Madden NFL 12: Top Rated Rookies at Defensive Positions

Posted July 21st, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Having already gone through listing the top overall rated rookies and then the best at WR and RB now comes the rankings of the highest rated on the defensive line, at linebacker, and in the defensive backfield for Madden NFL 12. 

(82) Marcell Dareus – DE Bills RD 1 Pick 3
(80) J.J. Watt – DE Texans RD 1 Pick 11
(78) Robert Quinn – DE Rams RD 1 Pick 14
(78) Adrian Clayborn – DE Buccaneers RD 1 Pick 20
(77) Cameron Jordan – DE Saints RD 1 Pick 24
(77) Nick Fairley – DT Lions RD 1 Pick 13
(75) Corey Liuget – DE Chargers RD 1 Pick 18
(74) Phil Taylor – DT Browns RD 1 Pick 21
(74) Cameron Heyward – DE Steelers RD 1 Pick 31
(74) Da’Quan Bowers – DE Buccaneers RD 2 Pick 19

Rookie defensive lineman generally don’t have much impact in Madden. With the exception of someone like Ndamukong Suh there tend to be veteran players rated higher on the line ahead of them. All of the top ten come in with 74 or higher ratings which thus far is the strongest group and only one – someone who without injury concerns could have been the top pick – wasn’t a first rounder. It’s a deep talent pool on the defensive line. Again Nick Fairley is worth pointing out as it would have seemed possible that he’d be in the top ten overall of rookies but four (and a fifth tied) alone on the defensive line rank above him.

(79) Von Miller – OLB Broncos RD 1 Pick 2
(76) Aldon Smith – OLB 49ers RD 1 Pick 7
(74) Ryan Kerrigan – OLB Redskins RD 1 Pick 16
(72) Akeem Ayers – OLB Titans RD 2 Pick 7
(71) Casey Matthews – OLB Eagles RD 4 Pick 19
(69) Brooks Reed – OLB Texans RD Pick
(68) Martez Wilson – MLB Saints RD 3 Pick 8
(67) Bruce Carter – OLB Cowboys RD 2 Pick 8
(67) Kelvin Sheppard – MLB Bills RD 3 Pick 4
(67) Colin McCarthy – MLB Titans RD 4 Pick 12

Up against the other positions linebacker is one of the weakest groups. I expected to see Ryan Kerrigan second despite Aldon Smith going higher in the draft. Smith was thought to be one of the more raw prospects with a high ceiling while Kerrigan comes in more polished and prepared to play right away. Casey Matthews seems to have gotten some credit just for being the brother of Clay Matthews. Only one other rookie (Kendall Hunter) drafted in the 4th round or later has received over a 70 rating. That stands out even more considering only one rookie drafted in the 3rd round (Chris Conte) got over 70.

(82) Patrick Peterson – CB Cardinals RD 1 Pick 5
(81) Prince Amukamara – CB Giants RD 1 Pick 19
(76) Jimmy Smith – CB Ravens RD 1 Pick 27
(74) Ras-I Dowling – CB Patriots RD 2 Pick 1
(73) Rahim Moore – FS Broncos RD 2 Pick 13
(71) Aaron Williams – CB Bills RD 2 Pick 2
(71) Chris Conte – FS Bears RD 3 Pick 29
(71) Jaiquawn Jarrett – SS Eagles RD 2 Pick 22
(70) Brandon Harris – CB Texans RD 2 Pick 28
(69) Marcus Gilchrist – CB Chargers RD 2 Pick 18

Corners and especially safeties can generally translate well to the NFL immediately so it makes sense that as many as nine DBs come in rated 70 or higher. Prince Amukamara as the third highest rated rookie overall is still glaring judgment while Jimmy Smith – who many believed to be better but took a hit due to off-field concerns – falls a full five points behind him.

  • guest


    • Infemous

      will people grow up?

    • Your Daddy

      Aren’t you special?

  • Infemous


    (just want to get this out there coz I got warned on OS for calling him an idiot.)

  • Infemous

    Ok, now let me analyse this without using too many profanities.

