Madden 21 best players

Madden 21 best players DEFAULT

Friends, football season is coming. Training camps are beginning, trades are being made, and maybe this year we’ll even get to watch some games. If you’re itching for some football and you just can’t wait for the first game of the season, EA has released Madden NFL 21 for all your fantasy football needs.

Madden NFL 21 allows you to build your dream team and take them all the way to the Super Bowl. But to do that, you’re going to need the cream of the crop. There are hundreds of different players available in the game, and it can be hard to pick the best ones to make your team unstoppable. Fortunately for you, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it - here are the top 10 players in Madden NFL 21.

10. Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas Madden NFL 21

Overall Rating: 93
Position: Wide Receiver (WR)
Team: New Orleans Saints
Jersey Number: 13
Height: 6’3
Weight: 212 lbs


This brilliant wide receiver has been playing for the New Orleans Saints since 2016, and he’s made his mark on the NFL already. His 2019 highlights were chock-full of excellent highlight reels, leaving him just a single reception away from achieving his 150 catch milestone.

In Madden NFL 21, Thomas is a heavy hitter. His Catching and Awareness ratings are both 99 - if someone throws a ball anywhere near him, you can bet that he’ll catch it. Pair that with a 92 Acceleration, and you’ve got one of the best pass-catchers in the entire game.

9. Christian McCaffrey

Overall Rating: 95
Position: Running back (RB)
Team: Carolina Panthers
Jersey Number: 22
Height: 5’11
Weight: 202 lbs


McCaffrey is often referred to as “Carolina’s breakout player”, and it’s easy to see why. He was the 8th overall pick for the Carolina Panthers in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he holds the NCAA record for the most all-purpose yards in a season. His record? 3864 yards. Wowza!

In Madden NFL 21, McCaffrey matches this real-life need for speed. With a Speed of 92, an Acceleration of 93, and an incredible Agility of 97, he’s one of the fastest running backs in the game. Along with a huge Awareness stat and a whopping 96 Carrying stat, you’d better make sure that you get the ball into his hands.

8. Russell Wilson

Overall Rating: 96
Position: Quarterback (QB)
Team: Seattle Seahawks
Jersey Number: 3
Height: 5’11
Weight: 215 lbs


If you’re shopping for quarterbacks with excellent track records, then Russell Williams should definitely make the list. He’s been playing with the Seattle Seahawks since 2012, and he’s been named to eight Pro-Bowls during that career. He’s one of only four quarterbacks in NFL history to have a career passer rating over 100.

In-game, Wilson is the second-highest rated quarterback behind Patrick Mahomes. He’s a master of first downs with a 96 Deep Throw Accuracy, 94 Play Action, and 94 Running. He’ll be a nightmare for any defensive line to stop.

7. Lamar Jackson

Overall Rating: 97
Position: Quarterback
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Jersey Number: 8
Height: 6’2
Weight: 212 lbs


Of course, we can’t have a list of the best players in Madden NFL 21 without introducing you to the man on the cover - Lamar Jackson. Jackson started playing for the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL draft, and got a chance to show what he was made of after the Ravens’ starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, suffered an injury during the season. He’s the youngest quarterback ever to have started a playoff game, and he’s the second unanimous NFL MVP in history.

Jackson is the fastest quarterback in the game, topping the charts on both speed and acceleration. Pair that with his intense 95 Agility stat, and it’ll be a miracle if defenders can even see him, let alone stop him.

6. Tyreek Hill

Overall Rating: 97
Position: (Wide Receiver) WR
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Jersey Number: 10
Height: 5’10
Weight: 185


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Tyreek Hill, the fastest wide receiver in Madden NFL 21. Hill is so fast that his teammates on the Kansas City Chiefs call him “Cheetah.” He is a defending Super Bowl LIV Champion alongside superstar quarterback Patrick Mahones (who we’ll talk about later) and is a punt returner on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

In-game, Tyreek leaves burnt turf behind him with his 99 Speed stat. His Change of Direction and Acceleration stats are also 99, allowing him to beat out pretty much any defender. He might as well teleport across the field.

5. Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald Madden NFL 21

Overall Rating: 97
Position: Defensive End (DE)
Team: Los Angeles Rams
Jersey Number: 99
Height: 6’1
Weight: 280 lbs

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If you’re looking for a tough, powerful defensive tackle to bulldoze your competition, look no further than Aaron Donald. Donald has been playing for the Los Angeles Rams since 2014 and has been selected for seven Pro Bowls, one for each year that he’s been in the league. He’s a three-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year - if you’re looking for an incredible defence player, Donald is your man.

In the game, good old Number 99 has a string of 99 scores in important stats - Strength, Power Move, Play Recognition, and Awareness are all top-tier. Add that to a 93 Toughness and 92 Tackling, and you’re looking at a whole offensive line of terrified opponents.

