Grading the Top 15 Rated Players in EA Sports NCAA 14

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJune 19, 2013

Grading the Top 15 Rated Players in EA Sports NCAA 14

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    The days of playing with your favorite team are over. Now it's all about playing with the loaded rosters and players who are nearly unstoppable to game-plan against. You want the fastest running backs, quarterbacks who can do it all and the defensive players who will force fumbles with each crushing blow.

    NCAA Football 14 is scheduled for a July 9 release and some of the player ratings have been leaked beforehand. This provides a quick glimpse of the best available players in the upcoming game and who you are most likely going to see a lot of when searching for an online match.

    There are plenty of terrific offensive players to choose from, but there are also three defensive players, including one who holds down the top spot.

15. Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

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    Ranking: 94 Overall


    It's nice to see last year's rushing champion get some love. Ka’Deem Carey will be enough reason for folks to play with the Arizona Wildcats.

    When did that thought ever cross your mind?

    The thing that will make him so special is his 96 acceleration rating. EA Sports has added easier use of the running game as far as cuts and swerving in and out of traffic is concerned. Add his burst, and it's over for the guy playing defense.

    Feel free to abuse him like with Michael Vick in Madden 2004.

    Grade: A

14. Denicos Allen, LB, Michigan State

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    Ranking: 95 Overall


    Seeing Denicos Allen ranked higher than Max Bullough is a surprise. Bullough is the leader of the Michigan State defense and has led the team in tackles the last two years. But Allen hasn't been too shabby in his own right and has a great deal of athleticism.

    Allen should also help you in the game with his 94 tackle rating and impressive 94-rated awareness. There isn't much that is going to get by this Spartans defender, and that's always a plus to have in the video game world where the advantage usually goes to the offense.

    Speaking of offense, the Spartans don't provide much on that side of the ball, which won't help people want to play with them.

    Grade: D

13. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

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    Ranking: 95 Overall


    Despite missing four games, Sammy Watkins caught 57 passes for 708 yards last season. He has proven to be one of the most explosive receivers in the country and is always a threat to put the ball into the end zone.

    This would explain his ranking.

    Watkins is as dangerous as ever with the ability to make hard cuts and stop on a dime. His combination of elusiveness at a 94 rating and his 97-rated speed is almost unfair. Like in real life, this is somebody you want to touch the ball a lot on game day.

    Grade: A

12. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

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    Ranking: 95 Overall


    That's right. Clemson has two offensive players with a 95 rating. It's fair to assume this is going to become a popular team with online users. Good luck finding a defense that can slow down this explosiveness.

    Tajh Boyd has a lot to offer for those offensive lovers. His throwing power is rated at 94, but he also has a speed rating of 82 and acceleration of 84. Even though he isn't considered one of your more traditional dual-threat quarterbacks, Boyd can kill you with either his arm or legs in the video game.

    Online rules should be set ahead of time. There is no using Clemson under any circumstances.

    Grade: B

11. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

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    Ranking: 96 Overall


    Offensive tackle isn't the sexiest position and isn't the reason you are going to purchase this game. But with users who are always dialing up exotic blitz packages and looking for glitches to get to your quarterback, you better have a respectable lineman.

    None of these other players are going to be effective if you don't have a Taylor Lewan on your team. His strength is rated 95, while he also has a rating of 93 in run protection and 94 in pass protection. Lewan isn't going to let much get by him, which will allow you plenty of time to throw the football or give it to your star running back.

    This rating is well deserved.

    Grade: A

10. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

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    Ranking: 96 Overall


    Users will want to use Georgia because of the running back combination of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall along with quarterback Aaron Murray, who is rated nicely in this game.

    His throwing power is graded at 95, and his awareness is an impressive 91 rating. Although he is slow in real life and not very athletic, Murray's speed of 72 and acceleration of 85 isn't bad. Murray will use his arm strength and accuracy to pick apart defenses. Just pray that the game isn't close with only a few seconds left.

    In all seriousness, there are only a few quarterbacks graded higher than Murray.

    Grade: B

9. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

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    Ranking: 96 Overall


    Jake Matthews is the other offensive lineman who is considered a boss in this game. While he shares the same overall rating as Taylor Lewan, Matthews's strength rating is higher at 97, and his run-blocking rating of 94 is also slightly better.

    Matthews is considered by many to be that next great offensive lineman to come out of College Station. He is projected to be a high draft pick and will be the key blocker for reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Matthews will be able to hold down the fort regardless of which defensive end is trying to come off the edge.

    This gives you more reasons to play with the Aggies.