    First issue. Dareus, an 82? As in joint best in the draft with Peterson?
    That’s not right. If anyone else was going to share the top billing with Pat Pete it would be AJ Green. No one else. Those two were easily the best players in this draft and the fact that Dareus is rated on a par with PP and ABOVE Green is absolutely ludicrous.
    Some may argue that because he is a Dlineman the transition will not be too tough, hence why he is rated higher, but does anyone credit Moore with THAT much intelligence? 

    Von Miller, whilst a tweener, is a better talent than Dareus. He can play DE on passing downs, rush from the edge of a 4-3, cover, he’s athletic, he’s strong enough etc. He can line up anywhere around the LOS and as such has more value than Dareus. Why is he rated lower? Dareus was 4th best in this draft and doesn’t deserve an 82. Suh he is not.

    Prince Amukamara is not better than Jimmy Smith. And even if someone could explain to me how he is, I’m sure there’s no justification for his 81 rating and the fact he’s rated higher than Green.

    Casey Matthews is not one of the top 10 LBs in this incredibly poor LB class. Especially not worthy of a 71 rating over Bruce Carter, Mason Foster and Martez Wilson. It’s wrong that being a Matthews gives him an inflated rating, and as clear a statement as any that Donny Moore literally knows less about football than the shit I took yesterday.

    Not sure how Conte is rated the same as Jarrett and above Harris, but oh well, don’t want to be too pedantic.

    Ommission of Marvin Austin from the top 10 is surprising, personally I rate him above the 3-4 DE’s in terms of skillset and upside.

    If we want to look at scheme fit Lieuget shouldn’t be above 70 because he really is not a 3-4 DE nor is he a NT.

    Of course overall ratings mean fuck all to anyone, and it is individual ratings that matter. So should Liueget have over 86 strength you know that Donny Moore is fucking up again. You may not be able to trust him with your teams’ Madden future, but you can trust him to balls up the easiest job on the Madden dev team.
    (The cover designer has an awful job it must be said, trying to overhaul this dreadful run of covers? Unenviable)

    • Farttits

      Every time I see Padre put up a headline that says another Tiburon employee has left I get excited, hoping it’s finally Donny’s turn. It never is, and this makes me sad.

      • Infemous

        YUP! Right with ya bro. I’ll rejoice the day he is no longer ruining this game!

      • Fireflyjam

        Hate to say it, but Donny Moore is the best at what he does, eventually in years to come there will another NFL licensed game besides Madden…and it will take them years to compete with EA, ( because of the work done by Cummings,Looman, and Moore ), so unless Donny Moore & Looman quit and go and work for the future competition, ( in which, hopefully they will one day), replacing these guys will make the game worse. Ea proly gives them little to work with…it’s like when you have one of those great days at work & you know you just gave 110% to a boss who only deserved 90%, then the boss comes an tells you, you suck . get better. make me more money. quit spendin so much time on quality and make me some f%#@ money or i’ll find someone else who will !   Alas Ultimate Madden is born, alas no salary cap in online franchise. =( cruel cruel football gods.

        • Infemous

          lol what are you smoking bro?

          Donny Moore is the best at what he does? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

          Do you not see the ratings? Or do you not know anything about football?

          He has SUCH an easy job! I could do it, and while I admit I wouldn’t be perfect, I’d do my due diligence and WATCH GAME TAPE, READ PFF and check fan blogs of each team. That way you get a rounded opinion of each player, and rate them accordingly.

          It’s evident Donny Moore doesn’t even know what these 3 things mean and as such his ratings SUCK every year.

          Cruel cruel football gods who got Donny Moore that job.

        • Gruden

          Is that you Donny?

    • Dirtyburt

      First issue. Dareus, an 82? As in joint best in the draft with Peterson?
      That’s not right. If anyone else was going to share the top billing with Pat Pete it would be AJ Green. No one else. Those two were easily the best players in this draft and the fact that Dareus is rated on a par with PP and ABOVE Green is absolutely ludicrous.
      Some may argue that because he is a Dlineman the transition will not be too tough, hence why he is rated higher, but does anyone credit Moore with THAT much intelligence

      Don’t think Dareus deserves his 82 overall raring huh? Go back and watch the BCS title game against Texas and get back with me. He looked like a young Peppers out there. He dominated the entire game.

      • Infemous

        That was one game.

        Come on bro, I’m not saying anything against him, but he was no where near the best prospect. This is Moore seeing some nice stats, measureables on Dareus and grading him on a Suh kind of level. His rating should reflect his standing in this draft and he was consensus 4th best, with some saying 3rd.

