Madden 21’s release is now a mere six weeks away from its August 21 release date (it’s incredible to think Madden’s developers will be able to fix Franchise mode and re-design the Washington _________ in time) and with it comes the obligatory ‘teaser’ campaign via the release of rookie ratings and rookie’s reactions to these ratings.
This year’s rookie ratings release is, interestingly, being announced by position groups and notable players due to the Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts not having a 1st Round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Now we have an indication of how the ratings are being allocated in this year’s Madden edition, with the release of quarterback and wide receiver rookie ratings, let’s look at where the Steelers’ picks might fall.
First, the Steelers had one player’s rating released in this initial offensive pool, with Chase Claypool the Steelers’ 2nd Round pick rated a 70 overall (this Steelers fan felt a 72 was fairer). This overall rating was given based on these ratings or primary and secondary attributes:
- Speed: 92, Acceleration: 89, Agility: 78, Change of Direction: 73, Release: 68, Jump: 95
- Strength: 71, Awareness: 70, Carry: 78, Ball Carrier Vision: 83, Break Tackle: 78
- Stiff Arm: 73, Spin Move: 78, Juke Move: 79, Trucking: 87, Kick Return: 65
- Catch: 79, Spectacular Catch: 84, Catch in Traffic: 84
- Short Route Running: 73, Medium Route Running: 71, Deep Route Running: 73
- Injury: 87, Stamina: 86, Toughness: 86, Tackle: 43, Break Sack: 32,
- Impact Block: 61, Lead Block: 41, Run Block: 56, Pass Block: 49
- Run Block Power: 47, Run Block Finesse: 49, Pass Block Power: 47, Pass Block Finesse: 48
- Throw Power: 47, Throw Under Pressure: 26, Throw on the Run: 35 Play Action: 25,
- Short Throw Accuracy: 40, Medium Throw Accuracy: 30, Deep Throw Accuracy: 26
- Power Moves: 26, Finesse Moves: 30, Block Shedding: 50, Pursuit: 57, Hit Power Rating: 45
- Play Recognition: 28, Man Coverage: 41, Zone Coverage: 50, Press Coverage Rating: 43
- Kick Power: 21, Kick Accuracy: 15
Before making overall ratings predictions for the rest of the Steelers’ rookie class, let’s hop into our ‘Black n Gold’ DeLorean (nice metaphor Brian Anthony Davis, thanks for letting me borrow it) and look at the ratings of the Steeler’s 2019 rookie cohort:
- Devin Bush (MLB) - 72
- Dionte Johnson (WR) - 69
- Benny Snell Jr. (HB) - 69
- Justin Layne (CB) - 69
- Sutton Smith (ROLB) - 66
- Isaiah Buggs (RE) - 63
- Zach Gentry (TE) - 63
- Ulysees Gilbert III (MLB) - 62
- Derwin Gray (LT) - 57
- Fred Johnson (RG) - 54
What do these ratings indicate for this year’s rookie class? First, we must suppress any expectations that the 2020 Steelers rookie class ratings will be reflective of their actual on-field performance. With Madden seemingly less a ‘simulation game’ or authentic experience in recent years and developers building in the incentive to play the game as the season progresses, hopefully player ratings improve. Second, the rating ranges of all players, particularly offensive linemen and defensive linemen, drop significantly once picks outside the the first three rounds are graded.
EA has also added a new Madden 21 rating called Change of Direction (as above, Claypool’s is 73) that replaces the former ‘Elusiveness’ rating given to offensive players and is now applied to both offensive and defensive players. It’s hard to gauge this new rating’s impact on game play without having played the beta, or on overall ratings as are to be able to toggle with ratings sliders. However, this rating attribute has the potential to substantially change game play when it comes to animations and in-game player responses than its predecessor did in previous editions (a discussion for a future article), and will no doubt impact play at the middle linebacker, cornerback and safety postions.
With all this in mind and under consideration, here is my Madden 21 ratings predictions for the rest of the Steelers’ 2020 NFL Draft Class:
- Round 4, Pick 38 (102) - Alex Highsmith (OLB): 68
- Round 4, Pick 18 (124) - Anthony McFarland (RB): 63
- Round 4, Pick 29 (135) - Kevin Dotson (G): 64
- Round 6, Pick 19 (198) - Antoine Brooks Jr. (S): 62
- Round 7, Pick 18 (232) - Carlos Davis (DT): 58
Now, I’ve given my Madden 21 Rookie ratings prediction, I’d like to hear your predictions or maybe you also feel Chase Claypool has been given a bit of ‘ratings shade’ by developers for his overall rating/a specific attribute.