EA Sports' Madden 16 is due to hit the stores on August 25, which means that with the release just over a month away, it's time for EA Sports to start their reveals of ratings around the league.
The journey for it begins here, with a top ten list of rookie ratings.
1. Amari Cooper: 82 overall, 92 speed, 94 agility, 87 catch.
Cooper's 92 speed will certainly be a problem for coverage teams in Madden. What is necessary to be effective is speed, acceleration, agility, route running and catching. Forget about awareness, run blocking, play recognition and all that, just look to see if your guy is a burner and if he can make plays. Cooper looks to be just that, and his speed rating could get higher once we see him in action.
2. Jameis Winston: 81 overall, 95 throw power, 88 throw accuracy short, 81 agility, 75 strength, 73 speed.
Winston's key characteristic will be his throw power. Being able to launch a bomb and not get hung up with a noodle arm is key in exploiting defenses that want to press your better receivers. Especially when you have receivers like Mike Evans that can go up and get it, that's an asset that will be more important than quarterback speed.
3. Todd Gurley: 80 overall, 91 speed, 87 acceleration, 80 elusiveness, 91 trucking, 89 stiff arm, 91 carry, 73 injury.
Gurley packs a little more punch than what Le'Veon Bell did when he entered the league in Madden. His 91 speed will be fast enough to run away from defenders once he gets through a hole and his 91 trucking means more times than not he'll probably fall forward and get the extra yard or two to make it second and 3 rather than second and 6.
4. Leonard Williams: 80 overall, 90 block shed, 87 strength, 85 power move, 83 pursuit, 82 acceleration.
Williams' block-shed ability being in the 90s already will make him a great rookie asset. 87 strength means he will not easily be moved and that combined with the high shedding skills means that he could be a problem for offenses running the ball to his side. Once he gets loose his pursuit and acceleration should be good enough to at least make running backs deviate from their desired paths and run into other defenders.
5. Brandon Scherff: 80 overall, 89 run block, 80 pass block, 83 strength.
One would hope that Scherff's strength was higher for him to dominate the edge as a tackle, but 89 run block will be major for Alfred Morris to run to his side. 80 pass block is decent but against top speed rushers he will be a liability.
6. Dante Fowler: 79 overall, 86 speed, 89 acceleration, 83 pursuit, 83 finesse move, 84 agility, 87 tackle.
These are very solid numbers for a rookie outside linebacker, primarily because his speed and acceleration will let him shoot gaps and not give quarterbacks a whole lot of time to think if he can get free or shed a blocker. But if we're being realistic to what his NFL career has been like his injury needs to be at 1.
7. Melvin Gordon: 78 overall, 91 speed, 88 acceleration, 80 elusiveness, 91 spin move, 69 trucking, 83 stiff arm.
A slight step quicker than Gurley but his lack of trucking will make him less of a weapon between the tackles. USe counters and stretch plays to maximize his skills.
8. Kevin White: 78 overall, 94 speed, 92 acceleration, 88 agility, 88 catch.
Despite Cooper's higher overall I would take White over him. The extra two points at 94 speed make him even more dangerous of a deep threat and his 88 catch means he won't have problems finishing the job if you can get him the ball. Speed kills, and White might be a doing a lot of that in Madden 16.
9. Marcus Mariota: 78 overall, 87 throw short accuracy, 88 throw mid accuracy, 90 throw on the run, 88 speed, 90 acceleration, 79 elusiveness.
WARNING! CONSTANT ROLL OUT ALERT! Mariota's speed will make him a prime target for inexperienced Madden users to try and display his speed and roll outside of the pocket ON EVERY PLAY. It's the Michael Vick effect, it will be a reality, prepare for it with screaming outside linebackers coming and quick linebackers in quarterback spy mode. The option is going to be annoying too, so prepare for lots of quarterback speed utilization and less football strategy when facing someone who uses him. Though it's very interesting they did not reveal his throw power rating, which could mean that might be a liability for using him.
10. Vic Beasley: 77 overall, 88 speed, 87 strength, 89 acceleration, 92 jumping.
Beasley is the player I would prefer over Fowler, his higher speed and acceleration already make him a better candidate for leading pass rusher in good blitz schemes. His 87 strength will be a major asset when dealing with offensive tackles that don't have a high strength rating like Scherff.
Were I to rate these players in importance to me, I would say that Winston, White and Beasley would get my top picks as players. White's speed will be utilized by teams next to Alshon Jeffery's height, Beasley will be a fun sack monster and Winston is going to be a deep ball threat.