        So, in essence, Dareus while a great prospect is not joint best in this draft, nor is he an 82 and therefore Donny Moore has ballsed up again.

        • Danger87

          and Von Miller is no Patrick Willis so… 

          • Infemous

            i didn’t say he was.
            What’s your point bro?

        • tbbucs1638

          no not close to suh! when 11’s first roster came out suh was an 85, last yr had so many rookies rated so high

    • Danny

      Marvin Austin should be in the top 10 based on his talent, but remember, talent doesn’t get you a high rating, good behavior off the field does.

      Why Jimmy Smith is 5 points below Amukamara, despite being much better.

    • Brian M

      Dude im with ya. While im a Broncos fan, there is a reason they didnt fill their biggest need with the 2nd pick. Its because Von Miller is such a special talent. I think its comical that Prince A. is rated higher than him. WTH, Kiper and McShay had Miller their highest defensive player.

    • Brian M

      Dude im with ya. While im a Broncos fan, there is a reason they didnt fill their biggest need with the 2nd pick. Its because Von Miller is such a special talent. I think its comical that Prince A. is rated higher than him. WTH, Kiper and McShay had Miller their highest defensive player.

      • Infemous

        yeah i mean, personally, I don’t think Denver should have taken him, but there was a reason. He’s very talented and has more all round abilities than Dareus, so even in terms of Madden, he should have a higher rating.

        It’s down right laughable how this dude has a job.

    • I agree with all

    • Danger87

      Where’s the dislike button padre?

      • Infemous

        You got any reason to dislike it or is your name Donny Moore?

    • Djajr16

      couldn’t agree more about mathews there is no way he should be top 10 for LBs, and were the hell are Mason Foster and Nate Irving. Not only were they drafted ahead of of a number of players in this top 10 they were rated as the top 2 MLB in the draft.

  • STILL NO PANTHERS this is getting highly annoying

  • Farttits

    Safeties make the transition quickly. Cornerbacks generally do not. Finding a Sam Shields, Devin McCourty etc. here and there does not outweigh all the times you see a rookie CB get roasted for a huge gain.

    • Infemous


      if the logic with regards to transition time is in place (which I highly doubt) surely patrick Peterson would have to have been lowered?

    • sean smith and vontae davis, their better than mccourty and shields but because there on the pats and packers there going to get more attention.

  • Dymez

    LOL @ Casey Matthews getting that bump up to 5th best Linebacker just because of his bloodline.

  • Aman128ok

    You know what i dont seem to understand is how Daquan Bowers doesnt have a higher overall he was a 1st/2nd pick the entire time until people found out about his knee and he is clearly the best defensive lineman in the entire draft and i just cant wait for him to prove people and critcs wrong quote my words Daquan Bowers will have the highest overall among all defensive rookies by the end of the year and will win defensive rookie well that is if they give him a chance to play i think maybe a 85-89 overall from Daquan by the end just watch 

    • Absolutely ridiculous….. 16.5 sacks on a bad wheel and still rated under a 75, pretty weird considering if teams hadn’t found out about his “alleged” knee surgery he would’ve been picked in the top 3. Da’Quan should be a high 70-low 80 with a low injury and high toughness rating

  • MtHammer

    No love for Justin Houston?  He was purportedly a fringe first rounder before his failed drug test dropped him, but 4 of the players drafted behind him are on the list and he isn’t.

  • prince amukamara is not better than von miller ……………please

  • who dat!?

    Martez Wilson being a 68 is very disappointing.

  • Danny

    Notice how only the flashy names are in the top 10. Whether that’s because of being overrated or being Clay Matthew’s brother, Donny Moore is once again showing how poor of an evaluator he really is.

    Surprised he’s still there. Probably the most disliked (or hated) person on the Madden staff.

  • Donny_Moore

    Wow, I am one stupid asshole. How the hell did I get this job?

    • Tyler

      The Chiefs again get no love. Jonathan Baldwin never dropped passes in college and has a knack for making big plays. Couple that with good speed and you should come out above 71. His off field issues were overblown. Justin Houston was rated as having first round talent and tested better than Robert Quinn except for the drug test. CB Jalil Brown was said to have looked just as good as Jimmy Smith, but will not get any help until he proves it. JJ Watt as a 34 end is WAY overrated. Glenn Dorsey was the second best DE at stopping the run and was an 82 overall. He should be high 80s at least and Watt should be low 70s. I’ll quit venting for now, but watch out for the Chiefs this year.

