Today, EA Sports released their full Madden 19 player ratings. Some of their ratings are spot on, but others weren’t as good. In this article, we’ll explore who the real best player on each NFL team is compared to who Madden 19 says it is.
Arizona Cardinals: RB David Johnson
Despite missing practically the entire season with a thumb injury, David Johnson is still the best player on the cardinals. In 2016, he had 2,118 yards combined (1239 rushing and 879 receiving) with 20 combined touchdowns (16 rushing and 4 receiving). He brings a lot if versatility to the Cardinals offense and is by far their most important player. When he went down with the thumb injury last year, it became clear that the Cardinals truly missed him and needed him. Madden 19 agrees, as David Johnson leads the Cardinals with a 93 overall.
Atlanta Falcons: WR Julio Jones
In what some considered a down year for Jones, he still had 1444 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. Now, the touchdowns were way lower than anyone expected. However, that had more to do with the Falcons’ overall struggle to adapt to offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s scheme than Jones himself. Those three touchdowns may have been a career low for him in a full season, but he still ranked as Pro Football Focus’ #3 wide receiver, earning an overall grade of 91.4. Madden 19 definitely agrees with this, as Julio Jones leads the Falcons with a 98 overall.
Baltimore Ravens: G Marshall Yanda
Marshall Yanda may have suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss 14 games last season, but he’s still undoubtably the Ravens’ best player. He had made the Pro Bowl six straight seasons prior to last season, and made All Pro Teams in 2014 and 2015. He’s as consistent as it gets, and is still one of the game’s best run blockers. Madden 19 also agrees with this one, as Yanda leads the Ravens with a 92 overall.
Buffalo Bills: CB Tre’Davious White
Tre’Davious White may have had as good of a rookie season as a rookie corner can in his rookie year. In any year besides last year, he would’ve won rookie of the year. However, Marshon Lattimore was able to win it, as in year one Lattimore was already a top five corner. Back to White, he graded out really well for Pro Football Focus. His 92 grade ranked him only behind Casey Heyward of the Chargers for corner backs. He had four interceptions in his rookie year, and guarded every team’s number one receiver, which many rookie cornerbacks can’t do. He should continue to develop into one of the game’s best corners. Madden 19 actually doesn’t agree with this, as safety Micah Hyde leads the team with a 91 overall. Hyde is a great player, but White graded out much better and is more valuable to the Bills defense than Hyde, as White is responsible for containing opposing teams’ number one option.
Carolina Panthers: LB Luke Kuechly
Arguably the game’s best linebacker, Kuechly continues to be the face of the Panthers defense. The 27-year-old has already made five Pro Bowls and four All Pro First Teams. He had a stellar 2017 campaign, where he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ #3 linebacker with a 93.9 grade. Overall, he did it all with 74 tackles and 3 interceptions. Madden 19 agrees with this choice, as Kuechly is one of Madden 19’s seven players to earn a 99 overall.
Chicago Bears: S Adrian Amos
In his three-year career, Adrian Amos hasn’t made the Pro Bowl once. That’s about to change very soon. The 25-year-old safety actually graded as Pro Football Focus’ #2 safety a year ago with a 92 grade. He’s not a ball hawk, as he only has one career interception. However, he has great speed and has been a tackling machine. Last year, he had 60 tackles in just 10 games started. With 16 games started, he can probably get over 100 tackles. Expect Amos to develop into one of the game’s top safeties very soon, if he already isn’t one. Madden 19 agrees with this, as Amos leads the Bears with a 90 overall.
Cincinatti Bengals: WR AJ Green
Despite playing with an average QB at best in Andy Dalton, AJ Green still totaled 1078 yards receiving with 8 touchdowns. He only graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 12th ranked receiver with a 83.5 grade. A part of this was due to his career low catch rate at 52.4%. However, the two years prior his catch rate was 65.2% and 66%. Therefore, this season was most likely an outlier and Green should return to form into his top five receiver form this season. Even if he doesn’t, 1078 yards with 8 touchdowns are still amazing numbers. Madden 19 agrees with this choice as well, as Green leads the Bengals with a 93 overall.
Cleveland Browns: G Joel Bitonio
Arguably the most underrated offensive lineman in football, Bitonio has been a staple of a solid Browns offensive line since he came into the league. While he’s an average run blocker, he’s an elite pass blocker and may possibly get a chance to move to left tackle with the retirement of Joe Thomas. At just 26 years old, he should continue to improve and develop into one of the game’s best offensive lineman. He graded out well for Pro Football Focus, earning a 85.2 grade which ranks him as the #6 guard. Madden 19 has him tied for the highest overall with G Kevin Zeitler at an 89 overall. Bitonio provides a little more flexibility and has more upside than Zeitler, and I think he’s the better player.
