On the field, NFL players want to be No. 1.
When it comes to football video games, Madden is still It. Despite its detractors (the game only subtly changes each year and some modes get too complicated), it’s the most popular football video game in the world.
Every player in it has a number assigned to denote their abilities. Madden — this year it’s officially Madden ’23, but everyone just calls it “Madden” — comes out August 19.
The creators rank the players across as many as 54 separate categories and then come up with an overall rating. Getting a 99 is a badge of honor for NFL players, good for talking smack on social media, big for a team’s fans, and it always sparks some debate.
It’s awesome to see the players care about their ratings. They take pride in it. Fans do too.
Rams Madden overall rankings
Not all positional groups have been released, and we will update this list once complete.
- Cooper Kupp: 98
- Bobby Wagner: 91
- Cam Akers: 83
- Tyler Higbee: 82
- Allen Robinson: 82
- Leonard Floyd: 80
- Darrell Henderson Jr.: 79
- Matt Gay: 79
- Jordan Fuller: 78
- Van Jefferson: 78
- Taylor Rapp: 76
- Terrell Burgess: 74
- Ernest Jones: 73
- Justin Hollins: 72
- Nick Scott: 72
- Tutu Atwell: 71
Chargers Madden overall rankings
- Derwin James: 93
- Khalil Mack: 92
- Joey Bosa: 91
- Keenan Allen: 91
- Austin Ekeler: 88
- Mike Williams: 86
- Kyle Van Noy: 78
- Drue Tranquill: 77
- Gerald Everett: 76
- Nasir Adderley: 75
- Isaiah Spiller: 73
- Jalen Guyton: 73
- Kenneth Murray Jr.: 73
- Morgan Fox: 73
- Deandre Carter: 72
- Dustin Hopkins: 72
- Jerry Tillery: 71
- Joshua Palmer: 71
- Joe Reed: 70
- Joshua Kelly: 70
But wait, why should we care?
At its core a video game is really a bunch of numbers going up against each other and seeing how it would all play out. Would that pass be accurate? Would the running back break the tackle? Would the defensive back make the interception?
Look at the numbers.
Players holding the controller, like you and me (I buy Madden every other year because I’m in the ‘it’s too similar every year’ camp) add a variable with our own skills.
But if you ran a straight simulation, a player rated with a 99 usually beats a player rated 85.
Fans, game players and NFL players want their numbers to be high because Ram fans want to play as the Rams, and Charger fans want to play as the Chargers.
Playing the game is more fun if your video game players are rated highly. Ram fans want Cooper Kupp to catch every pass and Bobby Wagner to make every tackle. Charger fans need Justin Herbert to be strong and accurate. You don’t want to be the – I don’t know – Falcons.
Numbers On Offense
Revealing the official Madden ’23 player ratings is now a weeklong event. Wide receivers, edge rushers and running backs are officially out. Defensive backs and linemen are set for today, and quarterbacks tomorrow.
There are some Rams up high on the list. Cooper Kupp is the No. 2 ranked wide receiver with an overall rating of 98. They gave him an 89 in speed (fair) a 66 in strength (low) and a 99 in stamina (wow). Kupp ranks behind Davante Adams of the Raiders, who got an overall 99.
The next wide receiver for the Rams on the list is Allen Robinson II, who received an 82 overall (that’s low) but with an 89 speed (same as Kupp?) and a 92 for acceleration.
Chargers star wide receiver Keenan Allen may have a legitimate gripe with his 91 overall rating. Mike Williams got an 86.
Van Jefferson is a serviceable 78. Madden game makers gave Tutu Atwell a 71, but a 93 for speed (high) but only a 22 for ‘truck rating’, meaning he isn’t running over anyone in the open field.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is the ninth-rated running back overall with an 88, but he got dinged with an 88 for his injury rating. The lower your injury rating, the most likely it is the virtual player will suffer a real injury in the game.
Numbers on Defense
We don’t have the official Aaron Donald number yet, but it will be a surprise if the Rams superstar isn’t a 99.
The big winner so far of the numbers shown is Chargers safety Derwin James. He ranks as the second-best safety in the game with a 93 overall, trailing only Saints (former Chief) star Tyrann Mathieu.
Give me James over Mathieu any day. One is hype, one is substance.
Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner is the fourth-best linebacker in the game, with an overall rating of 91. He has a 95 tackle rating, which is superior. Madden also bestowed a 92 on Chargers edge rusher Khalil Mack.
A Number of Questions
Wow, the Browns must be good. Myles Garrett got a 99 as the best edge rusher in the game. Cleveland running back Nick Chubb is tied as the second highest rated running back with a 96. The Browns were (checks notes) 8-9 last year.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey rated an overall 96. The Panthers were (checks notes) 5-12.
Some of the other fun with the ratings and the game is that you can sub in players at unusual positions. You want to make Rams kicker Matt Gay a running back? Good luck with that; his break tackle rating is a 16. Or let’s say you want to put Wagner in to kick a field goal? His accuracy is listed as 20.
The depth and detail of the Madden rankings can’t be argued. Real NFL players and real gamers will debate the numbers all season long.