      • how is baldwins rout running

        • MtHammer

          How is Baldwin’s route running in Madden, or in actuality?  Obviously I have no idea where they pegged him as a route runner in the game, but in real life it’s supposed to be okay, but not exactly a huge strength.  Supposedly he’s runs decent routes but tends to round them off too much, particularly on intermediate routes.  Honestly, the scouting reports I read were all over the place.  Some cruicified him as a player who would never ever be able to be a good route runner, others said he was already a pretty good route runner who just needed to work on crispness.  Most fell somewhere in the middle.  His specialty in college was definitely more as a deep threat, though.

          Ultimately I’d guess that Baldwin, like a lot of receivers coming out of college, needs to work on his routes.  He’s clearly isn’t the best route runner ever to come out of college, but I think it’s also fair to assume he isn’t the worst.

          Regardless of his actual route running abilities, I could totally see it being something he gets dinged for in Madden.  Especially since (warning: rant about a local favorite approaching) a player like Kerry Meier can come out of college as the best route runner on a team that’s deep at receiver, arrive in Atlanta and immediately be praised by the coaching staff for his crisp, precise routes, and still get stuck with like a 42 route running in Madden 11.

          I should clarify, though, that 71 doesn’t seem that unfair to me for Baldwin.  It’s pretty clear that the rookie class on the whole isn’t being rated as highly this year as it was last year, and there was a definite precieved gap in most people’s minds between Green/Jones and Baldwin.  Hell, he wasn’t even everyone’s consensus #3 receiver.  The one I can’t understand is Justin Houston.

          • Da84tona

            It seems to me that where players are drafted is having WAY too big of an impact on their ratings. I REALLY hope Baldwin and Houston proves the haters wrong this season.

  • who dat!?

    I think Bruce should be higher on the list

  • who dat!?

    Casey Matthews drafted in the 4th round is better than Martez Wilson? Can somebody explain this? Martez better be the fastest out of the bunch. Fastest 40 for linebackers at the combine. Come on Ea…

  • Kwmiacanes

    You know I gotta say that I am disappointed with EA. First of all Brandon Harris was considered by some to be the 3rd or 4th best CB in this class and I think will surprise a lot of people. He should have been at least the 5th best CB. Especially considering he was a 2nd round pick. Also Leonard Hankerson got the shaft as well. Many people still think he was the 3rd best WR in the draft and he too got the short end of the ratings stick. 

    • let me guess your a fan of the U? haha yea hank defenitly got shafted, people will be surprised when he ends up being one of the best if not the best receiver in this draft.

  • maeby

    Biggest Donny Moorisms this year:

    Prince Amukamara an 81 (3rd highest rookie overall) and more significantly, five points higher than Jimmy Smith.

    Nick Fairley the 6th best rookie defensive lineman. Not even overall, sixth best at just his own position! Most ridiculous of them all.

    Casey Matthews fifth best rookie LB overall. 3-4, 4-3, MLB, OLB. Fifth best of them all.

    Chris Conte a 71? Rahim Moore 73? Both safeties quite overrated.

    Damn…Can someone hook this guy up with a former college scout/draftnik next time? Donny, I refer you to the National Football Post’s own Wes Bunting (former scout, very underrated):

  • DonRSD aka PSN DonVCorleone

    all that matters is speed in madden.

  • Broncosfreak7

    This is just crazy!!  Rahim Moore, the best safety in the whole draft class, gets only a 73??  Also, Nate Irving, who is a FREAK of a mlb and Bill Parcells gave a 1st round talent to, the only mlb he gave a 1st round grade to, not even on the list????  How in the world does Matthews and Wilson get on the list when Irving was taken way before them???  These ratings are just horrible!!

    You know you would think too….Yes, we have the #2 overall pick and get Von Miller, by far probably the best player in the draft with Peterson and Green, and he is 6TH BEST OVERALL??????????  I honestly will never understand how they get these ratings!!  How does Prince, who got taken 19th overall, have a higher rating than him??  Also, how does Quinn have a 78, only 1 point lower than Miller and he didn’t even play one game last year??????  Von Miller was the best pass rusher in this draft and I think the best player and he should easily be tied with Peterson at 82!!