4. Bobby Wagner

Overall Rating: 99
Position: Middle Linebacker (MLB)
Team: Seattle Seahawks
Jersey Number: 54
Height: 6’0
Weight: 242 lbs


While he might not make a lot of top 10 lists, Madden NFL 21 players love Bobby Wagner. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 and has been steadily collecting awards and accolades since then. He was a Super Bowl Champion in his second season (Super Bowl XLVII), he’s a seven-time Pro Bowler, and he’s been the NFL Tackles Leader twice.

Wagner has a 92 Speed in-game, paired with a 95 Acceleration. He’s pretty fast for an MLB, but his defensive stats are the real dazzlers. This man is a tank on the field, and opponents will have no choice but to get out of his way.

3. George Kittle

Overall Rating: 99
Position: Tight end (TE)
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Jersey Number: 85
Height: 6’4
Weight: 247 lbs


Kittle is the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, and it’s easy to see why. He’s a First-team All-Pro selection and was one of only 19 collegiate tight ends to be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2017. That same year, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s been dazzling us ever since.

While he might not be the highest-paid tight end in Madden NFL 21, he is most certainly the highest-rated. He boasts an insane 98 Toughness stat, and none of his key stats falls below a 90. Kittle is a must-have on an all-star team, no questions asked.

2. Stephon Gilmore

Overall Rating: 99
Position: Cornerback (CB)
Team: New England Patriots
JerseyNumber: 24
Height: 6’1
Weight: 202 lbs


Stephon Gilmore has been in 9 Madden NFL games, and he only gets better with every instalment. His 99 rating makes him the highest-rated cornerback in the game since Madden NFL 15 (where the honour stood with Richard Sherman). He was victorious at Super Bowl LIII with the New England Patriots, and his extensive experience makes him an asset on any all-star team.

In the game, Gilmore comes championship-ready right out of the box, with no important stats dipping below a 95. His Press, Man Coverage, and Awareness stats all sit at 99, making us think that Gilmore might just be superhuman.

1. Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes Madden NFL 21

Overall Rating: 99
Position: Quarterback (QB)
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Jersey Number: 15
Height: 6’3
Weight: 230 lbs


If you want a superstar football team, then there’s nothing better than having a quarterback who’s a defending Super Bowl Champion. Patrick Mahomes fits the bill. The 25-year-old star entered the NFL draft in 2017 and quickly rose through the ranks after the Kansas City Chiefs traded Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. In 2019, Mahomes led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory since 1970 and was awarded the Super Bowl MVP for his performance on the field.

In Madden NFL 21, Mahomes’ stats are almost unearthly - he has the second-highest throwing power in the game, and his incredible Awareness and Throw Under Pressure stats allow him to essentially materialize plays from thin air. Put a good defence and a star-studded offence behind him and you’ll steamroll any other team on the field.

And there you have it! We hope our star-studded list of the top 10 Madden NFL 21 players helps you dominate the field in your next game.


Madden 21 ratings: Complete list of top NFL players by position in 2020 release

It's ratings reveal week for "Madden NFL 21," meaning intense debate among fans about the best players at each position as a tease ahead of the Aug. 28 release date.

While EA Sports has deflated player ratings across the board in recent years, reducing the number of players in the high-90s, it still handed out several 99 overall marks for the upcoming season.

Among those with perfect ratings are Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey, two of the brightest young offensive players in the NFL.

The remaining ratings will be released throughout the week as part of an ESPN special reveal. Sporting News is tracking of the ratings for every position below, including the 99 Club and the top 20 overall players. This article will be updated as announcements are made.


Madden 21 ratings

Here is a list of Madden 21 player ratings for 2020, sorted by the top 10 at each position:

99 overall players

Player NamePosition
Patrick MahomesQB
Aaron DonaldDE
Stephon GilmoreCB
Christian McCaffreyRB
Michael ThomasWR

Top 10 overall players in Madden 21

Player NamePositionOVR
Aaron DonaldDE99
Christian McCaffreyRB99
Michael ThomasWR99
Patrick MahomesQB99
Stephon GilmoreCB99
Bobby WagnerMLB98
DeAndre HopkinsWR98
George KittleTE98
J.J. WattDE98
Zack MartinG98

MORE: Madden 21 must be joking with ratings for Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady

Madden QB ratings

Player NameOVR
Patrick Mahomes99
Russell Wilson97
Lamar Jackson94
Drew Brees93
Tom Brady90
Aaron Rodgers89
Matt Ryan87
Deshaun Watson86
Dak Prescott84
Carson Wentz84

Madden RB ratings

Player NameOVR
Christian McCaffrey99
Derrick Henry93
Nick Chubb92
Ezekiel Elliott92
Saquon Barkley91
Dalvin Cook91
Aaron Jones90
Joe Mixon89
Josh Jacobs88
Alvin Kamara88

