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Madden 21 ratings: the top five players at every position

madden 21 ratings
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Knowing your Madden 21 ratings is a key element of getting stuck into this year's Gridiron sim. Which is why we’ve collated the top Madden 21 players at every single position, from the bomb-throwing Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, to the game-deciding boot of kicker Justin Tucker, and everything in-between. You’ll discover the new entrants in the hallowed halls of the mythical Madden 99 Club, and who has received significant upgrades from last year’s game. It’s all here in our complete list of Madden 21 ratings.

Quarterback (QB)

madden 21 ratings

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1. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City), 99
2. Russell Wilson (Seattle), 97
3= Lamar Jackson (Baltimore), 93
3= Drew Brees (New Orleans), 93
5= Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay), 90
5= Tom Brady (Tampa Bay), 90

After his Super Bowl-winning season, it’s no surprise to see Patrick Mahomes make the Madden 99 Club. Following behind the Chiefs QB is Seahawks shot-caller Russell Wilson. Cover star Lamar Jackson receives a healthy boost in his ratings, making his way up to joint third alongside 41-year-old Drew Brees. It’s the old guard that continue to dominate the list, with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady – now at Tampa Bay – each getting a 90 rating.

Running back (HB/FB)

madden 21 ratings

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1. Christian McCaffrey (Carolina), 99
2= Derrick Henry (Tennessee), 93
2= Nick Chubb (Cleveland), 93
4. Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), 92
5= Saquon Barkley (New York Giants), 91
5= Dalvin Cook (Vikings), 91

Plenty of quality running backs to choose from this year. The best of the best is all-rounder (and record breaker, becoming the third NFL player in history to get 1,000 receiving and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season) Christian McCaffrey with a 99 rating.

Don’t discount the likes of human wrecking ball – and post-season dominator in 2019 – Derrick Henry with a brutal 98 Stiff Arm rating. Nick Chubb ties the Tennessee Titans running back, while Ezekiel Elliott (93 Ball Carrying Vision), Saquon Barkley (94 Juke), and Dalvin Cook (95 Change of Direction rating) will all take some stopping.

Wide receiver (WR)

madden 21 ratings

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1= Michael Thomas (New Orleans), 98
1= DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona), 98
3= Tyreek Hill (Kansas City), 96
3= Julio Jones (Atlanta), 96
5. Davante Adams (Green Bay), 93
6= Amari Cooper (Dallas), 92
6= Stefon Diggs (Buffalo), 92
6= Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), 92
9= Odell Beckham Jr. (Cleveland), 91
9= Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers), 91

Wide receiver is a key position, so we've provided a top ten here rather than a fab five. Despite grabbing the most receptions in a single season in 2019, Michael Thomas has to settle for a 98 rating alongside DeAndre Hopkins, who receives a slight downgrade from last year’s 99. Elsewhere, there’s serious depth: the speedster Tyreek Hill, the ever-present Julio Jones, deep threat Mike Evans, and even Odell Beckham Jr. – despite a disappointing debut season in Cleveland – all feature among the top five highest ratings for wide receivers in Madden 21.

Tight end (TE)

madden 21 ratings

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1. George Kittle (San Francisco), 98
2. Travis Kelce (Kansas City), 97
3. Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay), 92
4. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia), 90
5. Austin Hooper (Atlanta), 89

George Kittle should be one of your go-to targets in Madden 21. His 98 Catching means he’s a dependable target as any, while his 88 Speed and 89 Acceleration ensure the big guy is a threat in a footrace too. Among the most eye-catching names on the list is the returning Rob Gronkowski. The one-time WWE Superstar is back on Madden with a 92 rating, just ahead of perennial tight end choices, Zach Ertz and Austin Hooper.

Tackle (RT/LT)

madden 21 ratings

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1= David Bakhtiari (LT, Green Bay), 96
1= Mitchell Schwartz (RT, Kansas City), 96
3. Terron Armstead (LT, New Orleans), 95
4. Ronnie Stanley (LT, Baltimore), 93
5. Trent Williams (LT, San Francisco), 92
6. Ryan Ramczyk (RT, New Orleans), 91

They might not be household names, but Tackles can often be the difference between your Quarterback seeing first down or looking up at the lights. The Chiefs’ Mitchell Schwartz and Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari top the burly pile this year. Watch out for New Orleans, too, as a pair of their Tackles make the list, including Terron Armstead, who comes bundled with a fearsome pass blocking stats, all averaging in the mid-90s. Good luck getting to Drew Brees.

