The start of training camps for most NFL teams is just a week away. After a short break, football is back in the consciousness of sports fans … if it ever really disappeared. And with that comes the preparations for the latest Madden video game. But this year’s game, which will be released on August 19, is a little different.
After the series ‘namesake, Hall of Fame coach John Madden, died on December 28, 2021, and EA Sports’ decision to put Madden on the cover, there is a sense of legacy surrounding the game this year. But Madden always wanted the game to be about football and approximate the reality of the sport he loved to train, teach and talk about as close as he could. It was he who pushed for it to be 11 against 11 in the first place. He was the one who was still involved in aspects of the video game until his death.
As the game grew in the spirit of American culture, certain aspects stood out more than others. Rankings are important for players. They will complain on social media about their assessment and sometimes ask questions to those who do. The Madden staff has an entire crew dedicated to adjusting rankings throughout the year. That’s a big deal.
And with that in mind, here is an overview of the first rankings at the launch of Madden 23, some top players in each position and the annual 99 club, which has become an honor around the sport. We are launching several positions every day this week:
1. Myles Garrett, Browns: 99
2. TJ Watt, Steelers: 96
3. Nick Bosa, 49ers: 94
T-4. Von Miller, Bills: 92
T-4. Khalil Mack, Chargers: 92
T-6. Joey Bosa, Charger: 91
T-6. Cameron Jordan, Saints: 91
T-8. DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys: 90
T-8. Chandler Jones, Raiders: 90
10. Rashan Gary, Packers: 89
Dropped out: JJ Watt (T-3), Za’Darius Smith (T-10), Danielle Hunter (T-10)
In December last year, Garrett became the first Browns player in Madden’s history to receive a 99. Now he is the first Browns player to be part of the 99 club at launch. He is coming out of his fourth straight double-digit season after a career-high 16 last season. This is the second year in a row that Garrett is the top rusher at launch (he was 98 in total to start last year).
TJ Watt, last year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year, went from third to second in this year’s preliminary rankings and jumped from 94 to 96. Nick Bosa was the big move in the group. Last year he started at No. 9 with 90 in total. Now he is third with 94.
Miller switched teams from last year’s launch – twice – first and was switched from Denver to the Rams and then he signed with Buffalo in free agency. While falling to 92 overall from 93 this season, he moved up from split in sixth to split in fourth with Mack, who finished No. 2 and a 96 overall last year.
The bottom half of the top 10 has a couple of new faces and is also without future Hall of Famer JJ Watt, who was in third place as an edge-rusher last season.
1. Fred Warner, 49ers: 94
2. Demario Davis, Saints: 93
3. Lavonte David, Buccaneers: 92
4. Bobby Wagner, Rams: 91
5. Darius Leonard, Colts: 90
6. Roquan Smith, Bears: 89
T-7. Micah Parsons, Cowboyer: 88
T-7. Eric Kendricks, Vikings: 88
9. De’Vondre Campbell, Packers: 87
10. Devin White, Buccaneers: 85
Dropped out: Dont’a Hightower (No. 8), Deion Jones (No. 9), Myles Jack (No. 10)
Not much has changed at linebacker. Warner is still the top middle linebacker in Madden with the same rating as he had at the launch last year (94).
In reality, the four best linebackers from a season since all remain the same, only in a different order. Last year’s order was Warner, David, Wagner and Davis, but this season goes Warner-Davis-David-Wagner.
Leonard moved up from sixth to fifth, and up to 90 this year from 89 last year. Kendricks, who finished fifth last season, fell to seventh place this year – with Parsons at 88. By the way, Parsons has a chance to become a breakout candidate in Madden this year. At the bottom of the top 10, Campbell and White join as new additions.
1. Davante Adams, Raiders: 99
2. Cooper Coup, Rams: 98
3. Tyreek Hill, Dolphins: 97
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals: 96
5. Stefon Diggs, bills: 95
6. Justin Jefferson, Vikings: 93
7. Mike Evans, Buccaneer: 92
T-8. Terry McLaurin, Commander: 91
T-8. Keenan Allen, Chargers: 91
10. Amari Cooper, brown: 90
Went from the launch last year: Julio Jones (No. 5), Allen Robinson II (No. 10)
Perhaps no group of players has received as much of a boost in real life this past offseason as receivers. When Christian Kirk received his $ 72 million four-year contract from Jacksonville, it seemed to set off an explosion of money that went to first-class players in the position. And that in many ways made the receiver a key position in the NFL along with quarterback, left tackle, edge rusher and cornerback. Recipients receive mega money – and in Madden, their rankings have reflected how talented this group has become.
It is one of three groups where the entire top 10 has a rating of 90 or higher, and as many as five recipients may have potential claims to be the best in the game.
While Adams has moved from the Packers to the Raiders, his status as a top receiver in the game – and in the 99 club at launch – remains the same. Last year represented a big jump from Adams, who was 94 in total at the launch of Madden 21.
Behind Adams there is considerable movement. Hopkins fell from 98 to 96, and from second to fourth. Replacing him at No. 2 overall is Coup, who went from outside the top 10 early last year to a 98 overall after a 145-catch, 1947-yard, 16-touchdown season. Kupp’s emergence knocked many players down at least one place.
1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs: 98
2. George Kittle, 49ers: 97
3. Mark Andrews, Ravens: 93
4. Darren Waller, Raiders: 91
5. TJ Hockenson, Lions (89
6. Kyle Pitts, Falcons: 87
7. Mike Gesicki, Dolphins: 86
8. Dallas Goedert, Eagles: 85
T-9. Zach Ertz, Cardinals: 84
T-9. Hunter Henry, Patriots: 84
Dropped out: Austin Hooper (No. 6), Rob Gronkowski (No. 7)
For a position that continues to grow in scope and significance on the field, the man at the top of it remains the same. Although Kelce is no longer a member of the 99 club – but do not be surprised if he earns it back during the 2022 season – he remains number 1 in the match with a rating of 98. And apart from one other player, the list is not behind him so close.
Kelce’s biggest competition is Kittle, one of his teammates from Tight End University. Kittle is No. 2 tight end again this season and is now a 97 overall, up from 96 last year. Then comes the fall. Andrews (93 overall) enters the 90s and goes from No. 4 to No. 3. He turns with Waller, who falls from No. 3 to No. 4 and from a 93 last year to a 91 this year.
After that, big moves happen. Hockenson – one of the game’s best young tight-ends – is now No. 5 in the game and an 89 overall after being No. 9 and an 85 last season. Pitts had the second best season ever for a rookie tight end in 2021, including 68 catches and 1026 yards, and is now No. 6 with 87. Gesicki moves slightly up from No. 8 to No. 7 and from an 85 to 86 Goedert made a similar move from No. 10 to No. 8 and from 84 to 85. Ertz, one of the most consistent tight-ends in the league, took a big leap from 80 overall to 84 and enters. top 10 at No. 9.