Madden 22: Release Date and Breaking Down Star Player Ratings
Another edition of the Madden NFL franchise is coming soon. But even though the initial release date isn't until August 17, the debates over ratings are already underway.
EA Sports has already released the ratings for every player in this year's game. Those have become a popular topic of conversation in recent years, as even NFL players give their opinions on them (often wanting them to be higher).
There are a lot of players in the NFL, and Madden features plenty of attributes, so it can be difficult to get everything perfect. But there will be adjustments made throughout the season based on how players perform during the 2021 campaign.
With another installment of Madden set to drop, here's a look at some of the noteworthy ratings in the upcoming edition of the game.
Mahomes Among 5 in Exclusive 99 Club
Only special players receive a 99 overall rating in Madden, the highest possible score in the game. And this year, there are only five stars in that rarefied air.
It's no surprise that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, one of this year's two cover athletes, will be a 99 overall. In 2020, he may not have put up the same numbers he did when he won NFL MVP in 2018, but he was again impressive, throwing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns en route to leading the Chiefs to the AFC title.
One of Mahomes' teammates, tight end Travis Kelce, is also in the 99 Club—and for good reason. Kelce is a game-changer and the best tight end in the league. He set career highs in catches (105), receiving yards (1,416) and touchdowns (11) last season.
The other members of the 99 Club are Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams and Los Angeles Rams defensive standouts Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. With Donald on the defensive line and Ramsey in the secondary, the Rams defense has an 83 rating that should make it fun to play with.
It's possible that other players are boosted to a 99 overall rating midseason, but for now, these five are the only ones in the exclusive group.
Brady, Rodgers Remain Among Best Players in Game
As players get older, their Madden ratings are likely to decrease. But that's still not the case for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady and Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, who continue to defy age by playing at extremely high levels for their respective teams.
Brady, who is also on this year's Madden cover, proved last season that he could be successful with a team other than the New England Patriots, and he put up some of his best numbers in years. He passed for 4,633 yards (his most since 2012) and 40 touchdowns, the second-most he's ever thrown in a season behind only his 50 in 2007. That's why Brady will have a 97 overall rating when Madden NFL 22 comes out.
Rodgers may have made things interesting this offseason by making it seem like he may not return to the Packers, but he ended up arriving to training camp and is getting ready to try to have another strong season. After passing for 4,299 yards and a career-high 48 touchdowns in 2020, Rodgers has a 96 overall rating in this year's Madden.
It's always fun to play with mobile quarterbacks in Madden, and Brady and Rodgers definitely aren't among those. But their strong arms and other high-rated skills still make them the top quarterbacks in the game behind only Mahomes.
Pitts, Lawrence Headline 2021 Rookie Class
Kyle Pitts wasn't the first player taken in the 2021 NFL draft or even the second or the third. He had to wait until the Atlanta Falcons were on the clock at No. 4 before hearing his name called. But the former Florida tight end holds one distinction over the three players who were drafted ahead of him.
In Madden NFL 22, Pitts will be the game's best rookie when it comes out, boasting an 81 overall rating. Atlanta's offense may not be as fun to play with now that Julio Jones is no longer on the team, but Pitts and Calvin Ridley still give the Falcons a pair of strong targets for quarterback Matt Ryan to throw to.
Not only was quarterback Trevor Lawrence the No. 1 overall pick, but he also has the second-highest Madden rating among rookies. The new leader of the Jacksonville Jaguars offense comes in at a 78, and he will also be able to move around well considering he has 84 speed.
As for the other first-round rookie QBs, the New York Jets' Zach Wilson is rated at a 75, the San Francisco 49ers' Trey Lance and the Chicago Bears' Justin Fields are at a 74 and the New England Patriots' Mac Jones will start at a 71. Lawrence and Wilson have the best chance to quickly improve their ratings, as they are likely going to be Week 1 starters in 2021.