MORE: Complete list of Madden 21 rookie ratings

Madden WR ratings

Player NameOVR
Michael Thomas99
DeAndre Hopkins98
Julio Jones97
Tyreek Hill96
Davante Adams94
Amari Cooper93
Mike Evans92
Stefon Diggs92
Keenan Allen91
Odell Beckham91

Madden TE ratings

Player NameOVR
George Kittle98
Travis Kelce97
Rob Gronkowski95
Zach Ertz90
Austin Hooper89
Evan Engram88
Jared Cook87
Greg Olsen86
Mark Andrews86
Darren Waller85

MORE: New Madden 21 game mode called The Yard leaked, and it looks fun

Madden DE ratings

Player NameOVR
Aaron Donald99
J.J. Watt98
Cameron Jordan96
Calais Campbell95
Myles Garrett93
Joey Bosa91
Cameron Heyward90
Danielle Hunter89
DeMarcus Lawrence89
Nick Bosa89

Madden OLB ratings

Player NameOVR
Khalil Mack97
Von Miller97
Chandler Jones95
Demario Davis89
Za'Darius Smith88
Kyle Van Noy86
T.J. Watt86
Darius Leonard85
Shaquil Barrett85
Preston Smith84

MORE: Madden 21's franchise mode is a big letdown

Madden MLB ratings

Player NameOVR
Bobby Wagner98
Lavonte David90
Eric Kendricks89
Dont'a Hightower88
Fred Warner87
Deion Jones86
C.J. Mosley85
Avery Williamson84
Roquan Smith83
Benardrick McKinney82

Madden CB ratings

Player NameOVR
Stephon Gilmore99
Jalen Ramsey94
Richard Sherman92
Jaire Alexander90
Tre'Davious White90
Casey Hayward89
Marlon Humphrey89
Byron Jones88
Darius Slay88
Patrick Peterson88

Madden S ratings

Player NameOVR
Harrison Smith95
Tyrann Mathieu93
Devin McCourty92
Jamal Adams92
Kevin Byard91
Justin Simmons90
Derwin James89
Eddie Jackson89
Earl Thomas88
Micah Hyde88
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The best Madden 21 players in each position by rating

The key to building the best team is picking the best Madden 21 players for each position, and the easiest way of doing that is going by position.

The Madden 21 player ratings have been revealed ahead of its launch on August 25, and with this football season looking a little dicey due to the closure of sporting events, this could be the perfect time to get way too into perfecting your Madden squad. There's some debate over the accuracy of these ratings (QBs Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson have gotten pretty hefty downgrades from their last appraisals) but that's for EA's scouts to take the flak for.

If you're looking to theorycraft the best Madden 21 team possible, here's a quick list of the best players in each position to make that job a little easier. Obviously when it comes to drafting your real team you might not be able to snag all of them, but on paper these are the best players to pick. It's like that Brad Pitt film about baseball but with a better sport and not real.

Anyway, that's all to say: here are the best players in each position by Madden 21 player ratings. These are based on the player's overall rating, so if you want to pick based on more nuanced holes in your line-up regarding their individual handling skills, check out the full listing of Madden 21 player ratings for that sort of detail.

The best Madden 21 players by position

Best Madden 21 players by position and ratings

Best QB in Madden 21

If you want the cream of the crop for throwing over the top, you should be drafting the best QB in Madden 21, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes who scores a perfect 99 overall this season. If he's not available for you, here are the top 10 QB in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Patrick Mahomes (99)
  • Russell Wilson (97)
  • Lamar Jackson (94)
  • Drew Brees (93)
  • Tom Brady (90)
  • Aaron Rodgers (89)
  • Matt Ryan (87)
  • Deshaun Watson (86)
  • Dak Prescott (84)
  • Carson Wentz (84)

Best RB in Madden 21

Need some fast legs on your side? The best running back in Madden 21 is Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey hitting that theoretical maximum of 99 overall in the ratings. If he's not in the list of potentials, or you just want to scope out the competition, here are the top 10 RB in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Christian McCaffrey (99)
  • Derrick Henry (93)
  • Nick Chubb (92)
  • Ezekiel Elliott (92)
  • Saquon Barkley (91)
  • Dalvin Cook (91)
  • Aaron Jones (90)
  • Joe Mixon (89)
  • Josh Jacobs (88)
  • Alvin Kamara (88)

Best WR in Madden 21

So you're after some safe hands, are you? Easy. The best wide receiver in Madden 21 is Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints with, you guessed it, an overall rating of 99. Need someone else? Here's the top 10 WR in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Michael Thomas (99)
  • DeAndre Hopkins (98)
  • Julio Jones (97)
  • Tyreek Hill (96)
  • Davante Adams (94)
  • Amari Cooper (93)
  • Mike Evans (92)
  • Stefon Diggs (92)
  • Keenan Allen (91)
  • Odell Beckham (91)

