Madden 21 remains one of the most successful sports video game franchises in the history of gaming, but you wouldn’t know it from the public perception of the game. Every year around the release of the next version of the game, people complain about the franchise’s lack of changes year to year. Every year, people threaten to not buy the game, but ultimately do, because there’s no alternate choice to make.
Chief among the complaints—especially from NFL players themselves—are the player ratings. For whatever reason, people work themselves into a frenzy over Player A being disrespected by Electronic Arts, or Player B continuing to be overrated.
Personally, I couldn’t care less, but I am here in servitude to you, the reader. So to help get you worked up for no really good reason, here are the Madden 21 ratings for all of the Detroit Lions starters for the 2020 season.
Matthew Stafford — Rating: 83 — QB ranking: t-11th
Stafford falls just outside the top 10, but his rating increased from 79 last year.
Kerryon Johnson — Rating: 82 — RB ranking: t-24th
D’Andre Swift — Rating: 74 — RB ranking t-60th
Madden is notoriously careful with rookie, giving them very low ratings until they “earn” it on the field. Believe it or not, Kerryon Johnson is actually up one point from last season.
Nick Bawden — Rating: 66 — FB ranking: t-18th
There aren’t many fullbacks left in this league, but Bawden ranks among the worst, according to EA.
Kenny Golladay — Rating: 86 — WR ranking: t-20th
Marvin Jones Jr. — Rating: 85 — WR ranking: t-23rd
Danny Amendola — Rating: 80 — WR ranking: t-68th
Here’s, I assume, where the outrage will start with most Lions fans. After leading the league in touchdowns and coming seventh in receiving yards, Golladay barely cracked the top 20.
Perhaps just as surprising is seeing Jones just a single point behind him.
T.J. Hockenson — Rating: 77 — TE ranking: t-25th
Jesse James — Rating: 70 — TE ranking: t-71st
Not a lot of respect for the Lions’ tight ends, but that’s completely understandable given 2019.
Taylor Decker — Rating: 74 — LT ranking: t-17th
Decker ranks as an average left tackle, which is just about right.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai — Rating: 67 — RT ranking: t-29th
Vaitai clearly has a lot of skeptics, but he has a chance to change the narrative as a full-time starter for the first time in his career.
Frank Ragnow — Rating: 83 — C ranking: 8th
Ragnow is one of just two Lions players ranking in the top 10 at his position.
Joe Dahl — Rating: 68 — G ranking: t-53rd
Kenny Wiggins — Rating: 64 — G ranking — t-84th
Jonah Jackson — Rating: 63 — G ranking: t-93rd
Joshua Garnett — Rating: 63 — G ranking: t-93rd
Oday Aboushi — Rating: 63 — G ranking: t-9rd
Interesting to see that Madden thinks Joe Dahl is far and away the best guard on the team. Everyone else is just muddled in the 63-64 rating range.
Danny Shelton — Rating: 81 — DT ranking: 20th
Da’Shawn Hand — Rating: 78 — DT ranking: t-29th
Nick Williams — Rating: 68 — DT ranking: t-76th
Danny Shelton may be a little higher than some expected, and Da’Shawn Hand isn’t far behind. Meanwhile, one successful season isn’t enough to impress Madden rating adjusters.
Defensive end (EDGE)*
Trey Flowers — Rating: 86 — EDGE ranking: t-19th
Jamie Collins Sr. — Rating: 83 — EDGE ranking: t-31st
Romeo Okwara — Rating: 71 — EDGE ranking: t-155th
Trey Flowers just cracks the top 20, while Jamie Collins Sr.—listed as an outside linebacker by Madden—just misses out on the top 30.
*Note: there is some overlap between EDGEs and LBs. Some players I am categorizing as both, which may affect position rankings.
Christian Jones — Rating: 73 — LB ranking: t-77th
Jahlani Tavai — Rating: 71 — LB ranking: t-109th
Jarrad Davis — Rating: 70 — LB ranking: t-119th
Justin Coleman — Rating: 84 — CB ranking: t-18th
Desmond Trufant — Rating: 83 — CB ranking: t-21st
Jeff Okudah — Rating: 76 — CB ranking: t-59th
Nickel corner Justin Coleman is Detroit’s highest-rated cornerback, while Desmond Trufant barely misses the top 20. Jeff Okudah gets the rookie treatment, despite being the third overall pick.
Duron Harmon — Rating: 80 — S ranking: t-31st
Tracy Walker — Rating: 77 — S ranking: t-45th
Jayron Kearse — Rating: 69 — S ranking: t-94th
Will Harris — Rating: 69 — S ranking: t-94th
Lions fans will likely hate Tracy Walker’s rating, but it’s interesting to see Duron Harmon get that level of respect with an 80 rating. Meanwhile, Jayron Kearse and Will Harris have some work to do.
Matt Prater — Rating: 81 — K ranking: 6th
Yep, that’s about right.
Jack Fox — Rating: 65 — P ranking: t-32nd
I guess this is what happens when you have two punters with no NFL experience.
Top 11 Lions per Madden 21 ranking:
- Kenny Golladay - 86
- Trey Flowers - 86
- Marvin Jones Jr. - 85
- Justin Coleman - 84
- Desmond Trufant - 83
- Frank Ragnow - 83
- Jamie Collins Sr. - 83
- Matthew Stafford - 83
- Kerryon Johnson - 82
- Danny Shelton - 81
- Matt Prater - 81