    Grade: B

8. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

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    Ranking: 96 Overall


    Louisville is that non-powerhouse team that you play with all the time without being considered cheap. Quick: Name one other player on the Cardinals' roster. What folks may not realize is that Teddy Bridgewater is good enough to win games by himself in the video game world.

    His throwing power rounds out at a 93 rating, while his accuracy is a 92 rating. Bridgewater's speed of 80 and acceleration of 84 make him that much more dangerous. He throws balls right on the button, but he has no problem moving the chains with his feet.

    You may not have many other weapons to rely on, but Bridgewater is the real deal. Just hope he doesn't take too many hits, because he does have an injury history.

    Grade: A

7. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

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    Ranking: 96 Overall


    Braxton Miller shares the same overall rating as quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Teddy Bridgewater, but he is considered the better overall player due to his explosiveness. Miller has a speed rating of 87 and an acceleration rating of 92. He flies down the field and can take it the distance if the blocks are lined up properly.

    The problem with Miller is that his throwing power is only 91 and accuracy is a lousy 84 rating. If you can find a way to slow down that read option and force Miller to throw, you will have a chance in beating the seventh-best player in the game.

    You would like to see a more complete player higher on this list.

    Grade: C

6. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

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    Ranking: 97 Overall


    It's impressive to see a defensive player ranked so highly on the list.

    C.J. Mosley is the quarterback of the Alabama defense, and he led the team with 107 tackles last season. His football intelligence is what makes him special for Nick Saban, but his acceleration (92) and awareness (94) will make you love playing with him.

    Running up the middle of the field will be nearly impossible for opposing teams, and the opposing quarterback better watch where he throws the football on crossing patterns. 

    An elite middle linebacker is always an advantage for the defense.

    Grade: A

5. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

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    Ranking: 97 Overall


    Marqise Lee is the Calvin Johnson of college football. If all else fails, just throw it up for grabs, and he will go get it.

    There is nothing Lee can't do in this game and he'll be the reason a lot of people quit before the end of regulation. His acceleration is an insane 97 rating and jumping is a solid 87 rating. What really sets him apart are his 95 catching, 93 catch in traffic and 90 spectacular catch ratings. All of which are the best in the game.

    A defense hasn't discovered a way to stop Lee from going off. You'll likely have the same issues with him, as he is the best rated receiver by far.

    Grade: A

4. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

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    Ranking: 97 Overall


    A.J. McCarron isn't going to be fun to play with, but he'll help you pile up the victories. He isn't going to make plays with his legs and his throwing power of 88 isn't going to blow you away. However, you play to win the game!

    One of the things that help McCarron's overall rating is his throwing accuracy of 95, which is the best in the game. He also has an awareness of 91, which is a 10-point increase over quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

    Much like in real life, McCarron doesn't have much to make you googly-eyed, but his ability to play the game the right way makes him effective. You can't go wrong when a three-time national champion is quarterbacking your squad.

    Grade: A

3. De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon

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    Ranking: 97 Overall


    The most exciting player to play with is the most exciting player in college football. You may have heard of him. His name is De'Anthony Thomas.

    Thomas has a speed rating of 98 and an acceleration rating of 99. Simply put, he is fast. Once you use the acceleration burst that EA has added, there isn't any defender who will be able to catch you. Thomas has a spin move of 97, and his juke move and elusiveness are 98 ratings.

    Having a player this fast should be illegal.

    If you are mean enough to use the Oregon Ducks, make sure to put Thomas as your running back, kick returner and punt returner, and you may also want to experiment with him on defense.

    Grade: A

2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Ranking: 97 Overall


    It's hard to argue with Johnny Manziel being the highest rated quarterback considering he just won the Heisman. He is like the De'Anthony Thomas of quarterbacks.

    Manziel has a speed rating of 91 and an acceleration rating of 95. When you combine those with his elusiveness rating of 91, tackling him in the open field will be a tall order. Manziel also isn't too shabby throwing the football with a throwing power rating of 90 and accuracy of an 89 rating.

    In this game, Manziel is a faster and more accurate Braxton Miller. It's hard to go wrong with that. 

    Grade: A

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

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    Ranking: 99 Overall


    You know he has to be pretty special when a defensive player is the highest rated player in a video game. Usually it's an over-hyped quarterback or insanely gifted running back who holds the title. Jadeveon Clowney is just a man among boys and will likely be the first overall pick in next year's NFL draft.

    What can he do for you?

    His acceleration is 84, speed is 94, pursuit is 95 and his hit power is a 99 rating. You can't help but imagine that this hit had something to do with that.

    Clowney is an elite defensive lineman and somebody who can take over a game by himself. Unless your opponent has some cheap way to control the offensive line, you can expect constant pressure in his quarterback's face.

    Clowney will make you very happy and help you win many games.

    Grade: A