Dallas Cowboys: G Zack Martin
Now that Joe Thomas has retired, G Zack Martin is officially the best offensive lineman in football. He’s started every single game as a pro in his four seasons, and has made the Pro Bowl in each of those four seasons. He also has earned First Team All pro honors twice, in 2014 and 2016. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ top guard a year ago, earning a 92.2 grade. He’s the linchpin of Dallas’ running game, which constantly succeeds no matter who the running back is. Madden 19 doesn’t agree with this choice, as Martin is tied for second for highest overall Cowboys player with LB Sean Lee at a 96 overall, and trails C Travis Frederick who is a 98 overall. Martin and Lee play different positions and are hard to compare, but Martin is much more durable than Lee, making him the better player. As for Frederick, Martin has accomplished a little more than he has, and Martin also graded out better this season.
Denver Broncos: LB Von Miller
In what was a down year for Von Miller, he still was able to post double-digit sacks (10). That’s still very impressive considering he gets double teamed practically every play. He also forced two fumbles, and played in every game this season. His presence opens it up for his teammates due to the fact that he draws all the attention. He still graded out as Pro Football Focus’ #2 edge defender in 2017 with a 95.0 grade. In his seven-year career, he’s made the Pro Bowl six times and the All Pro First Team three times. Madden 19 definitely agrees with this one, as Miller is one of seven players to earn a 99 overall, and is 11 points higher than anyone else on the Broncos. (Chris Harris, Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders are all tied for second with an 88 overall)
Detroit Lions: CB Darius Slay
Last season, CB Darius Slay lead the NFL with 8 interceptions and earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and made the All Pro First Team for the first time in his five career. Considering he quadrupled his career high in interceptions, its safe to say that Slay has finally developed into one of the league’s best corners. He’s become a true #1 corner and has become the face of the Lions defense. He graded out as an above average corner from Pro Football Focus last year with a score of 88.1 that was good enough to rank him #11 among corners. If he has another year like he did, and all indications are that he should, he will have cemented his case as of the NFL’s top five corner backs. Madden 19 agrees with the choice of Slay, as they too have Slay as the best Lions player at a 91 overall.
Green Bay Packers: QB Aaron Rodgers
Despite missing 9 games with a collarbone injury, Aaron Rodgers is clearly the best player on the Packers. Without him, Green Bay fell from Superbowl contenders to completely out of the postseason race. In his 10 years as a starting quarterback, Rodgers has posted a losing record just once, and that was in his first season. He’s also earned six Pro Bowl appearances, made two All Pro First Teams, and has had six straight seasons with less than 10 interceptions. Before getting injured, Rodgers was on pace for another season of over 4,000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. He’s shown no signs of slowing down, and remains the most talented quarterback in the NFL. Madden 19 agrees, as he’s one of those players with a 99 overall.
Houston Texans: WR DeAndre Hopkins
The obvious choice here would be DE JJ Watt, but he’s been hit with the injury bug the last two seasons. So now let’s focus on the best player on the Texans: DeAndre Hopkins. Despite QB Deshaun Watson only starting six games, Hopkins had 1378 yards receiving and led the league with 13 touchdowns. Remember, outside of Watson, Hopkins was forced to play with QBs such as Tom Savage and TJ Yates. The fact that Hopkins can lead the league in touchdowns with these quarterbacks throwing him the ball is insane. He ranked as Pro Football Focus’ #4 receiver with a 90.6 grade. As long as Deshaun Watson is healthy, expect Hopkins to exceed 1500 yards and lead the league in touchdowns again. Madden 19 has Hopkins has the second best player with a 94 overall, trailing Watt at a 98 overall. As mentioned before, Watt has been hit hard with the injury bug and has only played in 8 games the last two seasons. Therefore, Watt can unfortunately no longer be trusted as the Texans’ best player.
