Top 25 SEC DL of all-time: No. 10-6
Who are the top defensive linemen in SEC history?
We’ve spent the last several weeks flipping through team-specific media guides, glancing over highlight film and nearly coming to blows at our home office determining this 25-member comprehensive list of the league’s best defensive linemen.
Editor’s note: The SDS staff weighed multiple factors during our SEC’s all-time defensive linemen rankings process including career statistics, individual awards, importance to their respective team and the era in which they played.
- Top 25 SEC DL of all-time: No. 25-21
- Top 25 SEC DL of all-time: No. 20-16
- Top 25 SEC DL of all-time: No. 15-11
10.) ALEX BROWN, FLORIDA (1998-01)
The Gators’ all-time leader in career sacks (33) and sacks in a single season (13), Brown was one of college football’s career pass rushers during his tenure as a three-year starter along Florida’s defensive front.
After transitioning during spring practice from outside linebacker to defensive end in 1999, he posted the first of three consecutive All-SEC seasons and was a first-team All-American. In 2000, Brown helped the Gators win the SEC Championship with 10.5 sacks and earned second-team All-American status.
His senior season was his best as the league’s defensive player of the year and consensus All-American first-teamer posted a SEC-leading and school record-setting 13 sacks. Brown was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2002 and managed 43.5 career sacks in 143 regular-season games.
161 tackles, 47 TFL, 33 sacks
Consensus All-American (1999, 2001); All-SEC (1999-01); SEC Def. POTY (2001); Florida Hall of Fame
No. 104 overall (fourth round) in 2002
9.) STEVE DELONG, TENNESSEE (1962-64)
This two-time All-American and former Outland Trophy winner was named SEC Lineman of the Year by the league’s coaches three different seasons. He became a national fixture as a senior in 1964 when he finished eighth on the Heisman list and was recognized as the nation’s best defensive lineman.
In three varsity seasons, the future College Football Hall of Famer played under three different head coaches — Bowden Wyatt, Jim McDonald and Dickey — but his production never wavered. He was the Vols’ best defensive player during his era and finished a highlight-worthy career with an MVP performance in the Senior Bowl.
Consensus All-American (1963-64); All-SEC (1963-64); Outland Trophy (1964)
No. 6 overall in 1965
8.) BILL STANFILL, GEORGIA (1966-68)
A two-time SEC champion and multi-year All-American between the hedges, Stanfill was named all-conference for the third consecutive season as a senior in 1968 and also was awarded the SEC’s Lineman of the Year honor.
Georgia coach Vince Dooley called Stanfill one of college football’s ‘greatest defensive linemen to ever play the game.’
The College Football Hall of Famer is a member of 50th Anniversary All-SEC team (1933–82) and was also selected to the SEC’s Quarter-Century team (1950–74). Stanfill became a future legend for the Miami Dolphins during seven seasons in the NFL and was one of the defensive standouts on the only unbeaten championship team in league history (1972).
Consensus All-American (1968-69); All-SEC (1967-69); Outland Trophy (1968); Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame; College Football Hall of Fame (1998)
No. 11 overall in 1969
7.) JACK YOUNGBLOOD, FLORIDA (1968-70)
He may have been more known for his status as a Hall of Famer from his NFL days, but Youngblood was quite a defensie end wih the Gators as well, earning consensus All-American honors by his senior season.
Youngblood arrived in Gainesville as a 195-pound linebacker before bulking to 245 by career’s end. He posted double-digit sack totals during his junior and senior campaign and even had a five-sack performance during a win over Florida State in 1969. Youngblood’s considered by most as the best defensive end in Florida football history.
Interestingly in 1968, Youngblood and teammates were exposed to the first Gatorade, the sports energy drink we all love created by doctors to help escape the Florida heat.
An eventual seven-time Pro Bowler, Youngblood was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year twice and had his No. 85 retired by the Los Angeles-St. Louis Rams. He holds several franchise defensive records and finished with 151.5 career sacks.
Consensus All-American (1970), All-SEC (1970); College Football Hall of Fame
No. 20 overall in 1971
6.) ART STILL, KENTUCKY (1974-77)
Recently named to the College Football Hall of Fame in January, Still is considered Kentucky’s top defensive lineman in program history, accumulating an incredible 327 total tackles as a four-year starter including 22 stops behind the line of scrimmage — a single-season record — as an All-American senior in 1977.
The second pick in the 1978 NFL Draft, Still made four Pro Bowls over his 12-year career and retired as the Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time sacks leader (73) and record holder for total sacks in a season (14.5) before both records were smashed by former Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas.
Consensus All-American (1977); College Football Hall of Fame
No. 2 overall in 1978