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Madden 22 ratings: Predicting the 11 best players in this year’s game

Madden NFL 22
(Image credit: EA)

Madden 22 ratings will remain as hotly debated as they are secretive until this year’s Gridiron sim lands on 20 August. However, a combination of endgame ratings for Madden 21 and play-off form going into Madden 22 give some telltale signs as to who the best players on offer will be. (Not to mention the Madden 22 cover athlete.) Who’ll make this year’s ‘99 Club’? Where does Davante Adams fit in? Can anyone top Patrick Mahomes? Well, no. But there are a few elite players that come close, and we profile them all in your Madden 22 ratings guide.

1. Patrick Mahomes (QB, Kansas City Chiefs) - 99

Madden NFL 20

(Image credit: EA)

For the second time in three years, Mahomes was confirmed as Madden 22 cover athlete (along with Tom Brady) during E3 week. Take that news, add his second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, and consider that he finished last year’s game with a 99 OVR and ratings such as 97 awareness and 97 throwing power, and you have Madden 22’s best player. And he’s still only 25. Scary.

2. Aaron Donald (DE, Los Angeles Rams) - 99

Madden NFL 20

(Image credit: EA)

If Mahomes is a shoo-in to be Madden 22’s best offensive player, then experienced Rams lineman Donald must score the defensive honours. He finished Madden 21 with scores of 99 strength, 99 awareness, and 95 tackling, and in real life waltzed his way to the NFL Defensive Player Of The Year gong for the third time in four years. At 30, there’s still time for him to nab a future Madden cover, too.

3. Travis Kelce (TE, Kansas City Chiefs) - 99

Madden NFL 20

(Image credit: EA)

At the age of 31, Mahomes’ main target man is considered by many to be the greatest tight end of all time. Across eight NFL seasons he’s snagged 612 catches for 7,881 yards and 48 touchdowns, joining Mahomes for a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance last year. He’ll be the best TE in Madden 21 without question, with likely scores of 98 awareness, 96 catching and 92 jumping, going by last year’s edition.

4. Davante Adams (WR, Green Bay Packers) - 99

Madden 21

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The favourite target of Aaron Rodgers – more on him shortly – proved a workhorse yet again in 2020, grabbing 115 catches for 1407 yards and an astonishing 18 touchdowns. That translated to in-game ratings of 91 speed, 98 awareness and 99 catching, and there’s no obvious reason to see any of those numbers downgraded as Adams enters his eighth NFL campaign.

5. DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Arizona Cardinals) - 99

Many experts tabbed Houston’s decision to trade their star receiver to Arizona ahead of the 2020 season as one of the dumbest managerial moves of all time – and they were proven right. Hopkins’ first season in the desert saw him clutch 115 passes for 1,407 yards, with his Madden 21 endgame ratings sitting at 99 awareness, 99 catching and 99 jumping. Those numbers will remain locked in place for another dominant season, on both the real-life and Madden 21 fronts.

6. Stephon Gilmore (CB, New England Patriots) - 99

Of all the players to end last year’s game with the maximum possible overall rating, Gilmore feels most in danger of dropping a couple of points. That’s nothing to do with ability, but rather injury and absence: he suffered a partially torn quad in December, having already missed part of the season due to Covid. Nonetheless Gilmore should remain close to final Madden 21 attributes of 99 play recognition and 99 man coverage.

7. Stefon Diggs (WR, Buffalo Bills) - 99

The first six players on this list ended Madden 21 as members of the very exclusive ‘99 Club’ – and if EA is considering additional invitees then Diggs must be hammering down the door. Not that his Madden 21 stats were insufficient: 98 awareness, 93 agility, 93 catching, 97 overall. But a preposterously great campaign, encompassing 127 receptions, 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns deserves the maximum in-game reward.

8. Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay Packers) - 98

Madden NFL 20

(Image credit: EA)

Green Bay’s campaign ended in a dismal play-off defeat to eventual champions Tampa Bay, which triggered months of doubt concerning Rodgers’ future. Yet that changes nothing when it comes to analysing his season as whole: he led the league in completion percentage (70.7%), passing TDs (48) and QB rating (121.5), obliterating even the almighty Mahomes when it came to MVP votes. Let’s just hope he hasn’t retired by the time Madden 22 lands.

9. Derrick Henry (RB, Tennessee Titans) - 98

Madden NFL 20

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Rumours swirled throughout the first half of this year that Henry would earn cover athlete honours, having pounded out 2027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in a ruthless 2020 campaign. Surprisingly that didn’t materialise, but he should be able to take some consolation from even better ratings than his Madden 21 game-enders: 97 toughness, 94 break tackle and 92 speed.

10. Tom Brady (QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - 98

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(Image credit: EA)

What do you write about the man who has done it all, and won it all? Brady shares this year’s Madden cover with Mahomes after a season in which he threw for 4633 regular season yards en route to an unfathomable seventh Super Bowl ring. Expect small increases on last year’s ratings of 98 awareness, 91 throwing power and 99 short throw accuracy as a result. Technically he’s now 43, but ability wise the guy just does not age.

11. TJ Watt (OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers) - 97

In any previous season JJ Watt would be a no-brainer for this list – but 2020 saw the former Houston Texan (and now Arizona Cardinal) outperformed by little brother TJ. The Steelers linebacker amassed 15 sacks and 53 combined tackles to finish second in the Defensive Player Of The Year voting, behind Donald. That should see a massive OVR upgrade from the 93 with which he finished Madden 21.

Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar+'s sports editor, obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB – and very occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym. Namely: Bill Bryson, Pitch Perfect, and the Streets Of Rage series. I have two kids who aren't quite old enough to play Madden yet. Soon, though…