Indianapolis Colts: DE Jabaal Sheard
Jabaal Sheard is definitely one of the most underrated players in the league. While he’s never made a Pro Bowl, he’s constantly put up solid numbers, been versatile, and has been a disruptive presence on the defensive line. Last year, he showed he was more than capable of switching off between 3-4 outside linebacker and defensive end. He only totaled 5.5 sacls, but he’s a one man wrecking crew on the defensive line in Indianapolis and draws all the attention. He still graded out as the 9th best edge defender with an elite 91.3 grade by Pro Football Focus. The obvious choice in most years would be QB Andrew Luck, but he hasn’t even thrown a football in a year, so he cannot be trusted. WR TY Hilton is tied for the highest rated Colts player with Sheard at a 89 overall. However, Hilton didn’t even eclipse 1000 yards last season without Luck, showing that he needs a good quarterback to succeed. Sheard however, was able to put together a productive season despite having no supporting cast on defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars: DL Calais Campbell
A free agency acquisition from last year, Campbell had a breakout season in the first year of his 4 year/$60M contract, posting a career high in sacks (14.5) . Campbell is a physical force at 6’8” 300 pounds, and is mainly a 3-4 defensive end. Therefore, he doesn’t even need to have a lot of sacks to be productive. So the fact that he can still put up double-digit sacks when it’s not even his main job is extremely impressive. He was able to earn his third Pro Bowl appearance last season, and also made the All Pro First Team. He also graded out extremely well from Pro Football Focus, earning a 93.5 grade which ranked him as the #4 edge defender. Madden 19 rates Campbell as the third best Jaguars player at a 92 overall, trailing corner backs Jalen Ramsey (97 overall) and AJ Bouye (94 overall). Bouye really struggled in the postseason and was targeted often, and Campbell is more accomplished than Ramsey. Ramsey should overtake Campbell in a couple of years as he continues to develop into one of the game’s premier corners.
Kansas City Chiefs: TE Travis Kelce
For the second straight season, Travis Kelce posted over 1,000 receiving yards with 1038 yards in 2017. He also had a career high 8 touchdowns, proving to be a dominant force in both the open field and in the red zone. He’s also become an excellent blocker, improving each season. Because of this, many believe Kelce may actually be the NFL’s best tight end. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the #3 tight end, with a 87.8 grade. Madden 19 has Kelce as the second highest Chiefs player at a 95 overall, trailing only Eric Berry who is a 96 overall. Berry tore his Achilles in week one and missed the rest of the 2017 season. Therefore, no one knows how productive he’ll be this year, while they can expect Kelce to have over 1,000 yards and continue to be an excellent blocker.
Los Angeles Rams: DT Aaron Donald
Despite missing the first and last games of the 2017 season, Aaron Donald still had 11 sacks, which is excellent for an interior defensive lineman. He is a force in shutting down both the pass game and the run game, and is arguably the most unblockable defensive lineman in the NFL. His 99.7 grade from Pro Football Focus shows how perfect of a player he is, and he has a legitimate case as the best player in the NFL. He is one of the seven players to earn a 99 overall in Madden 19, as they also recognize how amazing of a player he is.
Los Angeles Chargers: CB Casey Hayward
Casey Hayward has been a much better player since signing with the Chargers in the 2015 offseason. In his two years with the Chargers, he has 11 interceptions and made the Pro Bowl in each of those two seasons. He has become the face of a young and up and coming Chargers defense, and has a legitimate case as the NFL’s best corner. Pro Football Focus graded him as the best corner with a 96.4 grade, so his production is definitely backing up that claim. Madden 19 has Keenan Allen as the highest overall at a 92 overall, with Hayward as a 91 overall. Think of it this way, Hayward may be the best corner while Allen isn’t even a top five receiver. Hayward is definitely the best player on the Chargers and should be at least a 95 overall.
Miami Dolphins: DE Cameron Wake
Even at age 36, Cameron Wake is still the best player on the Dolphins. He’s still a very good player, as he had 10.5 sacks last season and played in every game. He also has a lot on his resume, as he’s made five Pro Bowls and one All Pro First Team. He graded out as the #28 edge defender in the NFL with a 83.2 grade from Pro Football Focus. On any other team, he’s probably not the best player. However, the Dolphins aren’t very talented, so the 36-year-old Wake is still the best player. Madden 19 has him as the second highest Dolphins player at an 89 overall, trailing S Reshad Jones who is a 91 overall. Jones really had a down year last year, so I don’t think he should be higher than Wake, who is much more consistent.
Minnesota Vikings: S Harrison Smith
In the last three years, Harrison Smith has developed into the best safety in the NFL. He’s made the Pro Bowl in each of those last three years and made the All Pro First Team last year, as he had 5 interceptions and 61 tackles while playing in every game. He graded out extremely well from Pro Football Focus, earning a 97.0 grade which ranked him as the best safety in the NFL. Madden 19 agrees with this choice, as Smith is the highest ranked Vikings player with a 97 overall.