Best TE in Madden 21

Need that perfect mix of strength and speed in your line-up? The best tight end in Madden 21 is George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers boasting an overall raiting of 98. If you want to check yourself to see if there's a perfect 99, here's the top 10 TE in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • George Kittle (98)
  • Travis Kelce (97)
  • Rob Gronkowski (95)
  • Zach Ertz (90)
  • Austin Hooper (89)
  • Evan Engram (88)
  • Jared Cook (87)
  • Greg Olsen (86)
  • Mark Andrews (86)
  • Darren Waller (85)

Best DE in Madden 21

Looking for a wall of a man to shore up your defensive line? The best defensive end in Madden 21 is Aaron Donald of the LA Rams with a maxed out overall rating of 99. Think you can find an undervalued DE in the rest? Here's the top 10 DE in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Aaron Donald (99)
  • J.J. Watt (98)
  • Cameron Jordan (96)
  • Calais Campbell (95)
  • Myles Garrett (93)
  • Joey Bosa (91)
  • Cameron Heyward (90)
  • Danielle Hunter (89)
  • DeMarcus Lawrence (89)
  • Nick Bosa (89)

Best OLB in Madden 21

Filling out the ranks in your scrimmage line next? The best offensive linebacker in Madden 21 is Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears with an overall rating of 97. There's no-one better rated, but if you want to check here's the top 10 OLB in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Khalil Mack (97)
  • Von Miller (97)
  • Chandler Jones (95)
  • Demario Davis (89)
  • Za'Darius Smith (88)
  • Kyle Van Noy (86)
  • T.J. Watt (86)
  • Darius Leonard (85)
  • Shaquil Barrett (85)
  • Preston Smith (84)

Best MLB in Madden 21

Still short a few dudes in that line-up? The best middle linebacker in Madden 21 is Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks with an overall rating of 98. If you want someone else for your side, here's the top 10 MLB in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Bobby Wagner (98)
  • Lavonte David (90)
  • Eric Kendricks (89)
  • Dont'a Hightower (88)
  • Fred Warner (87)
  • Deion Jones (86)
  • C.J. Mosley (85)
  • Avery Williamson (84)
  • Roquan Smith (83)
  • Benardrick McKinney (82)

Best CB in Madden 21

Need someone to shut down those pesky receivers on your opponent's team? The best cornerback in Madden 21 is Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots with an overall rating of 99. Need a second? Here's the top 10 CB in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Stephon Gilmore (99)
  • Jalen Ramsey (94)
  • Richard Sherman (92)
  • Jaire Alexander (90)
  • Tre'Davious White (90)
  • Casey Hayward (89)
  • Marlon Humphrey (89)
  • Byron Jones (88)
  • Darius Slay (88)
  • Patrick Peterson (88)

Best S in Madden 21

Finally, picking up a decent safety for your team? The best safety in Madden 21 is Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings with an overall rating of 95. Need another? Here's the top 10 S in Madden 21 by ratings:

  • Harrison Smith (95)
  • Tyrann Mathieu (93)
  • Devin McCourty (92)
  • Jamal Adams (92)
  • Kevin Byard (91)
  • Justin Simmons (90)
  • Derwin James (89)
  • Eddie Jackson (89)
  • Earl Thomas (88)
  • Micah Hyde (88)

With all of the best players in Madden 21 by position, you should easily be able to pick out a decent team. But obviously this isn't everything you need to put together a winning team. Are you ready to craft the perfect side when Madden NFL 21 comes out on August 25?

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Best madden players 21

Madden 21 ratings: the top five players at every position

Knowing your Madden 21 ratings is a key element of getting stuck into this year's Gridiron sim. Which is why we’ve collated the top Madden 21 players at every single position, from the bomb-throwing Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, to the game-deciding boot of kicker Justin Tucker, and everything in-between. You’ll discover the new entrants in the hallowed halls of the mythical Madden 99 Club, and who has received significant upgrades from last year’s game. It’s all here in our complete list of Madden 21 ratings.

Quarterback (QB)

1. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City), 99
2. Russell Wilson (Seattle), 97
3= Lamar Jackson (Baltimore), 93
3= Drew Brees (New Orleans), 93
5= Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay), 90
5= Tom Brady (Tampa Bay), 90

After his Super Bowl-winning season, it’s no surprise to see Patrick Mahomes make the Madden 99 Club. Following behind the Chiefs QB is Seahawks shot-caller Russell Wilson. Cover star Lamar Jackson receives a healthy boost in his ratings, making his way up to joint third alongside 41-year-old Drew Brees. It’s the old guard that continue to dominate the list, with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady – now at Tampa Bay – each getting a 90 rating.

