Madden 25: Rookies Who Will Outperform Player Ratings in 2013

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Madden 25: Rookies Who Will Outperform Player Ratings in 2013
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The player ratings for the most highly-anticipated video game of the summer, Madden 25, have been released via EA Sports. The NFL's annual release has accurately depicted player ability for years, illustrating just how it is that American sports' greatest gladiators make their money.

The question is, which rookies will outperform their current Madden 25 player ratings?

Madden's creators and developers faced the same daunting task as scouts, general managers and analysts everywhere: evaluating first-year players. How an individuals abilities will translate from college to the NFL is close to unpredictable, and few are able to master the craft when building their team or video game.

Fortunately, Madden 25's proven track record has instilled reason for confidence.

With that being said, the factor of a team's system is often as important as the quality of a player. While some may fit their Madden rating, the production and overall execution of certain individuals will surpass that number.

Here are the players to watch as they do just that.

 

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Madden Rating: 74

Position: Wide Receiver

Age: 21

2012 College Football Statistics

82 REC, 1,405 YDS, 18 TD

 

When it comes to making the transition from college to the NFL, no position seems to struggle more than wide receiver. Some of the greatest college wide-outs have gone from All-Americans to draft busts, making it beyond risky to take a gamble on a first-year receiver.

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With that being said, Houston Texans rookie DeAndre Hopkins is a necessary addition for a team that has finally given up on the theory that Kevin Walter could carry the load as their No. 2.

Hopkins will draw the No. 2 cornerback in every game he plays, as Andre Johnson is too talented to cover in any other manner. More times than not, Johnson will even face double-coverage, making Hopkins' job even easier.

In 2012, playing alongside star receiver Sammy Watkins at Clemson, Hopkins responded by posting 82 receptions for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Hopkins has a strong frame at 6'1" and 214 pounds, using his length and power to break man coverage and make plays downfield. Hopkins can also work the short-to-intermediate routes, helping to complement Johnson and Owen Daniels as a possession receiver.

A 1,000-yard campaign is unlikely, but Hopkins is, arguably, the best receiver to emerge from this year's draft class. Expect Hopkins' play to reflect that as he exceeds his Madden rating of 74.

 

Jarvis Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Madden Rating: 76

Position: Right Outside Linebacker

Age: 23

2012 College Football Statistics

85 tackles, 52 solo, 24.5 TFL, 14.5 SACK, 1 INT, 7 FF

 

According to the official Twitter account of the Pittsburgh Steelers, linebacker Jarvis Jones was released from the hospital after tests came back negative on a chest injury. Rather than having a severe injury, Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that Jones has a "deep bruise."

Per Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jones is expected to be ready for Week 1.

Apologies to all opposing quarterbacks who thought they'd get off scathe-free.

If there's one thing that we know about Jones, it's that he's one of the best first-year players when it comes to getting into the backfield and making plays. Jones had 14.5 sacks during his final season with the Georgia Bulldogs. He also accumulated 24.5 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles.

Replacing James Harrison as the right outside linebacker in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense, expect Jones to continue to produce at a high level during his first year in the NFL.

Harrison, 35, has battled injuries and seen his athleticism dwindle over the past two seasons, but he's still managed 15 sacks in 24 games. After watching Dick LeBeau mold far less talented players than Jones into quality pass rushers, we're inclined to believe the rookie will fill Harrison's void just fine.

Jones' production is all but certain to exceed his player rating of 76.

 

EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Madden Rating: 74

Position: Quarterback

Age: 23

2012 College Football Statistics

3,392 YDS, 68.0 CMP%, 23 TD, 10 INT; 103 ATT, 310 YDS, 4 TD

 

Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is entering a difficult situation with the Buffalo Bills, as there isn't much certainty surrounding the organization. Manuel appears to be perceived as a run-first quarterback who uses his athleticism to be effective

The true definition of Manuel's game is that he's one of the most accurate passers in this year's draft class and will use his legs as a complementary tool. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, that has Manuel on track to start Week 1.

Expect him to make the most of this opportunity.

Manuel completed no worse than 65.1 percent of his passes in each of his four seasons with the Florida State Seminoles. In 2012, he threw for 3,392 yards and 23 touchdowns to 10 interceptions on a completion percentage of 68.0.

Running for 310 yards and four touchdowns simply proved how dangerous he can be if defenses play too heavy against the pass.

Buffalo may not have a lot, but what they do possess is a star wide receiver, Steve Johnson, and two stars at running back with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Fortunately for Manuel, each of those players are of a high-quality in the pass game.

Jackson has caught at least 30 passes in every season since 2008, despite playing in 10 games in both 2011 and 2012. Spiller caught 43 passes for 459 yards in 2012, while Johnson has topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past three seasons.

The development of fellow rookies Da'Rick Rogers and Robert Woods will play a role, but Manuel should have no trouble exceeding his rating of 74.

 

Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Madden Rating: 76

Position: Free Safety

Age: 21

2012 College Football Statistics

91 tackles, 42 solo, 2 INT, 9 PD

 

The San Francisco 49ers will be replacing both of their safeties during the 2013 NFL regular season. To aid that process, the Niners made a point to draft free safety Eric Reid out of LSU.

According to Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, the 49ers believes that Reid could start in 2013.

If Reid is able to start during his first year in the NFL, his quality will not reflect that of a player with a rating of 76. Even if that is where his skill level currently rests, Reid is playing in a deep and powerful defense that knows how to mask the flaws of their players.

Talk about best case scenario.

Reid certainly fits the mold of a 49ers safety, standing at 6'1" and 213 pounds, and displaying the range necessary to defend both the pass and run. He's a fluid athlete that tackles well in the open field and, alongside Donte Whitner, should be a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

It's rational to rate Reid at 76, but due to the players he's surrounded by, Reid's quality of work will exceed that number.

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