Madden NFL 16, the latest version of the popular EA Sports franchise, will hit shelves in late August, and EA is slowly unveiling its player ratings, recently completing the top five at each offensive position group.
What follows are the top players from all offensive positions. Would they all fit together to make the best offense in the NFL? (Spoiler: they would.)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 99 rating
It's hard to argue with Rodgers leading the offense. Sure, you really can't go wrong with the top end of NFL quarterbacks -- any one of Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Andrew Luck could slot in -- but Rodgers earns the max rating on Madden. While the rest of the top quarterbacks should have comparable ratings when it comes to accuracy and awareness, it would be silly to argue against Rodgers. Brady, Brees, Luck and Ben Roethlisberger round out the top five.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, 96 rating
Lynch is obviously among the NFL's best running backs, though it's interesting to see him top the list as opposed to DeMarco Murray, who led the league in rushing last season. In fact, it wasn't really close, as Murray put up 1,845 yards and Lynch was in fourth place in the league with 1,306 yards.
Still, yardage isn't all that matters, and Lynch has to be the top when it comes to the Trucking rating, which weighs fairly heavily in the game (or at least, it has in recent years). You can't go wrong with either guy, nor any of the top five, which also includes Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Le'Veon Bell.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, 99 rating, and Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks, 95
Gronk put up 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns while helping his team win a Super Bowl. He is the leader at tight end by a good margin, sporting the max overall rating. That is probably helped by excellent route-running and base catch ratings.
Graham comes up at 95 after something of a down year, but his rating probably eclipses Gronkowski's in jump and spectacular catch. The ratings that make Gronkowski good, however, are weighted more heavily when it comes to the overall calculation. Woe to the poor linebacker that will have to cover Jimmy Graham, No. 2 tight end.
The top five rounds out with Jason Witten, Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce.
It's kind of crazy to think about the top wide receiver pairing without Calvin Johnson, but both outshined him last season. That obviously has to do with Johnson sustaining injuries, but Brown and Bryant were excellent.
Brown caught 129 passes for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. He probably benefits from a higher speed rating than most on Madden. Bryant was eighth in yardage but had 16 touchdowns, and after the tight end pairing above, it's hilarious trying to imagine a defense that can fight this offense.
The top five receivers include Johnson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones.
- LT: Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles, 96 rating
- LG: Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers, 97
- C: Nick Mangold, New York Jets 95
- RG Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens 98
- RT: Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati Bengals 95
As it turns out, the top five offensive linemen include two tackles, two guards and a center, and the only adjustment is to shift Whitworth to the right side. Moving a left tackle to the right isn't nearly as big a deal as moving a right tackle to the left.
But other than that, this line is definitely among the best lines one could ever field. It's worth noting that both Evan Mathis (a free agent) and Joe Thomas had 95 ratings as well, the same as Whitworth.
SB Nation archives: NFL rookies guess their Madden 25 player ratings (2013)