Running back (HB/FB)

1. Christian McCaffrey (Carolina), 99
2= Derrick Henry (Tennessee), 93
2= Nick Chubb (Cleveland), 93
4. Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), 92
5= Saquon Barkley (New York Giants), 91
5= Dalvin Cook (Vikings), 91

Plenty of quality running backs to choose from this year. The best of the best is all-rounder (and record breaker, becoming the third NFL player in history to get 1,000 receiving and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season) Christian McCaffrey with a 99 rating.

Don’t discount the likes of human wrecking ball – and post-season dominator in 2019 – Derrick Henry with a brutal 98 Stiff Arm rating. Nick Chubb ties the Tennessee Titans running back, while Ezekiel Elliott (93 Ball Carrying Vision), Saquon Barkley (94 Juke), and Dalvin Cook (95 Change of Direction rating) will all take some stopping.

Wide receiver (WR)

1= Michael Thomas (New Orleans), 98
1= DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona), 98
3= Tyreek Hill (Kansas City), 96
3= Julio Jones (Atlanta), 96
5. Davante Adams (Green Bay), 93
6= Amari Cooper (Dallas), 92
6= Stefon Diggs (Buffalo), 92
6= Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), 92
9= Odell Beckham Jr. (Cleveland), 91
9= Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers), 91

Wide receiver is a key position, so we've provided a top ten here rather than a fab five. Despite grabbing the most receptions in a single season in 2019, Michael Thomas has to settle for a 98 rating alongside DeAndre Hopkins, who receives a slight downgrade from last year’s 99. Elsewhere, there’s serious depth: the speedster Tyreek Hill, the ever-present Julio Jones, deep threat Mike Evans, and even Odell Beckham Jr. – despite a disappointing debut season in Cleveland – all feature among the top five highest ratings for wide receivers in Madden 21.

Tight end (TE)

1. George Kittle (San Francisco), 98
2. Travis Kelce (Kansas City), 97
3. Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay), 92
4. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia), 90
5. Austin Hooper (Atlanta), 89

George Kittle should be one of your go-to targets in Madden 21. His 98 Catching means he’s a dependable target as any, while his 88 Speed and 89 Acceleration ensure the big guy is a threat in a footrace too. Among the most eye-catching names on the list is the returning Rob Gronkowski. The one-time WWE Superstar is back on Madden with a 92 rating, just ahead of perennial tight end choices, Zach Ertz and Austin Hooper.

Tackle (RT/LT)

1= David Bakhtiari (LT, Green Bay), 96
1= Mitchell Schwartz (RT, Kansas City), 96
3. Terron Armstead (LT, New Orleans), 95
4. Ronnie Stanley (LT, Baltimore), 93
5. Trent Williams (LT, San Francisco), 92
6. Ryan Ramczyk (RT, New Orleans), 91

They might not be household names, but Tackles can often be the difference between your Quarterback seeing first down or looking up at the lights. The Chiefs’ Mitchell Schwartz and Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari top the burly pile this year. Watch out for New Orleans, too, as a pair of their Tackles make the list, including Terron Armstead, who comes bundled with a fearsome pass blocking stats, all averaging in the mid-90s. Good luck getting to Drew Brees.

Interior lineman (C/LG/RG)

1. Zack Martin (RG, Dallas), 98
2= Quentin Nelson (LG, Indianapolis), 94
2= Jason Kelce (C, Philadelphia), 94
4= Rodney Hudson (C, Las Vegas), 93
4= Brandon Brooks (RG, Philadelphia), 93
5. David DeCastro (RG, Pittsburgh), 91
6. Richie Incognito (LG, Las Vegas), 90

Centres and guards can help give more time in the pocket and create holes for running backs to exploit. There is none in the game – both virtual and real-world – better at that than Zack Martin. His 97 Run Block attribute means he can manhandle his opposite number more often than not. Two teams, Eagles and the Raiders, each have a pair of interior lineman here, too.

Defensive lineman (DT/LE/RE)

1. Aaron Donald (RE, Los Angeles Rams), 99
2. J.J. Watt (LE, Houston), 98
3= Cameron Jordan (LE, New Orleans), 96
3= Fletcher Cox (DT, Philadelphia), 96
5. Calais Campbell (RE, Baltimore), 95
6. Myles Garrett (RE, Cleveland), 93

Defensive lineman are undoubtedly the most destructive players in football. Fumbles and sacks are their wheelhouse – and it’s hardly a shock to see the 99 overall (99 Strength, 99 Power Moves, 98 Pursuit), Aaron Donald top the charts after his continued dominance year after year in the league. J.J. Watt isn’t far behind, with several other elite lineman making the cut in perhaps the deepest position pool in Madden. Don’t be surprised to see either of the Bosa brothers on this list next year.