Interior lineman (C/LG/RG)

madden 21 ratings

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1. Zack Martin (RG, Dallas), 98
2= Quentin Nelson (LG, Indianapolis), 94
2= Jason Kelce (C, Philadelphia), 94
4= Rodney Hudson (C, Las Vegas), 93
4= Brandon Brooks (RG, Philadelphia), 93
5. David DeCastro (RG, Pittsburgh), 91
6. Richie Incognito (LG, Las Vegas), 90

Centres and guards can help give more time in the pocket and create holes for running backs to exploit. There is none in the game – both virtual and real-world – better at that than Zack Martin. His 97 Run Block attribute means he can manhandle his opposite number more often than not. Two teams, Eagles and the Raiders, each have a pair of interior lineman here, too.

Defensive lineman (DT/LE/RE)

madden 21 ratings

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1. Aaron Donald (RE, Los Angeles Rams), 99
2. J.J. Watt (LE, Houston), 98
3= Cameron Jordan (LE, New Orleans), 96
3= Fletcher Cox (DT, Philadelphia), 96
5. Calais Campbell (RE, Baltimore), 95
6. Myles Garrett (RE, Cleveland), 93

Defensive lineman are undoubtedly the most destructive players in football. Fumbles and sacks are their wheelhouse – and it’s hardly a shock to see the 99 overall (99 Strength, 99 Power Moves, 98 Pursuit), Aaron Donald top the charts after his continued dominance year after year in the league. J.J. Watt isn’t far behind, with several other elite lineman making the cut in perhaps the deepest position pool in Madden. Don’t be surprised to see either of the Bosa brothers on this list next year.

Linebacker (MLB/ROLB/LOLB)

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1. Bobby Wagner (MLB, Seattle), 98
2= Khalil Mack (LOLB, Chicago), 97
2= Von Miller (LOLB, Denver), 97
4. Chandler Jones (LOLB, Arizona), 95
5. Lavonte David (MLB, Tampa Bay), 90

No surprises to see who’s still king of the middle linebackers. Wagner is the only one to break 90 in a shallow year for the position. Elsewhere, the LOLB list is top-heavy with three All Pro names but sees a sharp dip after that. Demario Davis is the best ROLB in the game but doesn’t break 90.

Defensive back (CB/SS/FS)

madden 21 ratings

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1. Stephen Gilmore (CB, New England), 99
2. Harrison Smith (SS, Minnesota), 95
3. Jalen Ramsey (CB, Los Angeles Rams), 94
4. Tyrann Mathieu (SS, Kansas City), 93
5. Devin McCourty (FS, New England), 92

As the saying goes, defense wins championships. There are three Super Bowl winners on the list, with two, Gilmore and McCourty, forming part of the Patriots’ laughably brilliant defense in 2019 that was scoring on teams for fun. Gilmore, especially, is a major threat in the air on Madden 21: the 99 rating on Man Coverage and Press means throwing towards him in a one-on-one situation is as good as throwing an interception.

Kicker/punter (K/P)

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1= Justin Tucker (K, Baltimore), 87
1= Johnny Hekker (P, Los Angeles Rams), 87
3= Josh Lambo (P, Jacksonville), 85
3= Brett Kern (P, Tennessee), 85
3= Sam Koch (P, Baltimore), 85
6= Harrison Butker (K, Kansas City), 83
6= Thomas Morstead (P, New Orleans), 83
8= Chris Boswell (K, Pittsburgh), 82
8= Robbie Gould (K, San Francisco), 82
8= Tress Way (P, Washington), 82
8= Chris Jones (P, Dallas), 82

Again, we've gone for the top ten ST players here. Kickers had a shaky time last season: putting it between the posts is harder than it looks. Not so for Justin Tucker, who missed just one kick in 2019. Unsurprisingly, he tops the list (98 Kick Power and Kick Accuracy means he can even be a potent three-point threat from just about anywhere in outdoor stadiums with the wind behind him). On the punter side of things, Johnny Hekker is similarly strong and also has the highest Kick Power and Kick Accuracy stats for the position – both 97.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).