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Me and some of my buddies are always trying to figure out who we would pick if we were to draft our own “Dream Team”.  The question normally is “who would you want on your team if you could build any defense?”  We do this for offense too; but that will be a different post.  There have been so many great defensive players that have played so it is very hard to choose the best of the best because everyone is always going to have their own opinions who the best players are.  You cant just go off of stats because some players are still young; or played in a different era when the game was different then it is today.  The way that I am choosing my players is based off stats, Pro Bowls, impact on the game, and presence on and off the field.  Its fun to think about how some of these players would play together, and we can always wonder, but all these players that I am about to list have made a huge impact on the game of football

+DEFENSIVE LINEMAN+

Defensive lineman include defensive tackles and defensive ends.  Without a group of solid defensive lineman you are going to have a defense that will get torn apart by the run and the pass.  Defensive lineman are the big guys that plug up holes in the running game; and put pressure on the passing game.  Below are just a few players I would love to have on my defensive line.  I know there are a lot of players not on this list, but these are the players that I would personally choose.

1. Reggie White (Packers)- 13 Pro Bowls, 1,112 tackles, 198 sacks, NFL Sack Leader twice, NFC Defensive Player of the Year 3 times
2. Bruce Smith (Bills) – 11 Pro Bowls, 1,225 tackles, 200 Sacks, Defensive Player of Year 2 times, Record Holder for Sacks
3. Cortez Kennedy (Seahawks) –  8 Pro Bowls, 668 tackles, 58 sacks, NFL Defensive Player of the Year
4. John Randle (Vikings) – 7 Pro Bowls, 556 tackles, 137.5 sacks, 1990s All-Decade Team
5. Warren Sapp (Bucs) – 7 Pro Bowls, 573 tackles, 96.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, NFL Defensive Player of the Year
6. Joe Greene (Steelers) – 10 Pro Bowls, 78.5 sacks, Defensive Rookie of the Year, NFL Defensive Player of the Year 2 times
7. Michael Strahan (Giants) – 7 Pro Bowls, 854 tackles, 141.5 sacks, Most Sacks in a Season Record (22.5), NFL Defensive Player of the Year
8. Richard Dent – 4 Pro Bowls, 137.5 sacks, 8 interceptions, Super Bowl MVP

+LINEBACKERS+

This is the meat of any defense.  The linebackers are like the quarterback of the defensive unit.  Linebackers are meant to be tough players that are fast, big, and needs great vision.  They need to be able to stop the run and be able to drop into pass coverage and cover the pass.  I know that the people I choose here would not be the same as others because there are some notable people who are missing.  The linebackers I am choosing I think are the best to ever play and when you pair them up with the defensive lineman I have chosen it would be beautiful to watch.

1. Ray Lewis (Ravens) – 13 Pro Bowls, 2,061 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 31 INT, 2x NFL Defensive Player of the Year
2. Lawrence Taylor (Giants) – 10 Pro Bowls, 1,088 tackles, 132.5 sacks, 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year
3. Jack Lambert (Steelers) – 9 Pro Bowls, 1,479 tackles, 23.5 sacks, 28 INT, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
4. Patrick Willis (49ers) – 6 Pro Bowls, 839 tackles, 15 forced fumbles, NFL Rookie of the Year, 3x Linebacker of the Year
5. Derrick Thomas (Chiefs) – 9 Pro Bowls, 642 tackles, 126.5 sacks, 6 Chiefs Records, NFL Record 7 Sacks in a single game
6. Mike Singletary (Bears) – 10 Pro Bowls, 1,488 tackles, 2x NFL Defensive Player of the Year
7. Junior Seau (Chargers) – 12 Pro Bowls, 1,849 tackles, 56.5 sacks, 18 INT, NFL Defensive Player of the Year

+DEFENSIVE BACKS+

These are the speedy guys who mostly cover passes; but can come up and smack you if need be.  Most people think that defensive backs are small guys who can run fast; but those people are very wrong.  Most of these guys are as big as fullbacks and as fast as receivers.  On a defensive unit the defensive backs can make or break a game especially in the pass game.  Quarterbacks are always reading what the safety and corners are doing and they are going to be the players that get most of the interceptions, but the better they cover the receivers the more sacks the defensive lineman get.  Then you get some defensive backs who play just like linebackers and can completely take over a defense and make them better than then average defense.

1. Ronnie Lott (49ers) – 10 Pro Bowls, 63 INT, 1980s All-Decade Team, 1990s All-Decade Team
2. Deron Cherry (Chiefs) – 6 Pro Bowls, 50 INT, AFC Defensive Player of the Year, 1980s All-Decade Team
3. Rod Woodson (Steelers) – 11 Pro Bowls, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Record 12 INT for touchdowns
4. Darrell Green (Redskins) – 7 Pro Bowls, 1,159 tackles, 54 INT, 4x NFL Fastest Man Winner, 20 NFL Seasons
5. John Lynch (Bucs) – 9 Pro Bowls, 1,058 tackles, 26 INT, 13 sacks
6. Charles Woodson (Packers/Raiders) – 8 Pro Bowls, 752 tackles, 56 INT, 13 TDs, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, NFL Defensive Player of the Year
7. Brian Dawkins (Eagles) – 9 Pro Bowls, 1,131 tackles, 37 INT, 26 sacks, 2000s All-Decade Team
8. Troy Polamalu (Steelers) – 7 Pro Bowls, 660 tackles, 30 INT, 2000s All-Decade Team

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