug » Thu May 06, 2021 8:11 pm

Personally, I have a much easier time - off the top of my head, mind you - coming up with the teams that I think have the top all-time units on "D" than I do for the offensive units. For the defensive line it's the Minnesota Vikings. Their all-time D-line is absolutely LOADED. Care to put another team up for consideration for this "honor'?
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby Brian wolf » Fri May 07, 2021 1:31 am

Cowboys had great linemen too with Lilly, Pugh, Andrie, Martin, White, Jones and Jeffcoat ...
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby Brian wolf » Fri May 07, 2021 1:36 am

The Rams had Jones, Olsen, Brown, Bacon, Youngblood, Dryer, Brooks, Carter, Little, Donald ...
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby ChrisBabcock » Fri May 07, 2021 11:30 am

5 years ago I would have called this a 4 way tie between the Vikings, Rams, Cowboys and Steelers. Aaron Donald's recent dominance makes me go with the Rams as my choice for this one.
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby racepug » Fri May 07, 2021 2:04 pm

ChrisBabcock wrote:5 years ago I would have called this a 4 way tie between the Vikings, Rams, Cowboys and Steelers. Aaron Donald's recent dominance makes me go with the Rams as my choice for this one.
Aaron Donald is absolutely unbelievable (one person I know who is a huge football historian and observer recently stated that he now considers Aaron Donald to be the very best D-lineman of all time, bar none) but I still put the Minnesota Vikings' group ahead of every other team's (at least partly because it has both strength and depth at every position on the D-line): Jared Allen, Chris Doleman, Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, Jim Marshall, Keith Millard (who held the record for "sacks in a single season by an interior lineman" for 29 years. Who knows how great a legacy he could've had had he not suffered a serious knee injury?), Alan Page, John Randle, Henry Thomas, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams. 4 H.o.F.ers in that group (with at least a couple more whom I think merit serious consideration for that honor).
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby JuggernautJ » Mon May 10, 2021 11:14 pm

Keeping in the spirit of "any team with sufficient history" could make a decent claim to some recognition as "all-time" and inspired by the HoVG post regarding Charlie Kruger and Cedrick Hardman...

The 49ers could start a front four of Charles Haley, Leo Nomellini, Bryant Young and Fred Dean and still have room for (the above plus) Dana Stubblefield (AP DPoY 1997), Justin Smith, Ted Washington, Gary Johnson, Michael Carter, Dwaine Board, Tommy Hart and about a half dozen other players who were pretty good...
Not to mention rent-a-champ Richard Dent and Hall of Famer Bob St. Clair, who played on goal line defenses.

I'm not saying the 'Niners have the best DL tradition in the NFL... just that, given 70+ years of history, one ought to be able to put together a pretty good starting line up at almost any position group.
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Tue May 11, 2021 11:37 am

racepug wrote:
ChrisBabcock wrote:5 years ago I would have called this a 4 way tie between the Vikings, Rams, Cowboys and Steelers. Aaron Donald's recent dominance makes me go with the Rams as my choice for this one.
Aaron Donald is absolutely unbelievable (one person I know who is a huge football historian and observer recently stated that he now considers Aaron Donald to be the very best D-lineman of all time, bar none) but I still put the Minnesota Vikings' group ahead of every other team's (at least partly because it has both strength and depth at every position on the D-line): Jared Allen, Chris Doleman, Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, Jim Marshall, Keith Millard (who held the record for "sacks in a single season by an interior lineman" for 29 years. Who knows how great a legacy he could've had had he not suffered a serious knee injury?), Alan Page, John Randle, Henry Thomas, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams. 4 H.o.F.ers in that group (with at least a couple more whom I think merit serious consideration for that honor).



Yeah, Aaron Donald is one of the greatest defensive players I can remember. Very few defensive players have had that kind of impact on games. You could really see the difference when he was injured during the playoff against Green Bay this past season.

I know this is PFRA, but he also had one of the greatest college seasons of all time his senior season.
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby racepug » Wed May 12, 2021 2:48 pm

JuggernautJ wrote:just that, given 70+ years of history, one ought to be able to put together a pretty good starting line up at almost any position group.
Granted. However, as I alluded to earlier, that isn't the case for all of the older franchises. For example, just as I struggle to find any true standouts at QB for the All-Time Cardinals, I also struggle to find any real standouts for that franchise at LB or at DL, either. Certainly, as a unit, neither of theirs can compete with some of the like units from other older franchises. But I'm not trying to pick on the Cardinals. From what I can see, "Da Bears" don't have standout units for DB or for WR from their all-time team, either. I mean, they've had good players within those units, but I certainly wouldn't try to sell the All-Time Bears defensive secondary or the All-Time Bears WR corp as one of the best in the league. Not a chance.
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby Teo » Wed May 12, 2021 3:17 pm

The Chargers of the Air Coryell era had a very good DL with Dean, Kelcher, ¨Big Hands¨Johnson, Leroy JOnes and Wilbur Young, and after with Leslie O'Neal, Lee Williams, Burt Grossman and the ¨Two tons of fun" Rueben Davis and Shawn Lee.
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Re: Best all-time roster: D-line

Postby Teo » Wed May 12, 2021 3:20 pm

The OIlers of the 70s had Hall of Famers Bethea and Culp, and afterwards Childress, Fuller, Sean Jones, Doug Smith, and then Kearse when they moved to Tennessee and became the Titans.
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