Top 15 Players Who Deserve a Higher Rating in Madden NFL 24

Which NFL players were disrespected by Madden 24's launch ratings?


With the NFL preseason starting in short order, Madden NFL 24 has officially unveiled its launch player ratings prior to the game’s August 17 release. The developers at Electronic Arts Tiburon grade every NFL player on a 99 point scale with specific stats and attributes for each unique position. Unfortunately, some talented players received shockingly low ratings in the latest iteration of Madden, ranging from slight stat discrepancies to complete disrespect. Let’s take a look at 15 players who deserve a higher Madden rating in the upcoming game, ranked from the least to most egregious errors.

15. Brian Robinson Jr. – Running Back, Washington Commanders

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Brian Robinson Jr. had a solid rookie campaign for the Washington Commanders in 2022, racking up over 800 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns over the course of 12 games, while in a timeshare with Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. However, prior to his solid debut, Robinson’s path to NFL stardom took a harrowing turn when he was shot twice in the leg in an attempted robbery on August 28, 2022 merely one week prior to the start of the regular season. The injuries sustained from the shooting forced the Alabama third round pick out of action for the first four weeks of the 2022 NFL season. Thankfully, Robinson Jr. would defy the odds and return to the gridiron as a starting NFL running back merely a month following his frightening ordeal.

Although Madden has rated Robinson a fair 79 overall, 29th at the running back position, his toughness is only scored at an 89. This is a major lapse in judgment by EA Tiburon, as a player who overcame gunshot wounds to become a decent starting running back in the NFL should undeniably have a toughness rating in the high 90s, if not maxed out at 99.

14. Frank Clark – Linebacker/Defensive End, Denver Broncos

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After collecting two Super Bowl rings and three Pro Bowl selections during his four year stint in Kansas City, defensive end Frank Clark left Chiefs Kingdom for the division rival Denver Broncos in 2023 free agency following his release. Although the seasoned veteran is entering his ninth year in the league and is past his elite prime, Clark has consistently shown a knack for clutch pass rushing, recording 13.5 sacks in 17 career playoff games with the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. Even with such an impressive legacy, the veteran defensive end is only rated a 76 overall in Madden NFL 24 at launch, which is 73rd among all edge rushers in the game. Both of these numbers are far too low for a player of Clark’s stature and caliber.

13. Quenton Nelson – Guard, Indianapolis Colts

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Quenton Nelson has established himself as one of the best guards in the NFL, and is currently on a Hall of Fame trajectory. In just five seasons, Nelson has earned five Pro Bowl selections and four All-Pro team appearances (3x First-team, 1x Second-team). Although he received a high 92 overall in Madden NFL 24, Nelson is ranked as the fourth best guard in the latest Madden entry at launch and fell three points from a 95 score the previous year, despite receiving yet another Pro Bowl selection. Nelson deserved to stay in the mid-90s scoring tier for Madden NFL 24.

12. C.J. Gardner Johnson – Safety, Detroit Lions

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After recording a co-league leading 6 interceptions (in just 12 regular season games played) during the 2022 NFL season, as well as having an integral role in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl run, C.J. Gardner-Johnson joined the Detroit Lions in free agency during the offseason. Entering his fifth year in the league, Gardner-Johnson is rated as an 84 overall strong safety in the latest iteration of Madden, which seems somewhat low for a player who came back from a lacerated kidney to play a major role on a Super Bowl runner-up defense.

11. Austin Ekeler – Running Back, Los Angeles Chargers

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Austin Ekeler just can’t get any respect. In the past two seasons, the dual rushing and receiving phenom has scored an astounding 40 total touchdowns (including playoffs), as well as generating 1,600 plus scrimmage yards in consecutive seasons. Regardless of this breakneck production pace, Ekeler has failed to earn a Pro Bowl selection, hasn’t been honored on the All-Pro team, and is just an 89 overall in Madden NFL 24, sixth among his fellow halfbacks. Ekeler deserves a spot in the top five at the position (at a minimum), as well as a Madden rating of at least 90.

