It’s time to talk about big men on the attack. This group is the first since we talked about quarterbacks that features one of Madden 18’s Club 99 members. Like QBs, it also includes a player that’s at the front of the line to enter Club 99. So, this is a pretty talented group.
Defensive ends are usually the main attackers upfront. These elite few are the guys that cause O-lines to shift and double team rushers. Offensive coordinators lose sleep when facing these players because you cannot afford to hope that your running back can handle one of these guys once they’re past the line.
Here are your top 5 Defensive Ends in Madden NFL 18.
1. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ best strength is on the defensive side. If you want proof, look no further than Donald. He’s your second Club 99 member currently. Not only does he have a massive 94 Strength, but his 83 Speed makes him the fastest DE of the top five. Once he’s passed the line, he’s going to close in quick. He also carries a Block Shedding of 91 and Power Move of 96, which is tied for best in the DE class with just one other player. More on him, well, right now.
2. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
If you’ve ever watched J.J. Watt play, you’ve realized two things. One, Watt is just a level above everyone else. And two, if he was a character on Friends, he’d be Ross. Point is, Watt is good at football. Ratings wise, he matches Donald’s 96 Power Move. His 97 Strength is only outdone by Ndamukong Suh and his Block Shedding is 93, best of the elite DEs. Oh, and he can catch, too, with catching scores in the 70s. Cheat code.
3. Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
Graham isn’t as rated as strong as the previous two players mentioned, but he can cause some major damage to the offense. With a Speed of 79 and Agility of 82, he’s faster and more agile than Watt. Of the top 5, he’s the best one to drop back to cover a short zone or quick pass. To boot, he also has the best Hit Power of the top five with 88.
4. Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
Jordan is a great all-around rusher with good-to-great base stats. He’s going to be your power guy, with a Power Move rating of 92, but his Finesse Move score drops down to a 71. Nothing fancy here, just power through and flatten the opposition.
5. Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Campbell was a huge pick up for Duvall County. It’s a big add to a defensive unit that’s loaded with talent – and will show this season if Blake Bortles can quit his habit of giving the ball away. Campbell should provide consistent pressure. He’s not as fast or as strong as the other players listed here, but still effective. Rather than punch through and overpower the line, Campbell breaks passed the trenches with an 89 Finesse Move rating. That’s beaten only by Watt in the top five.
Ndamukong Suh demands tons of attention in the trenches, but players often forget about Cameron Wake (89 OVR). The pair of them on the same defensive line is devastating.
Speaking of D-line pairings, the San, errr, Los Angeles Chargers are the only team with two defensive ends in the top 10 with Melvin Ingram (89 OVR) and Joey Bosa (88 OVR). Increase that to top 15, two other teams make the grade. The Seattle Seahawks with Michael Bennett (90 OVR) and Cliff Avril (86 OVR), and the New York Giants with Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon (both at 88 OVR).