Today's Best Defensive Ends and Their Throwback Comparisons

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Today's Best Defensive Ends and Their Throwback Comparisons
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press
Will our throwback comparison for defensive end Jared Allen make you chuckle?

And so it continues…

Last time out, the eighth part of our 12-part throwback series saw us take the plunge to the defensive side of the ball. We talked linebackers and which of today’s players reminded us players from the past.

Now we’ve come to the end(s).

That means defensive ends, who, similar to outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense, get plenty of glory because one of their primary objectives is to turn this quarterback-driven league into a quarterback-driven-into-the-ground game.

So in our ninth installment of this fun exercise, we carefully selected eight of today’s defensive ends and attempted to explain who they remind us of when it comes to those all-time warriors.

Once again, the criteria are multi-faceted and one legend doesn’t fit all. We are talking style as much as anything because, after all, the eye test is still the best pop quiz ever. But other factors will be taken into account when making comparisons.

One reminder: This is not a ranking of the eight best defensive ends in the NFL (for those looking for the New York Jets’ Muhammad Wilkerson or the Cincinnati Bengals’ Michael Johnson, etc.). It’s some of the best players at their position and who they remind us of from the distant or not-too distant past.

Finally, here is a big “thank you” to the people at both Pro-Football-Reference.com and NFL.com for some statistical assistance.

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