10. Tariq Woolen – Cornerback, Seattle Seahawks

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One of the biggest surprise rookie stars of 2022 was the Seattle Seahawks 6’4″ defensive back extraordinaire, Tariq Woolen, who co-led the league in interceptions despite being a fifth round draft pick. Woolen earned a Pro Bowl selection in his debut season and was awarded an 83 overall rating in Madden NFL 24. However, Woolen’s rookie corner compatriot Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets dons a 93 overall score in the latest Madden, which seems like too much of a disparity between the first-year standouts. Gardner may be a better cornerback than Woolen, but the difference is certainly closer than 10 rating points, meaning Woolen should have his overall ranking bumped slightly higher.

Related: Highest Rated Players on Every Team in Madden NFL 24

9. Orlando Brown Jr. – Offensive Tackle, Cincinnati Bengals

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After two impressive years with the Kansas City Chiefs, Orlando Brown Jr. joined the Cincinnati Bengals (AKA the Chiefs’ arch rival) on a four year, $64 million contract, becoming one of the top ten highest paid offensive tackles in the league by virtually every metric. However, according to Madden, Brown Jr. places a lowly 18th at the position with an 83 overall rating, which seems stingy for a highly touted offensive tackle who has earned a Pro Bowl selection in each of the last four seasons with the Ravens and Chiefs.

8. Rhamondre Stevenson – Running Back, New England Patriots

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In the 23 seasons since Bill Belichick took over as head coach of New England, only Patriot legends Corey Dillon (2004), Randy Moss (2007), and Wes Welker (2011) managed to outperform Rhamondre Stevenson’s 1,461 scrimmage yard sophomore effort in 2022. Stevenson finished 13th among all NFL players in combined rushing and receiving yards last year, yet is ranked 28th in Madden NFL 24’s running back class with an 80 overall rating. Stevenson may not quite be in the elite RB conversation yet, but he undeniably belongs in the top half of Madden’s halfbacks.

7. Justin Fields – Quarterback, Chicago Bears

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The Chicago Bears were the worst team in professional football last year, with a meager 3-14 record, but the lone bright spot found in Monsters of the Midway’s misery was the rising star quarterback, Justin Fields. After spending a hefty package to trade up and draft the Ohio State prospect in 2021, Chicago’s quarterback had a breakout season in 2022 with 25 total touchdowns scored and an incredible 1,143 rushing yards, the second most ever by a quarterback. Aside from win/loss ratio, Fields’ stats are strikingly similar to Madden Legend Michael Vick’s second year numbers back in 2002. However, while Vick would go on to appear as the Madden cover athlete in his third season, Fields’ Madden rating for the upcoming year is a mind-boggling 76 overall, placing him at the low end of the top 20 QBs.

6. Jalen Hurts – Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

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After rumors of circulated of Jalen Hurts potentially being replaced prior to the 2022 season, the third-year quarterback silenced his critics with a Second-team All-Pro designation and led the Philadelphia Eagles to an improbable Super Bowl run, coming up just short in a neck in neck battle against Patrick Mahomes II and the Kansas City Chiefs’ dynasty. Hurts finished second in MVP voting, as well as third in the Offensive Player of the Year race behind the aforementioned Mahomes and Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver Justin Jefferson respectively. However, unlike the 99 overall Mahomes and Jefferson, Hurts is rated a significantly lower 88, 5th overall among Madden NFL 24’s quarterback class. Even though Hurts isn’t a 99 level QB yet, his elite 2022 should have been enough for him to rate somewhere in the 90s at least.

5. Shaquil Barrett – Linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Prior to last season, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett had developed into one of the most feared edge rushers in the NFL. After leading the league with 19.5 sacks in 2019, followed by a Super Bowl title (the second of his career) in 2020, and a Pro Bowl selection in 2021, Barrett was awarded a high 88 overall rating last year in Madden NFL 23. However, after enduring a torn Achilles midway through the 2022 season, Barrett’s Madden rating in the latest game of the long-running series precipitously dropped eight points to a disappointing 80 overall. It seems overly harsh to severely downgrade one of the league’s best pass rushers for an injury, and Barrett deserves a mid-80s overall rating at minimum.

