Each year’s edition of the Madden NFL Football video game comes with debates over players’ rankings, and Madden NFL 19 is sure to be no exception. In fact, the current working rankings for this year’s version of the game leaked out over the weekend and have started some conversation among NFL fans.
The video, which you can find here, was published to Youtube by an EA “Game Changer” user, which is essentially a glorified game tester and social media presence. This lends credence to the belief that these rankings are legitimate, at least as working rankings as EA Sports finalizes the game for release on August 10th. The video scrolls through each team’s top seven players at a minimum, as well as the overall top-ranked players across the league.
When looking at the Packers’ top guys, we had to do a double-take, as a few names in particular stand out for one reason or another. We’ve got a lot of problems with these rankings, and now you’re gonna hear about ‘em!
Aaron Rodgers: 99 OVR
Yep, no argument there. Rodgers is one of three players to get a 99 overall, joining Rams defensive end Aaron Donald and Steelers wideout Antonio Brown. Moving on.
David Bakhtiari: 88 OVR
The best pass-blocking offensive tackle in the NFL can’t crack a 90? What’s up with that? Dallas’ Tyron Smith is a 94; you could argue maybe a higher overall ranking for Smith than Bakhtiari due to being a better run-blocker, but six overall points? Come on.
Although 88 seems low on its face, the folks at EA Sports are apparently unwilling to give out many high rankings to offensive tackles this year, as Bakh is one of just four players at the position to get a rating at or above that spot. The other two: Trent Williams (91) and Joe Staley (88).
Davante Adams: 87 OVR
A little while back, our Peter Bukowski discussed which wideouts he would definitively want over Adams this offseason, and it’s a short list:
There was some complaining about Davante Adams being 45th on the #NFLTop100 but here's the full list of receivers I'd DEFINITELY take over Adams right now.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) May 29, 2018
That's it. Everyone else is a discussion.
I can’t say I disagree. However, here’s the list of wide receivers not on that list who are rated higher than or equal to Adams:
Keenan Allen (90); T.Y. Hilton (89); Alshon Jeffery (87); Michael Thomas (89); Doug Baldwin (88); Stefon Diggs (90); Adam Thielen (88)
Oh, and Pierre Garcon got an 86 despite catching fewer than 60% of his targets and not scoring a single touchdown in his eight games last season.
Kenny Clark: 86 OVR
This...wow. Clark earning an 86 and landing as the Packers’ fourth-best player overall is really quite stunning, and for once we’re pleasantly surprised. Don’t get us wrong — we like Clark, and there are people here at APC who feel he will be playing at a Pro Bowl level this season. But putting him ahead of another player on this defensive line seems questionable. More on that shortly...
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: 85 OVR
After a season like Clinton-Dix just had, how he gets a mid-80s ranking is beyond me. He was consistently tentative in making plays on the football or receivers, and although some of that was due to how Dom Capers used him, that doesn’t excuse his tentative play. I’d like to see some of his specific rankings because that might give a little more clarity on how he ends up still earning an 85.
Mike Daniels: 83 OVR
Okay, now this is just patently ridiculous. Look, we like Kenny Clark, and we think he’s going to be a pretty darn good pro. But saying that Daniels is a lesser player than Clark right now is absurd, and an 83 overall is just a slap in the face. If Madden wants to give Daniels an even bigger chip on his shoulder, then good job.
Actually, what I’m starting to see is that some bigger defensive ends, particularly 3-4 ends, are all underrated. The 6-foot-8, 300-pound Calais Campbell just recorded 14.5 sacks a year ago and was named first-team All-Pro, but he’s just an 85. So this might not really be a Daniels issue.
Randall Cobb: 83 OVR
Sure, this works okay. If anything, Cobb might be a bit overrated here based on his recent production. Still, he’s a talented guy who has gone through a series of nagging injuries, so if he’s healthy he could still very well live up to this ranking this year.