Every year, die hard Madden fans scramble to find all the information they can before the game’s actual release in anticipation of finally getting their hands on a copy. Of the leaks before the annual August release, players’ overall ratings are one of the most important to gamers. In last year’s game, only four players were given the highest rating of a 99 overall: Rob Gronkowski, Luke Kuechly, Von Miller, and J.J Watt. Who will be given the highest in Madden 18?
The Panther’s star linebacker, and arguably the best middle linebacker in the game, had another stellar season while he was on the field. Unfortunately, Kuechly’s season was cut to 10 games as he missed the final six due to a concussion suffered against the New Orleans Saints in Week 11. However, the quarterback of Carolina’s defense should still remain a 99 overall due to his stellar production of averaging over 10 combined tackles per game. He will be back in 2017 and should continue to be one of the biggest forces in the NFL with an overall rating that should reflect that.
Von Miller continued to show why many think he is the best pass-rusher in the NFL. The Broncos’ sack machine recorded 13.5 sacks to go along with a career-high 78 combined tackles. To the fan of an opposing team, it often feels like Miller should be called offside on almost every play, but he is just that explosive. He is a game wrecker and a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Miller continued to be a big part of one of the NFL’s elite defenses in 2016, and he should retain his 99 overall rating.
Simply put, Julio Jones is a freak of nature. Jones has a 6’3 frame, electric breakaway speed and great leaping ability. In Madden 17, he was a 98 overall and was basically a cheat code, making unreal catches over defenders. Then again, he does the same thing in real life. He would have had one of the most memorable Super Bowl catches of all time had it not been for the Falcons’ defense breaking down and costing them the championship. Jones lept over Eric Rowe to make an insane catch late in the game, and somehow getting two feet in bounds. He is the most physically gifted wide receiver in the NFL, and his rating should get bumped up to a 99.
Patience, quick decisions, and acceleration make Bell the best running back in the game and it does not seem close. Defenders think they have him locked up in the back field, but before they can react, the Pittsburgh running back is already up field, making defenders miss and racing towards the end zone. Bell averaged 4.9 yards per carry in 2016, in large part due his elusiveness and ability to find a lane. Bell was a 96 overall in last year’s Madden, but his stellar 2016 season and natural talent could get him up to a 99.
A 96 overall in Madden 17, Brady had one of his best seasons yet, at the youthful age of 39. Starting the year suspended for the first four games, the Patriot’s quarterback showed no signs of rust when he came back in Week 5. He posted the best regular season touchdown to interception ratio in history at 14-1. It also doesn’t hurt that he led the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history down 25 points in the second half. Brady is also the cover athlete for this year’s game, which hints at him being given the highest overall in the game. He may be 40 this upcoming season, but Brady is still playing at a ridiculously high level and his arm has shown no signs of weakening.