This is now our fifth installment of the top 12 NFL bobbleheads, and we will be discussing the big boys on the defensive line this time. If you would like to read about quarterbacks, running backs, linebackers, or wide receivers you can head over there and check them out! If you have any comments or somebody you think deserved to be on the list please leave those in the comment section at the bottom!
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Howie Long – Oakland Raiders
If you are under 30 then you may be more familiar with Howie’s 2 sons that play in the NFL more recently, with Chris retiring last year from the Eagles and Kyle who is currently an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. That being said, as good as the two of them have been for stretches of their respective careers, they weren’t quite at the same level as their dad. Enshrined in the hall of fame in 2000, Howie Long was definitely one of the greatest football players to play the game.
Warren Sapp – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Warren Sapp was unquestionably one of the greatest interior defensive linemen in NFL history, finishing with 100 career sacks, including the playoffs. That is good for the second-most among defensive tackles. Add in the amount of fun that Sapp had playing the game, and I am glad that I was able to watch him play.
Reggie White – Green Bay Packers/Philadelphia Eagles
Reggie White could have been discussed as one of the greatest defensive players while just using his time at either of his two main stops of his career. Combined, it is hard to name another player on the defensive line that had more of an impact on any given game. Finishing with 198 sacks in his 15-year career, which was 2 behind Bruce Smith for most all-time, there is no doubt the “Minister of Defense” belongs on this list.
Bruce Smith – Buffalo Bills
Speaking of Bruce Smith, with 200 sacks and 3 different NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards, he was the anchor of a Buffalo Bills team that dominated the early 1990’s, getting to the Super Bowl 4 straight times and always contending. With 13 seasons with double-digit sacks, an NFL record, Bruce Smith was a model of consistency.
Alan Page – Minnesota Vikings
Page played for the Purple People Eaters, the Vikings menacing defense of the ’70s that led to 4 Super Bowl Appearances. Although sacks were not an official stat until 1982, unofficially Alan Page would have had 173 career sacks, which would have placed him only behind Reggie White and Bruce Smith, and far ahead of any other defensive tackle in NFL history.
JJ Watt – Houston Texans
Still with plenty of years of playing time ahead of him, JJ Watt has already cemented his place in NFL history with 3 Defensive Player of the Year awards. Also, a great champion of the community, when his city of Houston was flooded from a hurricane recently, Watt was on the frontlines helping deliver needed goods and rallying donations using his social influence.
Michael Strahan – New York Giants
Owner of the single-season sacks record, Strahan was dominating on a New York Giants team that won the Super Bowl in 2007 against one of the best offenses in NFL history, the New England Patriots. Since then Strahan has dominated daytime television talk shows, currently on Good Morning America.
Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams
Still early in his career, Aaron Donald is already dominating the NFL. In his first 6 years, he is already at 72 sacks, including 20.5 in 2018. NFL offenses are forced to gameplan for where Aaron Donald is, although double-teaming him doesn’t always work.
Khalil Mack – Chicago Bears
Although he technically plays the outside linebacker position in a 3-4 defense, Mack plays almost primarily as an edge rusher, and that is where his impact is felt the most. Coming into the NFL in 2014, the same season as Aaron Donald, Mack has been one of the most dominating defensive players first with the Oakland Raiders and now with the Chicago Bears.
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis Colts
Freeney had a nice 16-year career, 11 of those with the Colts and 7 double-digit sack years. Often overshadowed by Peyton Manning and the offense, Freeney helped solidify a defense that won Super Bowl XLI over the Bears.
Nick Bosa – San Francisco 49ers
Although his brother Joey Bosa has a few more years on him, Nick Bosa has shown in his first year that he can more than carry the family name. Finishing with 9 sacks in his rookie year, including some against top competition such as Aaron Rodgers, Nick is on his way to greatness in the bay area.
Trey Flowers – New England Patriots
Another up and comer, Trey Flowers played his first 4 seasons with New England before leaving to go to the Detroit Lions this past year. Able to play anywhere on the line, look for Flowers to cause headaches for offenses for years to come.
There were a few older players that I would have liked to place on this list, such as “Mean” Joe Greene, Randy White, and Jack Youngblood but unfortunately, there were not bobbleheads made for them at the moment. I will continue to look and update this list as needed. Is there anybody else you would like to see on this list? Let me know in the comments, have a great day!