4. Shaquille Leonard – Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

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From the Shaq in Tampa to the Shaq of Indianapolis, Shaquille Leonard, the standout Colt linebacker is rated an 86 overall in Madden NFL 24. Although this is not a terrible grade at face value, the problem is that Leonard is currently ranked 18th among the entire linebacker position (both inside and outside) in the newest Madden, which ignores the reality that in just five career seasons, he has tallied four All-Pro selections (3x First-team, 1x Second-team) alongside a Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. It seems Leonard’s injury-plagued 2022 caused Madden’s ratings team to forget that the linebacker was voted among the top 20 players in the entire NFL by his peers merely one year ago in the NFL Top 100. No disrespect to the linebackers ranked ahead of Leonard, but there are certainly not ten, let alone 17 better than the Colts’ star defender.

3. Brock Purdy – Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

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How quickly we have all forgotten Purdy-mania. Brock Purdy was the 262nd and final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, becoming the third-string quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers to begin the 2022 season. After injuries to starters Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, the “Mr. Irrelevant” rookie was thrust into the starting role, and took advantage of the opportunity, leading the 49ers on a nine game winning streak all the way to the NFC Championship game in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Purdy and the 49ers’ unstoppable streak would come to a screeching halt at the doorstep of the Super Bowl, as the rookie QB tore the UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) in his throwing arm during the first quarter of the conference championship, and the Eagles trounced the red and gold 31-7.

Despite Purdy’s masterful leadership of the 49ers offense and high passing efficiency, Madden NFL 24 rates the second year quarterback at a shockingly low 73 overall, placing him 24th among the game’s quarterbacks, a major departure from the hype surrounding Iowa State passer last season. Although the media frenzy around Purdy grew to absurd proportions and comparisons to Tom Brady were certainly far-fetched, if he is healthy by the start of the season, the second year quarterback’s rating should be reassessed so that it better reflects his excellent rookie accomplishments.

2. A.J. Brown – Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

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There is no other way to put it: A.J. Brown has been disrespected by Madden. Following a controversial draft day trade from the Tennessee Titans in 2022, A.J. Brown proved his doubters wrong and provided a much-needed spark to the Philadelphia Eagles offense, setting career highs in receptions (88), receiving yards (1,496), and touchdowns (11), all while competing for targets against his Heisman Trophy winning running mate Devonta Smith.

With a second-team All-Pro honor and a Super Bowl appearance under his belt, it would seem to most that Brown has finally established himself among the top-tier of elite wide receivers of the NFL, yet surprisingly, EA disagrees. Unfortunately, the Eagles pass-catcher is tied for ninth among wide receivers with a 91 rating and Madden even placed some highly questionable wideouts ahead of Philadelphia’s newfound X Factor. Although a 91 is an undeniably impressive rating, A.J. Brown belongs in the top five conversation.

1. Talanoa Hufanga – Safety, San Francisco 49ers

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Talanoa Hufanga burst onto the scene in his second season, drawing comparisons to Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu based on his distinctive appearance and elite play on the field. After earning a First-team All-Pro selection (only trailing Steelers’ ballhawk Minkah Fitzpatrick in votes) and a Pro Bowl appearance in 2022, the former 5th round pick proved to be an essential cog on the top-rated San Francisco 49ers defense. Unfortunately Hufanga’s 86 overall Madden rating doesn’t reflect his indisputable football aptitude, as he is tied for 16th(?!!!) among all NFL safeties in the game. I’m not going to disparage any of the players rated ahead of the 49ers’ outstanding strong safety, but rating Hufanga outside the top ten at his position is laughable.

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If you’re interested in more Madden-related reading, check out Prima’s ranking of the most cursed cover athletes in the series’ history.

About the Author

Grant Testa

Grant Testa is a writer at Prima Games, who specializes in achievement hunting and horror gaming. He is also an avid comic book reader/collector, fantasy footballer, and rock music fanatic. Thousands who have been defeated by Grant in online multiplayer games have cried to themselves, wondering, "How did he get so good?! Why can't I be a gaming demigod like him?" They would probably be surprised to learn that Grant actually inherited his elite gaming skills from his mom, Joann Hansen, one of the speediest stenographers/typists in the nation, (and probably the world). Fun fact: he is also the son of the world’s first “let’s player” and comedy legend, Tim Testa.