Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was the consensus top linebacker in the class in the 2018 NFL Draft, and a large part of that was due to his long list of accolades. He has a consensus All-American nomination, a Butkus Award, an SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, a first-team All-SEC nomination, an SEC championship and an SEC Championship Game MVP award to his name. Now, he can add the best defensive rookie “Madden” rating to his accomplishments.
EA Sports released the top five rookie ratings for their upcoming video game “Madden NFL 19” on Tuesday, and Smith was given the fourth-best rating with an 81 overall. Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield were the only players above the Bears linebacker, making the highest-rated defensive rookie in the game. Denver Broncos edge rusher Bradley Chubb was the second-highest defensive rookie with an 80 overall.
EA Sports had this to say about Smith’s ratings:
Smith has the makings of a Pro Bowl level talent. The Bears added him to help build a linebacker core that already included Danny Trevathan. Smith can be disruptive all over the field with several ratings in the high 80s. His 88 Tackle and 87 Hit Power are enough to stop most ball carriers cold, but his numbers make him a natural fit in coverage, too. Smith sports an 89 Speed, 91 Acceleration, 88 Agility, with an 89 Pursuit and 80 in Zone Coverage.
Smith’s high athleticism ratings will surely make him a blast for “Madden” players around the world to play with. Rookies are typically given relatively low awareness ratings in the game, which is likely what is hindering Smith’s overall rating from being even higher. However, EA Sports updates their overalls on a consistent basis during the season, so, with a good rookie season, his overall could end up being even higher with 81 when the 2018 season comes to a close.
Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller also had his overall released as a part of the top five rookie wide receivers in the class. He finished in fifth with a 74 overall.
EA Sports gave this explanation for his overall:
Miller rounds out this top five as a solid route runner, but lacks the moves to break off after the catch. With routes, his 82 Short and 80 Mid are second only to Moore among the top 5. His 80 Catching is the lowest of the bunch. Playstyle wise, he’s a more agile Sutton with lesser hands but better stick moves.
Although his overall rating seems favorable considering that it’s close to players who were drafted higher than he was, the statement that Miller can’t break off after the catch is confusing. He was one of the better receivers in the class at picking up yards after the catch, but it appears as though he still has to prove himself some more to the folks at EA Sports. The favorable route running ratings are pretty accurate to his skill set, though.
What are your thoughts on these ratings? Sound off in the comments below.