The Madden NFL 18 launch is approaching. Hope your hit-stick thumb blisters had enough time to heal. Okay, so that’s not really a thing. If it is, well, you’re playing Madden wrong. Take it easy.
Moving along, whether you’re building a team in MUT or drafting players in Franchise mode, you need to know your Madden ratings. In the coming days, we’ll be breaking down the top five players by position in Madden 18. Here, we start with the rookies.
1. Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
The big man out of Texas A&M, Garrett was an easy first overall pick for the Cleveland Browns. Out of the gate, Garret is a defensive presence in Madden 18. He’s an 83 OVR, but with 84 Speed, 90 Acceleration, and a whopping 96 Strength. His Strength rating alone is top 10 in the game. His speed and power combo is nearly unmatched among linemen, but other players like J.J. Watt come up big with other important ratings like Power Move, Block Shedding, Finesse Move, and Play Recognition. Garrett has some work to do to build those ratings, but has the foundation attributes to be a key player in Madden.
2. O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Garrett wasn’t the only freak athlete of the NFL 2017 draft. Howard is the prototypical tight end with size, speed, catching ability, and blocking prowess. He comes into Madden with an 82 OVR. In terms of ratings, Howard is solid down the board, with decent blocking numbers for a rookie TE. Howard has the potential to see his ratings climb during the season as he was an excellent blocker in college, which should keep him on the field to be used in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense. In Madden, think of him as a faster, more elusive Martellus Bennett.
3. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Madden world, meet the Jacksonville Jaguars new workhorse running back. At 90 Speed, he’s not the fastest player in the rookie class, but he has power to back it up. With just a few outliers, Fournette measures at least in the 80s in ball carrying stats. This includes a Truck rating of 92. His catch rating leaves a little to be desired, but if you’re looking for a new ground-and-pound running back, Fournette is your guy.
4. Jamal Adams, SS, New York Jets
Adams was one of the most touted defensive players in the 2017 NFL Draft outside of Myles Garrett. The strong safety out of LSU has all the tools to be the next game-changing defensive back. His 91 Speed is enough to cover a fair amount of the field. Adams is also strong enough to create turnovers with a 90 Hit Power rating. There are only a handful of players in Madden 18 with a higher hit power, though his Tackle rating is 82. But the New York Jets also have Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Steve McLendon with Tackle ratings in the 90s. The Jets could have a quality defense in Madden 18.
5. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers looked to shake up their offense by drafting McCaffrey. From the looks of it, he’ll also shake up your Madden gameplay. His Catch rating is 75, which puts is in the top seven for running backs. Of that seven, only David Johnson has a higher Speed rating, and only Le’Veon Bell has a higher Carry rating of that same group. McCaffrey’s Truck rating is just 52, but he makes up for that with a solid 87 Spin Move and 93 in Juke. With great base stats, McCaffrey could end up being a crucial cog in your Madden game plan.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook checks in at 80 OVR, just one below Fournette and McCaffrey. If Fournette is power, and McCaffrey is shifty, then Cook sort of fits between the two. Not as highly-rated as the other backs in this class, but can be an excellent asset to your team.
John Ross of the Cincinnati Bengals turned heads at the combine with a blisteringly fast 4.22 seconds on the 40-yard dash. It was a record-breaking time, and the Madden ratings gods looked upon him kindly. His Speed rating is 98, making him the fastest player in Madden NFL 18. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the lineup changes inserting him into punt return duties.