The latter stages of the offseason typically becomes list season for the NFL, with anyone and everyone ranking any and every position group. The Madden video game gets in on the act, releasing its rankings for the upcoming edition of the game all week long.
They’re coming out one position at a time. The receivers were the first to be released, along with the tight ends. And there were some interesting decisions made regarding the receiver rankings.
Raiders receiver Davante Adams comes in at the top wideout, with a 99 rating. The remainder of the top 10 looks like this: (2) Rams receiver Cooper Kupp, 98; (3) Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, 97; (4) Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins, 96; (5) Bills receiver Stefon Diggs, 95; (6) Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, 93; (7) Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, 92; (8) Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, 91; (9) Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin, 91; and (10) Browns receiver Amari Cooper, 90.
There were some notable omissions from the top 10. 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel and Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf, both with 89s, didn’t make it. Bengal receiver Ja’Marr Chase, an 87, also was left out.
Meanwhile, Saints receiver Michael Thomas, who has barely played in two seasons, remains at 90. Ditto for Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin, who is an 89 despite rehabbing a torn ACL.
While we’ve yet to notice any eruptions from players who may be feeling disrespected by their Madden ratings, it’s inevitable. Most players play the Madden game. Most players regard their ratings as an objective indication of the respect they do, or don’t, receive.
Consider Steelers receiver Chase Claypool. He recently declared he’s one of the top three receivers in the league. Madden has him at a 78, behind guys like Kenny Golladay (81), Nelson Agholor (81), Jamison Crowder (80), Corey Davis (79), Darnell Mooney (79), Mecole Hardman (79), Rondale Moore (79), and Sammy Watkins (79).
The initial numbers don’t mean all that much, since they update the rankings throughout the year. For players who are constantly searching for motivation, what better way to find it than to strive for excellence in order to flip a 78 to an 87, or higher?
Regardless, even though it’s just a video game, players will see their numbers. They’ll either agree or disagree. Those who disagree will try to prove those who came up with the numbers wrong. Whoever they are.