Madden NFL 20: Rookie Ratings Breakdown

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

The annual Madden 20 rookie ratings were revealed and you might be shocked at what you see with some of the top 2019 NFL Draft picks.

Every year brings new excitement. New game modes, new additions to Ultimate Team or Franchise Mode, new cosmetics such as player equipment and team uniforms. Nothing will quite ever hold a candle to the annual bonanza that is the release of Madden rookie ratings for the first time prior to launch.

Each year, the newest NFL rookies get together with the team over at EA Sports and playfully discover their ratings through guessing and discovery. Most players are unhappy with their in-game ratings versus what they feel they can do or are capable of in real life, and others are quite passive about it.

Typically it’s the skill positions that are the most vocal about their initial ratings; wide receivers, running backs, defenders. Quarterbacks, who through the ages have been known to the typically the most humble of the group are usually “meh” about their ratings.

The Madden Franchise is both ever-growing and ever-evolving. It’s a multi-million dollar per year industry in revenue as well as globally through micro-transactions and competitive tournaments that often have prizes that hit the $1 million mark in championship rounds.

Professional athletes are competitive in nature, and their rookie ratings are no stranger to debate. Let’s take a look at how this year’s class fared in the eyes of the rating Gods.

Top-5 Picks

Kyler Murray, the first player chosen in the 2019 NFL Draft finds himself as the 23rd rated rookie in the class, and second-best on his own team with fellow rookie CB Byron Murphy coming in at 11th overall amongst rookies.

Murray comes in with a 91 speed. While Murray did not participate in the 40-yard dash at either the NFL Combine or his Pro Day, Madden Ratings Adjustors have specifically mentioned film study review as a major part of their rating process. It’s no secret Murray’s near the top in the game with his speed; dude can run.

Awareness, which is a telling attribute for quarterbacks in Madden is one that Murray could plead for an improvement on. Out of 16 rookie quarterbacks that will be in the launch rosters on August 2nd, Murray’s 65 lands him sixth overall, notably behind Brett Rypien (Broncos) and Clayton Thorson (Eagles) – Those Northwestern boys, eh?

If the 91-speed rating wasn’t enough to excite you, the 92 acceleration, 90 agility, 82 elusiveness, 86 ball-carrier vision, and 81 juke move surely will have you dying to get on the sticks with Murray in Madden 20. Murray isn’t just a running quarterback, his 89 throw power ranks him third-best in the Madden 20 rookie QB class behind only Tyree Jackson (Bills) and Dwayne Haskins Jr (Redskins) respectively.

Second overall pick Nick Bosa comes in at third overall in the Madden 20 rookie rankings with a 74 overall. Bosa missed most of his 2018 campaign due to injury and health preservation for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Bosa’s 82 tackle, 84 power move, 76 block shedding, 79 finesse move, and 72 power move round out his pass-rusher skills. Don’t expect to be able to drop Bosa back in coverage at all, as his man and zone coverage ratings come in at 23 and 37 respectively.

Remember that 2018 injury we discussed regarding Bosa? Madden paid attention. Bosa ranks last out of 13 right ends in the Madden 20 rookie launch class. Something to monitor if you plan on trying to rebuild the 49ers in Franchise Mode this year.

Quinnen Williams of the Jets is arguably everyone’s favorite rookie, and he’s clearly Madden’s favorite. Williams lands the best overall rating of all rookies at launch with an 80 overall.

Williams was a force on the Alabama defense in 2018, and his attributes speak to just how dominate Madden thinks he can be for your New York Jets.

WIlliams’ 89 strength ties him for fourth-best among rookies at launch, and he pairs that with a great speed/acceleration/agility package of 78-86-82 respectively. Williams’ impact blocking rating is tied for first with fellow 2019 classmate Ed Oliver (Bills) at 88 overall. Expect to be able to get to the quarterback with ease using Williams and his 84 power move and is 81 block shedding. Once you finally get to the ball carrier, his 83 tackle rating should get the job done in the backfield.

Clelin Ferrell was a huge draft night surprise when the Oakland Raiders selected him at fourth overall with arguably better talent still on the board. Madden too may have felt that this pick was a bit premature, as four players pick after Ferrell are rated ahead of him at launch including former teammate Christian Wilkins (Dolphins).

Ferrell boasts a nice speed/acceleration/agility combo of 81/86/76 and comes in at 81/80 impact blocking and tackle. Depending on what type of development trait Madden assigns to Ferrell, you could be looking at a future Pro Bowler at the LE position, or a potential bust. You’ll need to be patient here.

Having a linebacker that’s quick and can fly to the football seems to be the meta for competitive Madden if you haven’t fully moved on to stacking the box with S/LB hybrids at this point.

Devin Bush is a new-school linebacker who can do just that. He’s going to find whoever has the football and try to plant them into the ground. Well, you’d think so at least — White’s 68 awareness is concerning, but still best for T-3 in his rookie launch class at MLB. You’re getting a fantastic speed/acceleration/agility combo with White at 92/91/82, so yeah, he’s going to get there and quickly.

White’s 77 strength is respectable, but he’s not going to just plow through blockers. White’s 84 tackle rating is a great pair with the speed package your getting, but again the awareness is worrisome here. A 56/66 man/zone combo for coverage isn’t great, but it’s not awful either – remember, this is a launch rating without these players even hitting training camp yet.

Interesting ratings tidbits

  • Ravens first-round pick Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is the game’s fastest rookie, with a 97 overall speed, edging out Mecole Hardman at 95 overall speed.
  • Madden seems to be just as low on the Giants’ selection of Duke QB Daniel Jones as the rest of the world. Jones’ 63 overall rating puts him behind two second and third-day selections and an undrafted rookie.
  • Redskins’ rookie RB Bryce Love out of Stanford surprisingly landed in the top-5 for rookie rushers ahead of Chicago’s David Montgomery and New England’s Damien Harris. While Love had a stellar college career, I thought maybe his recent injury and potential rookie redshirt would slot him down a few spots.
  • Both TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant from Iowa were considered the top two available TE’s in the 2019 draft, but Alabama’s Irv Smith actually edges out Fant as the second-best rookie TE at launch. Smith’s 81/77 catch/spectacular catch combo edge out Fant’s 78/76. However, Fant is clearly the better athlete, boasting an 89/91/89 speed/acceleration/agility combo to Smith’s 85/85/75.
  • Madden stuck to the tape when it came to corners, with both Byron Murphy and Greedy Williams edging out first round selection DeAndre Baker. Murphy’s 75/78 man/zone combo is the best among rookies, with Williams coming in at 76/71 and Baker 75/69 respectively, though Baker does take the cake with his 81 overall press rating.

Next. 2019 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams. dark

Madden launch is one month away, and there’s plenty of time to debate it. Check out the Madden 20 rookie ratings here.