Last week, the Madden 21 ratings were released to the public. The 99 Club consists of: Stephon Gilmore, Michael Thomas, Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, and Patrick Mahomes.
EA Sports ratings are hugely debated in the video game and professional athlete communities. Players are now taking shots at EA Sports, letting the Madden 21 ratings czars know that they got it wrong. At least the developers can snap ratings in and out of existence like Thanos: prove your worth and you shall be rewarded. Just ask Mohamed Sanu Sr. last year.
While ratings can always improve, we at SQUAD decided to take a look at which ratings Madden 21 definitely got wrong.
.@Mo_12_Sanu has a CANNON 😧
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 4, 2019
Terry McLaurin – 82 overall
Throw Scary Terry a bone. He’s on the one of the league’s worst teams and still managed to put up massive rookie numbers. Terry McLaurin managed to catch 62.4% of his targets from three different QBs. He’s clearly not a product of positive results from quality QBs *cough* Patriots receivers from the past 20 years *cough*.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what ratings dragged him down; maybe his 85 Awareness rating, even though that’s pretty solid. Terry McLaurin was pretty durable, playing 14 games last season. He suited up for 82% of the team’s offensive snaps, so he was reliable in that aspect. Scary Terry tripled the receiving output as far as yards and touchdowns compared to his teammates. There could be some improvement on his Ball Carrying Vision rating of 81, since he carried the nameless team in Washington. Long story short, Terry McLaurin was the focal point for the majority of the offense outside of Adrian Peterson. Put some respect on McLaurin’s name.
Our verdict: Underrated
Odell Beckham Jr – 91 overall
This seems like a legacy rating. Odell Beckham Jr had the benefit of the doubt last year after his trade to the Cleveland Browns, owning a 96 overall ranking heading into Madden 20 despite his 2018 bruised quadriceps injury. OBJ took a major step back last year, playing through more serious injuries for a brand new unproven team.
Despite the 5-point drop, it feels that it wasn’t steep enough. His yards-per-game dropped to 64.7, and his catch percentage fell to another career low at 55.6%. OBJ was playing beside Jarvis Landry, so it’s not like he was being double teamed with teams two best corners. At the very least, his durability should be seriously questioned. It feels like sacrilege to question his talents, but the NFL is very much a prove-it league. Look at Cam Newton, he’s a former MVP with a horrendous ranking.
Also quick side note: How is OBJ’s Kick Power rating at 75? Is it because of those kicking stunts he puts out? Does that rating have any impact on his overall?
Our verdict: Overrated
Dak Prescott – 84 overall
Put aside your prejudice. Dak Prescott is a good quarterback. He has continued to grow and improve each season, acting as a threat with both his arm and legs. The eye test is a complete fallacy, since people enjoy hating on the Cowboys, and that includes their own fans. Every QB misses easy throws no matter how elite they are. Dak Prescott is easily a Top-10 QB in the NFL, and deserves more recognition than an 84 overall.
Dak is durable, having never missed a game since his debut in 2016. He threw for 4902 yards last season, passing his career high by 1017 yards. Dak is 5th in the NFL in yards-per-pass-attempt, and still had a 65.1% completion percentage despite throwing 6th most passing attempts. Clearly he has the arm strength, accuracy, durability, speed, pocket awareness, and finish since he was 4th in TD passes as well. An 84 overall is a joke.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to give his Medium and Long Throw Accuracy a boost past the 84 rating he has for both of those categories. All of his Speed related categories can be boosted slightly.
Our verdict: Underrated
Dak Prescott finished in the top 5 last season in several of the most difficult passing situations according to our Completion Pct Over Expected (CPOE) metric:
➤ Deep (20+ air yards)
➤ Outside the Numbers
➤ Target Separation < 3 yards
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) May 21, 2020
Rob Gronkowski – 95 overall
Gronk is the king of finesse. He managed to charm the Patriots to take him even though he slept during his draft interview. He nixed a trade to the Lions, holding all the cards to his future in the NFL. Outplayed Bill Belichick, forcing a Gronk trade to the Buccaneers, which reunited him with his QB, Tom Brady.
Clearly, Rob Gronkowski will get what he wants. He somehow managed his way to a 95 overall. He was retired last year. He’s a 95 this year. This makes zero sense. Does EA Sports give bonus points to WWE Champions? Maybe bonus points for Masked Singer appearances?
There isn’t a debate here whether he’s the best Tight End to ever play the game of Football. There is zero debate. None. But, it’s 2020 and Gronk has a brutal injury history, and didn’t leave on the most stellar note in 2018. While most of his skillset is a tad behind what he’s previously been rated, it would be difficult to imagine him not being docked further on key physical stats like: Speed, Acceleration, Agility, Strength, Injury, Toughness. Gronk should be docked points for every one of those stats, because the man is a ticking time bomb injury-wise, and has lost two steps from his prime. An 86 rating for Acceleration isn’t right.
This isn’t a call for him to be neutered attribute wise, but it’s unreasonable to see him rated ahead of Zach Ertz (90). Even Darren Waller should be rated higher than Rob Gronkowski, but that’s a different conversation since Waller is rated lower than he should be at 85 overall.
Our verdict: Overrated