Okay, gamers besides draft picks and training camp the big football news each summer is the release of the new Madden NFL game. EA Sports wisely lets the ratings drip out in the weeks leading up to the date the little plastic box filled with computer magic in an effort to drum up interest. Consider us interested.
Of course, fans of the St. Louis Rams, the lowest rated team in the game with a 66, might find a few things to quibble with in the individual player rankings for the 2010 roster. Let's dive in.
First and foremost, as someone pointed in the comments on VT's fanpost, why in the name of all that is holy is Chris Long (75) ranked below Fred Robbins (80), Clifton Ryan (77) and James Hall (76)? As we mentioned earlier this week, Long led the team in QB hurries and hits and was a close second in sacks. This one's a head scratcher.
Another "huh?" moment comes from the rankings of the Rams defensive backs. Oshiomogho Atogwe is not included, but if he were I'm sure he'd be the highest rated. Again, why no Atogwe? Bartell tops that list with an 81, James Butler is a close second with an 81. After that it's S Kevin Payne, and then it gets really weird. Third round pick CB Jerome Murphy topped last year's third round pick CB Bradley Fletcher. Obviously, they must be accounting for Fletcher's season-ending injury last year.
As you would expect, Steven Jackson is the highest rated player with a 95. The next highest rated player? P Donnie Jones with a 94. Hard to argue with either of those.
What about QB Sam Bradford? He gets an 80, which isn't shocking for a rookie.
You'll find the list of WRs to be a little light on the rankings, but given their lack of an established track record, it's not a shocker. Avery is the highest rated with a 75.
The offensive line is pretty consistently highly rated, from Jason Brown with an 89 to Rodger Saffold with a 71, which is impressive enough for a rookie.
Other surprises? Injustices? Any rankings too high?