    I think they need to switch Dareus and Millers rating and give Miller an 82 and Dareus a 79!!  What do y’all think??

  • Steelersfan13

    They have slowly released new ratings on ESPN.  Here are what they have announced so far:

    Broncos: 74
    Tebow: 77 overall, 80 speed, 76 accuracy

    Orton: 82 overall, 64 speed, 85 accuracy

    Chargers: 85
    Chargers: 3 RBs with 90+ speed (guessing Matthews, Tolbert, Sproles)
    Gates: 99 overall
    Rivers: 96 overall

    Chiefs: 84
    Jamaal Charles: 98 speed

    Raiders: 76
    Heyward-Bey: 97 speed, 68 catching

    Shane Lechler: 98 overall

    Bills: 73, 28th ranked team
    Brian Moorman: 89 or higher overall

    Bills: One other player with a 89 or higher overall (guessing Kyle Williams)

    Dolphins: 78
    Henne: 75 accuracy

    Jets: 87, 4th-T ranked team
    Revis: 99 overall
    Jets: 3 defenders with a 90 or higher overall rating not including the 99 overall of Darrelle Revis

    Patriots: 88, 3rd ranked team
    Brady: 99 overall
    Patriots: 21 players with an 80 or higher overall rating

    Bengals: 71, 31st ranked team
    Bengals: Green, Ocho, T.O., Simpson all rated 88 speed or higher

    Browns: 74
    Hillis: 91 overall, 99 toughness, 99 trucking

    Ravens: 86
    Reed: 98 overall
    Lewis: 95 overall
    Ngata: 97 overall
    Rice: 90 speed

    Steelers: 90, 2nd ranked team
    Roethlisberger: 94 throwing power
    Wallace: 98 speed
    Polamalu: 99 overall
    I will post more as they come out everyday.

  • goonsquadgeneral

    Its trash that bowers is a 74 he was a top 5 prospect teams just were freaking out about how long he would be able to play.  That should not effect his talent dude can ball.

  • Skihawks

    Screen shot looks great. Could care less about ratings. I edit anyways.

  • NoFro904

    Fairley should be Number 1 ..

    • Steelersfan13

      I can tell by your picture you are a little biased.

  • Anonymous

    Casey Matthews at 71 is a joke, lmao. His ceiling is a backup LB, more likely a special teams guy. Brooks Reed and Martez Wilson are both going to make an impact early, and both of them are going to be studs.

  • Anonymous

    Casey Matthews at 71 is a joke, lmao. His ceiling is a backup LB, more likely a special teams guy. Brooks Reed and Martez Wilson are both going to make an impact early, and both of them are going to be studs.

  • Scottyo614

    Ok so Nick Fairley is considered a “one year wonder” yet Dareus has started one less game than Fairley! lol and he was only REALLY dominant in one of his starts. Fairley had multiple games where he completely changed the landscape. Am I missing something here?

  • Connor

    WHY ISNT BRANDON HOGAN IN TOP 10 CBS?!? Madden gives no love to the Panthers..

    • right im with you on that, he was expected to be a shutdown corner in a few years if he doesnt let his bad habits follow him into the nfl, i think he will be like a gamble or marshall in a few years, gamble is close to shutdown but not quite there

  • I like Jimmy Smith at 76 but Prince being a 81 is a slap in his face. Someone is either a Giants or Cornhuskers fan.

  • Papelbon5821

    Da’Quan Bowers a 74 overall??? Just because someone may have a short career doesn’t mean that his rating now shouldn’t be higher, but they put Casey Mathews at 5th best LB??? Bloodline doesn’t mean too much.. nobody heard of the Gronkowski’s untill Rob Gronkowski..

  • Confidence

    I think Donny Moore is trying to get fired to collect unemployment. These ratings don’t make any sense Fairly was the top defensive player last year with a 77 rating. There are players at the top of round 2 in the high sixties. The EA sports development team are such dorks.

  • i wonder if now that mark herzlich signed with the giants if he will be added or if we have to wait for a roster update, and where is he gonna be on that linebacker list if he is at all?