New England Patriots: QB Tom Brady
As long as he keeps playing, QB Tom Brady will always be the best player on the Patriots. The 40-year-old has reached 13 Pro Bowl appearances, made three All Pro First Teams, won five Super Bowls, and is a three-time MVP. He’s showing no signs of slowing down, as he led the league with 4577 passing yards last year, and has a tremendous 32-8 tocuhdown-interception ratio. Pro Football Focus graded him as the best quarterback in the league with a 95.5 grade. He is obviously one of the seven players who earned a 99 overall in Madden 19. (His teammate Rob Gronkowski is also one of them).
New Orleans Saints: DE Cameron Jordan
This isn’t about QB Drew Brees declining with age (he isn’t), nor the fact that the Saints three young superstars (WR Michael Thomas, RB Alvin Kamara, and CB Marshon Lattimore) aren’t as experienced. This is more of a testament to how dominant of a player Cameron Jordan has become however. He totalled a career high in sacks last year with 13, besides being a one man wrecking crew on a weak New Orleans defensive line last year. He graded out as the #1 edge defender last year over Von Miller with a 96.2 grade. Madden 19 agrees that Jordan is the Saints best player, as he leads the Saints with a 95 overall.
New York Giants: WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Last year was not the season WR Odell Beckham Jr. wanted to have. He was only able to start two games, as he had injury issues to start they year, and then he fractured his ankle in Week 5, which caused him to miss the rest of the year. It’s hard to ignore what he did in the two-year before last season though, as he had a combined 2817 yards and 23 touchdowns. These stats are insane, and he’s easily a top five wide receiver. He’s tied with DT Damon Harrison with a 95 overall in Madden 19. This was neck and neck between Harrison and Beckham Jr., but I just believe that Beckham Jr. is a one in a kind player who should continue to get better as long as he rehabs well from his ankle injury.
New York Jets: DL Leonard Williams
Leonard Williams may not be a flashy player, but he’s developing into an outstanding player. He’s improving as a pass rusher and is an excellent run stuffer. He’s already been to one Pro Bowl, in 2016, and is an extremely valuable player to the Jets defense. He earned a 84.8 grade, which ranked him as the #21 defensive interior lineman. The Jets aren’t a very talented team, which is why Williams is the best player. On any other team than the Jets and the Dolphins, he wouldn’t be the best player. Williams is tied for second for highest Jets player with WR Robby Anderson at an 84 overall while safety Jamal Adams is a 86 overall. Anderson is a very talented player, but he struggled a lot with drops. As for Adams, he’s only been in the NFL for one season, and wasn’t anything spectacular in his rookie season. Therefore, Williams (the only one out of those three with a Pro Bowl appearance) is the best player on the Jets.
Oakland Raiders: DE Khalil Mack
In four seasons, Khalil Mack has already made three Pro Bowls and two All Pro First Teams. He’s had double-digit sacks the last three years and had 10.5 last year. With more help on the defensive line, he could have a legitimate chance to break the all time season sack record. He earned a 92.1 grade, which ranked him as the #5 edge defender. Remember, this was all in a “down year” for him. Madden 19 agrees with this, as he’s the highest Oakland Raider with a 98 overall.
Philadelphia Eagles: DL Fletcher Cox
This choice was extremely close between Cox and QB Carson Wentz. However, Cox is a little more accomplished than Wentz. Wentz also is coming back from a knee injury, which gives Cox the edge as the Eagles best player. A three-time Pro Bowler, Cox is arguably the game’s best run stuffer. he’s a force to be reckoned with, and often draws a lot of double teams. That draws one on ones for Cox’s fellow teammates Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, who are able to feast on these match ups. He graded out well from Pro Football Focus, earning a 91.2 grade which was good enough to rank him as the third best defensive interior lineman. Madden ranks Cox as tied for the second best player with guard Brandon Brooks at a 93 overall, trailing safety Malcolm Jenkins who is a 94 overall. Jenkins is overrated, as he did not grade out well at all from Pro Football Focus. Brooks is a solid player, but he has currently is no where the near the force on the offensive line that Cox is on the defensive line.
Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Antonio Brown
Easily the best wide receiver in the NFL, Brown barely beats out running back Le’Veon Bell as the Steelers best player. He is as consistent as it gets, as he has had five straight seasons with over 1000 yards receiving. He’s led the league in receiving yards twice, in 2014 when he had 1698 yards, and last season when he had 1533 yards. Remember, he was knocked out with an injury early in a Week 15 contest vs the Patriots, so he missed two and a half games. If he had stayed healthy, he would’ve had a chance at 2000 yards. That’s simply absurd, and he does it all. He’s the best route runner, has the best hands, and wins almost every jump ball. He’s made four straight All Pro First Teams and five straight Pro Bowls. Madden 19 agrees with this, as Brown is one of those seven players with a 99 overall.
San Francisco 49ers: DL DeForest Buckner
Since coming into the league in 2015 out of Oregon, DeForest Buckner has been a force to be reckoned with. He hasn’t developed yet as a pass rusher, but he may never need. He has great run stuffing ability, and has tremendous strength with his 6’7” 300 pound frame. He’s another one of those guys who is able to open it up for his fellow teammates to pressure the quarterback because he commands all the attention from an offensive line. Once he develops as a pass rusher, he’ll be right there with Aaron Donald as the best interior defender in the game of football. He graded out extremely well from Pro Football Focus, earning a 90.4 grade, ranking him as the #6 defensive interior lineman in just his second season.Madden doesn’t agree with this one, as Buckner is the fourth highest rated 49ers player behind LB Reuben Foster (87 overall), LT Joe Staley (90 overall), and CB Richard Sherman (90 overall). Foster has only played ten games of his career, while Sherman is recovering from a brutal Achilles injury. Therefore, it comes down to Buckner and Staley, and Buckner graded out better than Staley and is also still developing.
Seattle Seahawks: QB Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson nearly single-handedly carried the Seahawks to the playoffs last season. Despite not having a running game or any sort of protection from the worst offensive line in football, Wilson still threw for 3983 yards, threw for 34 touchdowns, and led the team in rushing with 586 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He’s already a four-time Pro Bowler, and is as talented as it gets. If he had any sort of supporting cast around him, he’d be able to put up stats worthy of making the All Pro First Team. For now though, Wilson is stuck in Seattle where his supporting cast actually got worse this offseason. Madden 19 doesn’t agree with this, as Wilson is the third highest Seahawks player at a 92 overall behind safety Earl Thomas and linebacker Bobby Wagner. Both of those two guys are tremendous players, but neither has to single-handedly carry the defense like Wilson has to carry the offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LB Lavonte David
One of the more underappreciated players in the NFL, David had a tremendous season last season that should have earned him Pro Bowl honors. He was on pace for nearly 100 tackles (missed three games) and forced five fumbles. He graded out extremely well with a 94.2 grade, ranking him as the second best linebacker over Luke Keuchly. David didn’t have an interception, but he is able to shut down the run game and cover a lot of range. Madden 19 agrees with this, as David is highest ranked Bucs player at a 95 overall.
Tennessee Titans: DL Jurrell Casey
Jurrell Casey is another one of those players who isn’t flashy, but is extremely productive. A 3-4 defensive end for his entire career, he’s not a big threat as a pass rusher. However, he’s one of the best run stuffers in the NFL and is extremely durable. He’s made three straight Pro Bowls and is as consistent as it gets. He earned a 89.7 grade from Pro Football Focus, which puts him as the 9th best defensive interior lineman. Normally though, he’s arguably a top five defensive interior lineman. Madden 19 doesn’t agree with this, as Casey is tied for the second highest Titans player with safety Kevin Byard at a 89 overall and trails tight end Delanie Walker who is a 93 overall. Byard may have been tied for the most interceptions a season ago, but he’s still developing as an all around safety and wasn’t close to as good the year prior. As for Walker, he is nowhere near as durable as Casey, as Walker has started just 21 games the last two seasons compared to Casey’s 31 games started.
Washington Redskins: G Brandon Scherff
In his three year career in the NFL, Brandon Scherff has already made two Pro Bwols. He also has been a starter since day one, and is very versatile. A tackle in college, Scherff has primarily played guard in the NFL. If Washington ever needed him to switch back to tackle, he could certainly do it as he’s an exceptional pass blocker. He earned a 83.2 grade from Pro Football Focus, which ranked him as the eight best guard. Expect for him to be at least a top five guard at the end of this season. Madden 19 doesn’t agree with this, as Scherff is the third highest Redskins player at 90 overall, behind left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jordan Reed, who each are a 94 overall. Reed and Williams are great players when healthy, but the issue is they are never healthy. Scherff has played in 46 out of 48 games in his three seasons as a pro. In that same three-year span, Reed has played in 22 games and Williams has played in 36 games. Therefore, Scherff is much more reliable, which gives him the edge as the best Redskins player