Linebacker (MLB/ROLB/LOLB)

1. Bobby Wagner (MLB, Seattle), 98
2= Khalil Mack (LOLB, Chicago), 97
2= Von Miller (LOLB, Denver), 97
4. Chandler Jones (LOLB, Arizona), 95
5. Lavonte David (MLB, Tampa Bay), 90

No surprises to see who’s still king of the middle linebackers. Wagner is the only one to break 90 in a shallow year for the position. Elsewhere, the LOLB list is top-heavy with three All Pro names but sees a sharp dip after that. Demario Davis is the best ROLB in the game but doesn’t break 90.

Defensive back (CB/SS/FS)

1. Stephen Gilmore (CB, New England), 99
2. Harrison Smith (SS, Minnesota), 95
3. Jalen Ramsey (CB, Los Angeles Rams), 94
4. Tyrann Mathieu (SS, Kansas City), 93
5. Devin McCourty (FS, New England), 92

As the saying goes, defense wins championships. There are three Super Bowl winners on the list, with two, Gilmore and McCourty, forming part of the Patriots’ laughably brilliant defense in 2019 that was scoring on teams for fun. Gilmore, especially, is a major threat in the air on Madden 21: the 99 rating on Man Coverage and Press means throwing towards him in a one-on-one situation is as good as throwing an interception.

Kicker/punter (K/P)

1= Justin Tucker (K, Baltimore), 87
1= Johnny Hekker (P, Los Angeles Rams), 87
3= Josh Lambo (P, Jacksonville), 85
3= Brett Kern (P, Tennessee), 85
3= Sam Koch (P, Baltimore), 85
6= Harrison Butker (K, Kansas City), 83
6= Thomas Morstead (P, New Orleans), 83
8= Chris Boswell (K, Pittsburgh), 82
8= Robbie Gould (K, San Francisco), 82
8= Tress Way (P, Washington), 82
8= Chris Jones (P, Dallas), 82

Again, we've gone for the top ten ST players here. Kickers had a shaky time last season: putting it between the posts is harder than it looks. Not so for Justin Tucker, who missed just one kick in 2019. Unsurprisingly, he tops the list (98 Kick Power and Kick Accuracy means he can even be a potent three-point threat from just about anywhere in outdoor stadiums with the wind behind him). On the punter side of things, Johnny Hekker is similarly strong and also has the highest Kick Power and Kick Accuracy stats for the position – both 97.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.

Madden 21 Basic Tips 101 - HOW TO BE UNSTOPPABLE!

Madden 21: 10 Best Players That Gamers Should Be Using

With hundreds of players to choose from in EA's latest yearly released video game focused on the National Football League, there's an overwhelming amount of talent within each roster—unless you are a Cincinnati Bengals fan.

RELATED: Madden 21: The NFL's 10 Best Special Teams In The Game, Ranked

While it is easy to play as the highest-rated team like the Green Bay Packers or the New England Patriots and demolish your friend who still believes in Baker Mayfield, these are the 10 best players that fans really should be using in Madden 21.

11 Patrick Mahomes

The defending Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes finished the 2019 season with over 4,000 yards, 26 touchdowns, and was voted Super Bowl MVP leading the Kansas City Chiefs to their first championship since 1967.

With Awareness, Throw Power, and Throw Under Pressure ratings of 97 and the second-highest throwing power behind only Josh Allen, the 500 million dollar man is easily the cream of the crop when it comes to passers with his ability to make plays out of nothing while tossing the ball down the field with his eyes closed.

10 Lamar Jackson

Following an incredible sophomore season where he was unanimously voted the NFL MVP, the running back playing the role of quarterback is the closest player to replicate Michael Vick's Madden dominance in 2004.

RELATED: Madden 21: The NFL's 10 Best Quarterbacks In The Game, Ranked

The cover star of this year's Madden installment, Jackson scrambles out of the pocket and onto the virtual football field with the fastest speed and acceleration rating out of any quarterback. His speed combined with a 95 agility rating makes him one of the more difficult players to stop, especially when he notices a defender whose ankles he hasn't broken yet.

9 Michael Thomas

The Saints star receivers stretch out into Madden 21 fresh off a highlight-filled 2019 season. Drew Brees's number favorite target was a single reception away from 150 catches and finished the year with nearly 2,000 yards receiving with 9 touchdowns.

The 99-rated receiver holds a 92 Aceelration rating paired with 99 Awareness and Catching Ratings which makes Michael Thomas one of the most dominant pass-catchers in Madden 21.

8 Christian McCaffrey

The 8th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft finished the season with over 1,000 rushing and receiving yards with 19 touchdowns for the Carolina Panthers. Christian McCaffrey comes into Madden 21 as the highest-rated running back in the game and joins Aaron Donald having back-to-back 99 ratings in Madden 20 and Madden 21. McCaffrey is the first running-back with a launch rating of 99 since Adrian Peterson in Madden NFL 25.

RELATED: Madden 21: The NFL's 10 Best Offenses In The Game, Ranked

Carolina's breakout player is one of the fastest back's in this year's NFL simulator. With a 92 Speed rating, 93 Acceletarion rating, a 97 Agility, and Awareness rating paired with his Carrying Rating sitting just below 99 makes Christan McCaffery one of the top players to hand the ball off too.

7 Aaron Donald

The Los Angeles Rams Defensive Tackle enters this year's Madden's with a 99 overall rating for the third straight year, becoming the sixth player in Madden's history to do so.

Number 99 holds a 99 Strength, Power Move, Play Recognition, and Awareness Rating paired with his 93 Toughness Rating and 92 Tackling Rating make Donald one of—if not the toughest—players and most terrifying on the Madden field.

6 George Kittle

The highest-paid tight end in the NFL is also the highest-rated tight end in this year's Madden with a 98 rating. Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers saw their season come to a disappointing end in Super Bowl LIV thanks to Andy Reid and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers tight end enters his 4th Madden with a 98 Catching, 94 Awareness, 91 Jumping, 92 Stamina, and a 98 Toughness rating.

5 Derrick Henry

With the team on his back last season, the leader in rushing yards and touchdowns during the 2019 season had an outstanding year ending with it over 1,500 yeards and 16 touchdowns. The fourth-year back would finish his season defeating the all-mighty Tom Brady in the Wild Card Round leading the Tennesse Titans to their first postseason win against the Patriots.

RELATED: NFL Street Is (Sort Of) Back In Madden 21

While number 22 for the Carolina Panthers is the highest-rated running back in Madden 21, Henry sits just below with a 93 rating. His 93 Overall, 91 Speed, 98 Awareness, and 91 Carrying ratings are just some of the reasons why giving 22 the ball on a 3rd and 4 virtually guarantees the player a first down.

4 Tyreek Hill

Madden 21's Fastest Wide Receiver comes into the game with a 99 Speed, Change Of Direction, and Acceleration Rating beating out Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins, and Michael Thomas.

The defending Super Bowl champion and fourth highest-rated receiver is generally a problem for any defending team since he is faster than Nick Foles taking over the starting position midway through the season and leading a team to the playoffs.

3 Russell Wilson

Since being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2012 NFL Draft, the seven-time Pro Bowler has consistently seen success as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. With over 4,000 yards passing during the 2019 season and 31 touchdowns, Wilson was one of the top passers last season and is a yearly candidate in the MVP discussion.

RELATED: Madden 21: The NFL's 10 Best Defenses In The Game, Ranked

The Super Bowl XLVII champion is the second-highest-rated quarterback under Patrick Mahomes with a 97 rating. His 98 Stamina and Toughness, 96 Deep Throw Accuracy, and 95 Throw Under Pressure ratings paired with his 94 Play-Action and a 94 Running rating give Wilson the ability to scramble for first downs and make number three one of the toughest quarterbacks to stop.

2 Stephon Gilmore

2019's NFL Defensive Player of the Year enters his 9th Madden installment with a 99 making him the highest-rated cornerback since Richard Sherman in Madden 15. The former Buffalo Bill led Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots through the 2019 season and into the Wildcard round.

RELATED: Madden 21: The NFL's 10 Best Defenses In The Game, Ranked

The Super Bowl LIII champion sits with a 99 Press, Man Coverage, and 99 Awareness ratings combined with his 96 Play Recognition and 96 Stamina ratings.

1 Drew Brees

With most career passing yards, completions, touchdown passes, and a $50 million contract extension, the former Super Bowl MVP enters Madden 21 with a 93 overall rating and his highest rating since Madden 16.

The fourth highest-rated passer holds a 99 Short Throw Accuracy rating attached to his 98 Throw Under Pressure and Awareness ratings make Drew one of the more accurate passers in Madden 21.

NEXT: Every Madden Game Of The 2010s, Ranked From Worst To Best (According To Metacritic)


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Jesse Taylor Benoit (30 Articles Published)

Jesse Benoit is a gamer, writer and video assistant for the Queen's University athletic department. Located in Kingston Ontario, he has been an editor for gamingrunts, He has recently added writer for TheGamer to his resume. Graduating a Sports and Entertainment, Sales and Marketing program he is now aiming to build upon his experience.

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Madden 21 Ratings: The best players in Franchise Mode - Mahomes, Gilmore, Donald, McCaffrey & more

Madden 21 is finally here!

Those with the Deluxe or MVP Edition can play TODAY!

But who do you want to play with?

Patrick Mahomes - 99 OVR

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Position: QB

The Madden 20 cover star led the Chiefs to the Lombardi Trophy in his second year as a starter after claiming Super Bowl MVP himself, and he has all the tools to dominate in Madden 21.

mahomes madden
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MAGIC MAHOMES: With a cannon arm and good speed he's deadly

Mahomes best traits are his 97 Throw Under Pressure, 97 Throw Accuracy Short, 95 Throw Accuracy Medium, and 97 Throw on the Run.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Ratings: Best QB's

Mahomes is more of a jack of all trades than dominant at any one, which makes for an incredibly deadly QB in all situations.

Aaron Donald - 99 OVR

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Position: RE

Denied a third-straight Defensive Player of the Year award, Aaron Donald might just light the NFL on fire in 2021.

aaron donald madden 20 1
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YOU BETTER HOLD: Grab whatever you can to keep Aaron Donald off your QB

The Rams defensive end has 34 sacks and 92 QB hits in the last three years - and he'll be QB killer once again in Madden 21.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Ratings: Best Pass Rushers

Donald's best Madden 21 ratings are his 99 Strength, 99 Power Moves, 97 Finesse Moves, and 97 Block Shedding. You're going to need an army to hold him back.

Christian McCaffrey - 99 OVR

Team: Carolina Panthers

Position: HB

Neither the fastest nor the strongest, it is Christian McCaffrey's ability to do everything that earned him his spot in the 99 Club.

rsz madden 20 ratings update christian mccaffrey 99 club
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ENGINE: McCaffrey drives the entire Panthers offense, and is still nearly unstoppable

He finished 2019 with 100+ catches, 1,000+ yards both rushing and receiving, and 19 touchdowns, and this flexibility is reflected in his Madden 21 ratings.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Ratings: Best HB's

McCaffrey's best attributes are his 98 Carrying, 96 Change of Direction, 96 BC Vision, 96 Juke Moves, and 97 Agility. He'll be a fantastic elite tier running back in all situations.

Stephon Gilmore - 99 OVR

Team: New England Patriots

Position: CB

Stephon Gilmore was the Defensive Player of the Year last season, and it's earned him his spot in the 99 Club.

Gilmore M20 1
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ERASER: Gilmore can take opposing WRs out of the game

Gilmore is all about shutting out elite receivers, and he'll be doing plenty of it in Madden 21.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Ratings: Best CB's

Gilmore's best ratings are his 99 Man Coverage, 98 Play Recognition, and 99 Press.

Michael Thomas - 99 OVR

Team: New Orleans Saints

Position: WR

The Saints receiver might not be the fastest, but his incredibly strong hands and superbly precise route running has earned him the final spot in the 99 Club.

rsz michael thomas madden 20
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PRECISION EVERY SNAP: Michael Thomas' route running skills will make him deadly all across the field

He led the NFL last season with 149 catches (a new NFL record) and 1,725 yards.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Ratings: Best WR's

In Madden 21 Michael Thomas is absolutely stacked, with his best ratings being 99 Catching, 99 Short Route Running, 98 Spectacular Catch, 98 Catch in Traffic, 98 Medium Route Running, and 98 Release.

Bobby Wagner - 98 OVR

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Position: MLB

The Seahawks middle linebacker is coming off a season with 159 tackles and three sacks

bobby wagner madden
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FIELD GENERAL: Wagner knows what's coming at all times

His ability to read offenses and make plays has carried him to just below the 99 Club in Madden 21.

READ MORE: Madden 21 Editions: Standard, Deluxe, MVP & more

Wagner's best ratings are his 98 Hit Power, 96 Tackle, 97 Play Recognition, and 97 Pursuit, which help him chase down the play no matter where it is on the field.

George Kittle - 98 OVR

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Position: TE

This might seem high for a tight end, but George Kittle is a beast both with the ball and blocking.

madden 20 george kittle
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ELITE: George Kittle is the highest rated TE in Madden 21

Because of that double threat skillset, he's the highest rated TE in Madden 21.

READ MORE: Madden 21 The Yard: What is it? NFL Street in new Madden?

Kittle's best ratings are his 98 Catching, 88 Release, 88 Spectacular Catch, and 87 Short Route Running.

Player Position Team OVR
Patrick MahomesQBKansas City Chiefs99
Aaron DonaldRELos Angeles Rams99
Stephon GilmoreCBNew England Patriots99
Christian McCaffreyHBCarolina Panthers99
Michael ThomasWRNew Orleans Saints99
Bobby WagnerMLBSeattle Seahawks98
George KittleTESan Francisco 49ers98
DeAndre HopkinsWRArizona Cardinals98
JJ WattLEHouston Texans98
Zack MartinRGDallas Cowboys98
Julio JonesWRAtlanta Falcons97
Khalil MackLOLBChicago Bears97
Russell WilsonQBSeattle Seahawks97
Travis KelceTEKansas City Chiefs97
Von MillerLOLBDenver Broncos97
Cameron JordanLENew Orleans Saints96
David BakhtiariLTGreen Bay Packers96
Fletcher CoxDTPhiladelphia Eagles96
Mitchell SchwartzRTKansas City Chiefs96
Tyreek HillWRKansas City Chiefs96
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