‘Madden 18’ Ratings: Brandin Cooks Among Patriots With Debatable Grades

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Ahead of its release on Aug. 25, the player ratings for “Madden NFL 18” have dropped. And, per usual, some of the ratings are going to make fans upset.

We already know that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the game’s cover athlete, is the highest rated QB in the game. But until now, we didn’t know how EA Sports views the rest of the players in the NFL, including those on the Patriots.

Here are the top-10 highest-rated players on both sides of the ball for the Pats, plus some other notable players who might dispute their overall ratings:

Offense
Tom Brady, QB — 99 overall
Rob Gronkowski, TE — 98 overall
Julian Edelman, WR — 89 overall
Marcus Cannon, RT — 88 overall
Nate Solder, LT — 87 overall
Brandin Cooks, WR — 86 overall
Shaq Mason, RG — 85 overall
James Develin, FB — 84 overall
Chris Hogan, WR — 83 overall
Dion Lewis, HB — 82 overall

Defense
Malcolm Butler, CB — 92 overall
Devin McCourty, FS — 92 overall
Dont’a Hightower, MLB — 89 overall
Alan Branch, DT — 83 overall
Stephon Gilmore, CB — 83 overall
Trey Flowers, RE — 82 overall
David Harris, MLB — 81 overall
Malcom Brown, DT — 78 overall
Patrick Chung, SS — 77 overall
Kony Ealy, LE — 77 overall

(Note: Due to his recent retirement, Rob Ninkovich — 78 overall — was omitted from this list.)

Others
James White, HB — 81 overall
Dwayne Allen, TE — 80 overall
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB — 77 overall
Mike Gillislee, RB — 77 overall
Stephen Gostkowski, K — 76 overall
Malcolm Mitchell, WR — 76 overall
Duron Harmon, SS — 77 overall
Eric Rowe, CB — 76 overall
Lawrence Guy, RE — 75 overall
Elandon Roberts, LOLB — 75 overall
Matthew Slater, WR/ST — 69 overall

There are a few takeaways here.

On offense, it’s rather surprising that the immensely talented Cooks is ranked lower than Edelman. Cannon being the highest-rated offensive lineman also is worth noting, given the amount of criticism he received before his breakout 2016 campaign. Lastly, Garoppolo’s rating is glaringly low, regardless of how much experience he’s had in the league.

As far as defense is concerned, Harris’ rating is worth noting, considering his signing with the Patriots really flew under the radar. It’s also surprising just how many Patriots defenders failed to crack the 80’s, as the unit generally is regarded as one of the better defenses in the NFL. But the true stunner here is Gilmore’s relatively low rating, especially when compared to that of Malcolm Butler.

“Madden” ratings might seem inconsequential to some, as most people assume it only affects the gamers. But as Odell Beckham Jr. showed, some players — for whatever reason — take these ratings quite seriously.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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