An annual rite of the dog days of summer is the release of player ratings prior to the release of EA Sports’ Madden NFL game. The release of player ratings is an extremely big deal as NFL players themselves pay close attention to the ratings. They are also a source of great debate.
The release of player ratings for Madden NFL 20 is no exception.
The New York Giants’ highest rated player is running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, has a rating of 91. Only four running backs are rated higher than Barkley: Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams-97), Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys-94), Le’Veon Bell (New York Jets-92), and Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers -92).
Second on the Giants is right guard Kevin Zeitler with a rating of 89. Zeitler was part of the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns. Zack Martin (Dallas Cowboys-96), David DeCastro (Pittsburgh Steelers-93), Marshal Yanda (Baltimore Ravens-91), and Brandon Brooks (Philadelphia Eagles-90) are the only right guards ranked higher than Zeitler.
Rounding out the Giants’ top five are wide receiver Golden Tate (85), tight end Evan Engram (84), and strong safety Jabrill Peppers (84). Peppers was also part of the Beckham/Vernon trade. Giants players 6-10 are wide receiver Sterling Shepard (81), cornerback Janoris Jenkins (80), left end Dalvin Tomlinson (80), free safety Antoine Bethea (77), and left guard Will Hernandez (77).
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The Giants’ quarterbacks got little to no love from the folks at EA Sports.
Eli Manning received a rating of just 72 in spite of coming off of one of his best statistical seasons. Thirty-four quarterbacks were ranked higher than Manning, including Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has thrown just 25 passes in the past two seasons.
“I’d be interested to see how we get to 63,” Jones said in a reaction video.
The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin is in agreement. He took EA Sports’ rankings to task in a recent article.
“They gave Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick, a 63 rating—lower than second-round pick Drew Lock, lower than third-round pick Will Grier, lower than seven of the other eight rookies on the Giants (including a fifth-round pick), and, absurdly, lower than undrafted rookie quarterback Tyree Jackson. I realize that not every is a Jones fan, but he still would have been a first-round pick had the Giants not taken him,” Volin wrote.
Alex Tanney is the lowest-ranked Giant and one of the game’s lowest rated quarterbacks with a putrid rating of 45.
There are four players who received the coveted 99 rating: right end and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams), wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans), left outside linebacker Khalil Mack (Chicago Bears), and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks).
Madden NFL 20 will be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows platforms on Aug. 2. This year’s cover athlete is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes.